On August 24, 2012, the Office received a joint motion to extend the reply comment period by three weeks [http://www.copyright.gov/docs/soaaudit/soa_audit.html]. The motion was filed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (“NCTA”),1
the Joint Sports Claimants, and the Program Suppliers.2
Specifically, the moving parties asked the Office to extend the deadline for reply comments until October 3, 2012 in order to determine whether there is any common ground among the NCTA, the Joint Sports Claimants, and the Program Suppliers concerning certain aspects of the proposed regulation. If so, the moving parties stated that they may be able to narrow the issues that they discuss in their reply comments, which in turn, may narrow the issues that need to be resolved in this rulemaking. The NCTA, the Joint Sports Claimants, and the Program Suppliers stated that they have been in contact with each other, but due to prior commitments, they will not be able to engage in meaningful negotiations until shortly before the current deadline.
1The NCTA is a trade association that represents cable operators. Many of the NCTA's members file Statements of Account with and pay royalties to the Copyright Office under the statutory license set forth in Section 111 of the Copyright Act, which allows them to retransmit television and radio programs that are embodied in local and distant broadcast transmissions.
2Both the Joint Sports Claimants and the Program Suppliers represent copyright owners who are the beneficiaries of the royalties that are paid under the Section 111 and 119 statutory licenses. Generally speaking, the Joint Sports Claimants represent copyright owners that produce professional and college sports programming, while the Program Suppliers represent copyright owners that produce and/or syndicate movies, programs, and specials that are broadcast by television stations.
In the interest of giving the NCTA, the Joint Sports Claimants, the Program Suppliers, and any other interested parties an opportunity to discuss the proposed regulation amongst themselves and to determine if the parties are able to narrow the issues that the Office needs to consider, the Office has decided to extend the deadline for filing reply comments by a period of three weeks, making reply comments due by October 3, 2012.
Dated: September 6, 2012.
Deputy General Counsel.