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Archived updates for Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New Copyright Royalty Board Regulations Effective May 31, 2005

The Interim Chief Copyright Royalty Judge, on behalf of the Copyright Royalty Board of the Library of Congress, has issued new regulations that govern the organization, administration, and procedures of the Board. The regulations are effective May 31, 2005, and are for immediate use in proceedings that are subject to the jurisdiction of Copyright Royalty Judges.

With the enactment of the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-419) on Nov. 30, 2004, the CARP system that had been part of the Copyright Office since 1993 is being phased out. The Act replaced CARP (which itself replaced the CRT in 1993) with a system of three CRJs, who will determine rates and terms for the copyright statutory licenses and make determinations on distribution of statutory license royalties collected by the Copyright Office.

Statutory licenses, sometimes referred to as "compulsory" licenses, enable a person to use copyrighted materials unilaterally, without contractual permission of the owners of the materials; so long as the user complies with applicable reporting and royalty payment obligations. However, finding the right administrative structure to set these rates and make distributions for the expanded array of statutory licenses has proven problematic. The new regulations implement the requirement of section 803(b)(6)(A) of the Copyright Act that directs the Copyright Royalty Judges to "issue regulations to govern [their] proceedings'' within 120 days of their appointment.

Written comments on the new regulations must be received no later than June 30, 2005. Click here for more details from the U.S. Copyright Office.
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