Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1554 (ih) To amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 1554 (ih) To amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite. [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 1554

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

   To amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the 
    Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and 
              carriage of broadcast signals by satellite.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1554

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the 
    Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and 
              carriage of broadcast signals by satellite.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Satellite Copyright, Competition, 
and Consumer Protection Act of 1999''.

         TITLE I--SATELLITE COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Satellite Competition and Consumer 
Protection Act''.

SEC. 102. RETRANSMISSION CONSENT.

    Section 325(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 325(b)) 
is amended--
            (1) by amending paragraphs (1) and (2) to read as follows:
    ``(b)(1) No cable system or other multichannel video programming 
distributor shall retransmit the signal of a television broadcast 
station, or any part thereof, except--
            ``(A) with the express authority of the originating 
        station;
            ``(B) pursuant to section 614, in the case of a station 
        electing, in accordance with this subsection, to assert the 
        right to carriage under such section; or
            ``(C) pursuant to section 338, in the case of a station 
        electing, in accordance with this subsection, to assert the 
        right to carriage under such section.
    ``(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply--
            ``(A) to retransmission of the signal of a noncommercial 
        television broadcast station;
            ``(B) to retransmission of the signal of a television 
        broadcast station outside the station's local market by a 
        satellite carrier directly to its subscribers, if--
                    ``(i) such station was a superstation on May 1, 
                1991;
                    ``(ii) as of July 1, 1998, such station was 
                retransmitted by a satellite carrier under the 
                statutory license of section 119 of title 17, United 
                States Code; and
                    ``(iii) the satellite carrier complies with all 
                network nonduplication, syndicated exclusivity, and 
                sports blackout rules adopted by the Commission 
                pursuant to section 712 of this Act;
            ``(C) until 7 months after the date of enactment of the 
        Satellite Competition and Consumer Protection Act, to 
        retransmission of the signal of a television network station 
        directly to a satellite antenna, if the subscriber receiving 
        the signal is located in an area outside the local market of 
        such station; or
            ``(D) to retransmission by a cable operator or other 
        multichannel video provider, other than a satellite carrier, of 
        the signal of a television broadcast station outside the 
        station's local market if such signal was obtained from a 
        satellite carrier and--
                    ``(i) the originating station was a superstation on 
                May 1, 1991; and
                    ``(ii) as of July 1, 1998, such station was 
                retransmitted by a satellite carrier under the 
                statutory license of section 119 of title 17, United 
                States Code.'';
            (2) by adding at the end of paragraph (3) the following new 
        subparagraph:
    ``(C) Within 45 days after the date of enactment of the Satellite 
Competition and Consumer Protection Act, the Commission shall commence 
a rulemaking proceeding to revise the regulations governing the 
exercise by television broadcast stations of the right to grant 
retransmission consent under this subsection, and such other 
regulations as are necessary to administer the limitations contained in 
paragraph (2). The Commission shall complete all actions necessary to 
prescribe such regulations within one year after such date of 
enactment. Such regulations shall--
            ``(i) establish election time periods that correspond with 
        those regulations adopted under subparagraph (B) of this 
        paragraph; and
            ``(ii) until January 1, 2006, prohibit television broadcast 
        stations that provide retransmission consent from engaging in 
        discriminatory practices, understandings, arrangements, and 
        activities, including exclusive contracts for carriage, that 
        prevent a multichannel video programming distributor from 
        obtaining retransmission consent from such stations.'';
            (3) in paragraph (4), by adding at the end the following 
        new sentence: ``If an originating television station elects 
        under paragraph (3)(C) to exercise its right to grant 
        retransmission consent under this subsection with respect to a 
        satellite carrier, the provisions of section 338 shall not 
        apply to the carriage of the signal of such station by such 
        satellite carrier.'';
            (4) in paragraph (5), by striking ``614 or 615'' and 
        inserting ``338, 614, or 615''; and
            (5) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(7) For purposes of this subsection, the term `television 
broadcast station' means an over-the-air commercial or noncommercial 
television broadcast station licensed by the 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.''.

SEC. 103. MUST-CARRY FOR SATELLITE CARRIERS RETRANSMITTING TELEVISION 
              BROADCAST SIGNALS.

    Title III of the Communications Act of 1934 is amended by inserting 
after section 337 (47 U.S.C. 337) the following new section:

``SEC. 338. CARRIAGE OF LOCAL TELEVISION SIGNALS BY SATELLITE CARRIERS.

    ``(a) Carriage Obligations.--
            ``(1) In general.--Subject to the limitations of paragraph 
        (2), each satellite carrier providing secondary transmissions 
        to subscribers located within the local market of a television 
        broadcast station of a primary transmission made by that 
        station shall carry upon request all television broadcast 
        stations located within that local market, subject to section 
        325(b), by retransmitting the signal or signals of such 
        stations that are identified by Commission regulations for 
        purposes of this section.
            ``(2) Effective date.--No satellite carrier shall be 
        required to carry local television broadcast stations under 
        paragraph (1) until January 1, 2002.
    ``(b) Good Signal Required.--
            ``(1) Costs.--A television broadcast station asserting its 
        right to carriage under subsection (a) shall be required to 
        bear the costs associated with delivering a good quality signal 
        to the designated local receive facility of the satellite 
        carrier or to another facility that is acceptable to at least 
        one-half the stations asserting the right to carriage in the 
        local market.
            ``(2) Regulations.--The regulations issued under subsection 
        (g) shall set forth the obligations necessary to carry out this 
        subsection.
    ``(c) Duplication Not Required.--
            ``(1) Commercial stations.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), 
        a satellite carrier shall not be required to carry upon request 
        the signal of any local commercial television broadcast station 
        that substantially duplicates the signal of another local 
        commercial television broadcast station which is secondarily 
        transmitted by the satellite carrier within the same local 
        market, or to carry upon request the signals of more than 1 
        local commercial television broadcast station in a single local 
        market that is affiliated with a particular television network.
            ``(2) Noncommercial stations.--The Commission shall 
        prescribe regulations limiting the carriage requirements under 
        subsection (a) of satellite carriers with respect to the 
        carriage of multiple local noncommercial television broadcast 
        stations. To the extent possible, such regulations shall 
        provide the same degree of carriage by satellite carriers of 
        such multiple stations as is provided by cable systems under 
        section 615.
    ``(d) Channel Positioning.--No satellite carrier shall be required 
to provide the signal of a local television broadcast station to 
subscribers in that station's local market on any particular channel 
number or to provide the signals in any particular order, except that 
the satellite carrier shall retransmit the signal of the local 
television broadcast stations to subscribers in the stations' local 
market on contiguous channels and provide access to such station's 
signals at a nondiscriminatory price and in a nondiscriminatory manner 
on any navigational device, on-screen program guide, or menu.
    ``(e) Compensation for Carriage.--A satellite carrier shall not 
accept or request monetary payment or other valuable consideration in 
exchange either for carriage of local television broadcast stations in 
fulfillment of the requirements of this section or for channel 
positioning rights provided to such stations under this section, except 
that any such station may be required to bear the costs associated with 
delivering a good quality signal to the local receive facility of the 
satellite carrier.
    ``(f) Remedies.--
            ``(1) Complaints by broadcast stations.--Whenever a local 
        television broadcast station believes that a satellite carrier 
        has failed to meet its obligations under this section, such 
        station shall notify the carrier, in writing, of the alleged 
        failure and identify its reasons for believing that the 
        satellite carrier is obligated to carry upon request the signal 
        of such station or has otherwise failed to comply with other 
        requirements of this section. The satellite carrier shall, 
        within 30 days of such written notification, respond in writing 
        to such notification and either begin carrying the signal of 
        such station in accordance with the terms requested or state 
        its reasons for believing that it is not obligated to carry 
        such signal or is in compliance with other requirements of this 
        section, as the case may be. A local television broadcast 
        station that is denied carriage in accordance with this section 
        by a satellite carrier or is otherwise harmed by a response by 
        a satellite carrier that it is in compliance with other 
        requirements of this section may obtain review of such denial 
        or response by filing a complaint with the Commission. Such 
        complaint shall allege the manner in which such satellite 
        carrier has failed to meet its obligations and the basis for 
        such allegations.
            ``(2) Opportunity to respond.--The Commission shall afford 
        the satellite carrier against which a complaint is filed under 
        paragraph (1) an opportunity to present data and arguments to 
        establish that there has been no failure to meet its 
        obligations under this section.
            ``(3) Remedial actions; dismissal.--Within 120 days after 
        the date a complaint is filed under paragraph (1), the 
        Commission shall determine whether the satellite carrier has 
        met its obligations under this chapter. If the Commission 
        determines that the satellite carrier has failed to meet such 
        obligations, the Commission shall order the satellite carrier, 
        in the case of an obligation to carry a station, to begin 
        carriage of the station and to continue such carriage for at 
        least 12 months, or, in the case of the failure to meet other 
        obligations under this section, shall take other appropriate 
        remedial action. If the Commission determines that the 
        satellite carrier has fully met the requirements of this 
        chapter, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint.
    ``(g) Regulations by Commission.--Within 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this section, the Commission shall, following a rulemaking 
proceeding, issue regulations implementing this section.
    ``(h) Definitions.--As used in this section:
            ``(1) Subscriber.--The term `subscriber' means a person 
        that receives a secondary transmission service by means of a 
        secondary transmission from a satellite and pays a fee for the 
        service, directly or indirectly, to the satellite carrier or to 
        a distributor.
            ``(2) 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.
            ``(3) Local receive facility.--The term `local receive 
        facility' means the reception point in each local market which 
        a satellite carrier designates for delivery of the signal of 
        the station for purposes of retransmission.
            ``(4) Television broadcast station.--The term `television 
        broadcast station' has the meaning given such term in section 
        325(b)(7).
            ``(5) Secondary transmission.--The term `secondary 
        transmission' has the meaning given such term in section 119(d) 
        of title 17, United States Code.''.

SEC. 104. NONDUPLICATION OF PROGRAMMING BROADCAST BY LOCAL STATIONS.

    Section 712 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 612) is 
amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 712. NONDUPLICATION OF PROGRAMMING BROADCAST BY LOCAL STATIONS.

    ``(a) Extension of Network Nonduplication, Syndicated Exclusivity, 
and Sports Blackout to Satellite Retransmission.--Within 45 days after 
the date of enactment of the Satellite Competition and Consumer 

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