Changes anticipated for TV distributors

Federal agency wants to modify TV copyright law

The leading body for copyright regulations, the U.S Copyright office, has asked Congress to adjust the copyright legislation that currently regulates the course for television distribution. The office proposes that Congress modify the current payment system between cable and satellite operators and rights holders.

Instead of the current system, in which operators pay a single, all-inclusive fee for their distribution rights, they would have to negotiate individually with suppliers. This modification, the Copyright office says, will spur dissent from operators that disapprove of the added labor efforts.

The first item expected to change is the legislation surrounding distant-signals. Distributors that currently pay the Copyright Royalty Board for their programming rights would have to discuss individual arrangements with all suppliers that receive their programs, potentially causing payment operations to become more tedious if these distant-signal rules are successfully eliminated. An example of a company that would be significantly affected by the change is Tribune Co. and its WGN station, which is currently managed by multichannel video program distributors.

For more on the possible changes, read coverage from the LA Times.

Danielle Feinstein

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