United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 122

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United States Code
by the United States Government
Title 17, Chapter 1, § 122. Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions by satellite carriers within local markets
From the U.S. Copyright Office.: Added by the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. No. 106-113, Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1501, app. I at 1501A-523), with effect from November 29, 1999.
§ 122—Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions by satellite carriers within local markets

(a) Secondary Transmissions of Television Broadcast Stations by Satellite Carriers[edit]

A secondary transmission of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission of a television broadcast station into the station's local market shall be subject to statutory licensing under this section if—

(1) the secondary transmission is made by a satellite carrier to the public;
(2) with regard to secondary transmissions, the satellite carrier is in compliance with the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission governing the carriage of television broadcast station signals; and
(3) the satellite carrier makes a direct or indirect charge for the secondary transmission to—
(A) each subscriber receiving the secondary transmission; or
(B) a distributor that has contracted with the satellite carrier for direct or indirect delivery of the secondary transmission to the public.

(b) Reporting Requirements[edit]

(1) INITIAL LISTS.—A satellite carrier that makes secondary transmissions of a primary transmission made by a network station under subsection (a) shall, within 90 days after commencing such secondary transmissions, submit to the network that owns or is affiliated with the network station a list identifying (by name in alphabetical order and street address, including county and zip code) all subscribers to which the satellite carrier makes secondary transmissions of that primary transmission under subsection (a).
(2) SUBSEQUENT LISTS.—After the list is submitted under paragraph (1), the satellite carrier shall, on the 15th of each month, submit to the network a list identifying (by name in alphabetical order and street address, including county and zip code) any subscribers who have been added or dropped as subscribers since the last submission under this subsection.
(3) USE OF SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION.—Subscriber information submitted by a satellite carrier under this subsection may be used only for the purposes of monitoring compliance by the satellite carrier with this section.
(4) REQUIREMENTS OF NETWORKS.—The submission requirements of this subsection shall apply to a satellite carrier only if the network to which the submissions are to be made places on file with the Register of Copyrights a document identifying the name and address of the person to whom such submissions are to be made. The Register of Copyrights shall maintain for public inspection a file of all such documents.

(c) No Royalty Fee Required[edit]

A satellite carrier whose secondary transmissions are subject to statutory licensing under subsection (a) shall have no royalty obligation for such secondary transmissions.

(d) Noncompliance with Reporting and Regulatory Requirements[edit]

Notwithstanding subsection (a), the willful or repeated secondary transmission to the public by a satellite carrier into the local market of a television broadcast station of a primary transmission embodying a performance or display of a work made by that television broadcast station is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided under sections 502 through 506, if the satellite carrier has not complied with the reporting requirements of subsection (b) or with the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission concerning the carriage of television broadcast signals.

(e) Willful Alterations[edit]

Notwithstanding subsection (a), the secondary transmission to the public by a satellite carrier into the local market of a television broadcast station of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission made by that television broadcast station is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and section 510, if the content of the particular program in which the performance or display is embodied, or any commercial advertising or station announcement transmitted by the primary transmitter during, or immediately before or after, the transmission of such program, is in any way willfully altered by the satellite carrier through changes, deletions, or additions, or is combined with programming from any other broadcast signal.

(f) Violation of Territorial Restrictions on Statutory License for Television Broadcast Stations[edit]

(1) INDIVIDUAL VIOLATIONS.—The willful or repeated secondary transmission to the public by a satellite carrier of a primary transmission embodying a performance or display of a work made by a television broadcast station to a subscriber who does not reside in that station's local market, and is not subject to statutory licensing under section 119 or a private licensing agreement, is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501 and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506, except that—
(A) no damages shall be awarded for such act of infringement if the satellite carrier took corrective action by promptly withdrawing service from the ineligible subscriber; and
(B) any statutory damages shall not exceed $5 for such subscriber for each month during which the violation occurred.
(2) PATTERN OF VIOLATIONS.—If a satellite carrier engages in a willful or repeated pattern or practice of secondarily transmitting to the public a primary transmission embodying a performance or display of a work made by a television broadcast station to subscribers who do not reside in that station's local market, and are not subject to statutory licensing under section 119 or a private licensing agreement, then in addition to the remedies under paragraph (1)—
(A) if the pattern or practice has been carried out on a substantially nationwide basis, the court—
(i) shall order a permanent injunction barring the secondary transmission by the satellite carrier of the primary transmissions of that television broadcast station (and if such television broadcast station is a network station, all other television broadcast stations affiliated with such network); and
(ii) may order statutory damages not exceeding $250,000 for each 6-month period during which the pattern or practice was carried out; and
(B) if the pattern or practice has been carried out on a local or regional basis with respect to more than one television broadcast station, the court—
(i) shall order a permanent injunction barring the secondary transmission in that locality or region by the satellite carrier of the primary transmissions of any television broadcast station; and
(ii) may order statutory damages not exceeding $250,000 for each 6-month period during which the pattern or practice was carried out.

(g) Burden of Proof[edit]

In any action brought under subsection (f), the satellite carrier shall have the burden of proving that its secondary transmission of a primary transmission by a television broadcast station is made only to subscribers located within that station's local market or subscribers being served in compliance with section 119 or a private licensing agreement.

(h) Geographic Limitations on Secondary Transmissions[edit]

The statutory license created by this section shall apply to secondary transmissions to locations in the United States.

(i) Exclusivity with Respect to Secondary Transmissions of Broadcast Stations by Satellite to Members of the Public[edit]

No provision of section 111 or any other law (other than this section and section 119) shall be construed to contain any authorization, exemption, or license through which secondary transmissions by satellite carriers of programming contained in a primary transmission made by a television broadcast station may be made without obtaining the consent of the copyright owner.

(j) Definitions[edit]

In this section—

(1) DISTRIBUTOR.—The term "distributor" means an entity which contracts to distribute secondary transmissions from a satellite carrier and, either as a single channel or in a package with other programming, provides the secondary transmission either directly to individual subscribers or indirectly through other program distribution entities.
(2) LOCAL MARKET.—
(A) In general.—The term "local market", in the case of both commercial and noncommercial television broadcast stations, means the designated market area in which a station is located, and—
(i) in the case of a commercial television broadcast station, all commercial television broadcast stations licensed to a community within the same designated market area are within the same local market; and
(ii) in the case of a noncommercial educational television broadcast station, the market includes any station that is licensed to a community within the same designated market area as the noncommercial educational television broadcast station.
(B) County of license.—In addition to the area described in subparagraph (A), a station’s local market includes the county in which the station's community of license is located.
(C) Designated market area.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term "designated market area" means a designated market area, as determined by Nielsen Media Research and published in the 1999–2000 Nielsen Station Index Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television Household Estimates or any successor publication.
(D) Certain areas outside of any designated market area.—Any census area, borough, or other area in the State of Alaska that is outside of a designated market area, as determined by Nielsen Media Research, shall be deemed to be part of one of the local markets in the State of Alaska. A satellite carrier may determine which local market in the State of Alaska will be deemed to be the relevant local market in connection with each subscriber in such census area, borough, or other area.
(3) NETWORK STATION; SATELLITE CARRIER; SECONDARY TRANSMISSION.—The terms "network station", "satellite carrier", and "secondary transmission" have the meanings given such terms under section 119(d).
(4) SUBSCRIBER.—The term "subscriber" means a person who receives a secondary transmission service from a satellite carrier and pays a fee for the service, directly or indirectly, to the satellite carrier or to a distributor.
(5) TELEVISION BROADCAST STATION.—The term "television broadcast station"—
(A) means an over-the-air, commercial or noncommercial television broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission under subpart E of part 73 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, except that such term does not include a low-power or translator television station; and
(B) includes a television broadcast station licensed by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico if the station broadcasts primarily in the English language and is a network station as defined in section 119(d)(2)(A).

Amendment history[edit]

Section 122 was added by the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-113, Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1501, app. I at 1501A-523), with effect from November 29, 1999.

Patent and Trademark Office Authorization Act of 2002[edit]

Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title III, § 13210(2)(A), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1909;

  • substituted “rights: Secondary” for “rights; secondary” in section catchline.

Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004[edit]

Pub. L. 108–447, div. J, title IX [title I, § 111(b)], Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3409;

  • added subparagraph (D) to subsection (j)(2).

Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008[edit]

Pub. L. 110–403, title II, § 209(a)(5), Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264;

  • Amended subsection (d), by striking “and 509”;
  • Amended subsection (e), by striking “sections 509 and 510” and inserting “section 510”; and
  • Amended subsection (f)(1), by striking “and 509”.