17 U.S. Code § 112 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Ephemeral recordings
Section 112 of the bill concerns itself with a special problem that is not dealt with in the present statutes but is the subject of provisions in a number of foreign statutes and in the revisions of the Berne Convention since 1948. This is the problem of what are commonly called “ephemeral recordings”: copies or phonorecords of a work made for purposes of later transmission by a broadcasting organization legally entitled to transmit the work. In other words, where a broadcaster has the privilege of performing or displaying a work either because he is licensed or because the performance or display is exempted under the statute, the question is whether he should be given the additional privilege of recording the performance or display to facilitate its transmission. The need for a limited exemption in these cases because of the practical exigencies of broadcasting has been generally recognized, but the scope of the exemption has been a controversial issue.
Some concern has been expressed by authors and publishers lest the term “organization” be construed to include a number of affiliated broadcasters who could exchange the recording without restrictions. The term is intended to cover a broadcasting network, or a local broadcaster or individual transmitter; but, under clauses (1) and (2) of the subsection, the ephemeral recording must be “retained and used solely by the transmitting organization that made it,” and must be used solely for that organization’s own transmissions within its own area. Thus, an ephemeral recording made by one transmitter, whether it be a network or local broadcaster, could not be made available for use by another transmitter. Likewise, this subsection does not apply to those nonsimultaneous transmissions by cable systems not located within a boundary of the forty-eight contiguous States that are granted a compulsory license under section 111.
Three specific limitations on the scope of the ephemeral recording privilege are set out in subsection (a), and unless all are met the making of an “ephemeral recording” becomes fully actionable as an infringement. The first requires that the copy or phonorecord be “retained and used solely by the transmitting organization that made it,” and that “no further copies or phonorecords are reproduced from it.” This means that a transmitting organization would have no privilege of exchanging ephemeral recordings with other transmitters or of allowing them to duplicate their own ephemeral recordings from the copy or phonorecord it has made. There is nothing in the provision to prevent a transmitting organization from having an ephemeral recording made by means of facilities other than its own, although it would not be permissible for a person or organization other than a transmitting organization to make a recording on its own initiative for possible sale or lease to a broadcaster. The ephemeral recording privilege would extend to copies or phonorecords made in advance for later broadcast, as well as recordings of a program that are made while it is being transmitted and are intended for deferred transmission or preservation.
Clause (2) of section 112(a) provides that, to be exempt from copyright, the copy or phonorecord must be “used solely for the transmitting organization’s own transmissions within its local service area, or for purposes of archival preservation or security”. The term “local service area” is defined in section 111(f).
Clause (3) of section 112(a) provides that, unless preserved exclusively for archival purposes, the copy or phonorecord of a transmission program must be destroyed within six months from the date the transmission program was first transmitted to the public.
On the other hand, if the nonprofit organization does nothing directly or indirectly to authorize, induce, or encourage others to duplicate additional copies or phonorecords of an ephemeral recording in excess of the limit of thirty, it would not be held responsible as participating in the infringement in such a case, and the unauthorized copies would not be counted against the organization’s total of thirty.
Unlike ephemeral recordings made under subsection (a), exchanges of recordings among instructional broadcasters are permitted. An organization that has made copies or phonorecords under subsection (b) may use one of them for purposes of its own transmissions that are exempted by section 110(2), and it may also transfer the other 29 copies to other instructional broadcasters for use in the same way.
As in the case of ephemeral recordings made under section 112(a), a copy or phonorecord made for instructional broadcasting could be reused in any number of transmissions within the time limits specified in the provision. Because of the special problems of instructional broadcasters resulting from the scheduling of courses and the need to prerecord well in advance of transmission, the period of use has been extended to seven years from the date the transmission program was first transmitted to the public.
Despite objections by music copyright owners, the Committee found this exemption to be justified by the special circumstances under which many religious programs are broadcast. These programs are produced on tape or disk for distribution by mail of one copy only to each broadcast station carrying the program. None of the programs are prepared for profit, and the program producer either pays the station to carry the program or furnishes it free of charge. The stations have performing licenses, so the copyright owners receive compensation. Following the performance, the tape is returned or the disk destroyed. It seems likely that, as has been alleged, to require a second payment for the mechanical reproduction under these circumstances would simply have the effect of driving some of the copyrighted music off the air.
2004—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(1), substituted first sentence for former first sentence which read: “No later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Librarian of Congress shall cause notice to be published in the Federal Register of the initiation of voluntary negotiation proceedings for the purpose of determining reasonable terms and rates of royalty payments for the activities specified by paragraph (1) of this subsection during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of such Act and ending on December 31, 2000, or such other date as the parties may agree.”, substituted “Copyright Royalty Judges licenses” for “Librarian of Congress licenses” in third sentence, and struck out “negotiation” before “proceeding” in last sentence.
Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(2), substituted first sentence for former first sentence which read: “In the absence of license agreements negotiated under paragraph (2), during the 60-day period commencing 6 months after publication of the notice specified in paragraph (3), and upon the filing of a petition in accordance with section 803(a)(1), the Librarian of Congress shall, pursuant to chapter 8, convene a copyright arbitration royalty panel to determine and publish in the Federal Register a schedule of reasonable rates and terms which, subject to paragraph (5), shall be binding on all copyright owners of sound recordings and transmitting organizations entitled to a statutory license under this subsection during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and ending on December 31, 2000, or such other date as the parties may agree.”, and substituted “Copyright Royalty Judges” for “copyright arbitration royalty panel” in third and fourth sentences and in concluding provisions, “their decision” for “its decision”, “described” for “negotiated as provided”, and “Copyright Royalty Judges shall also establish” for “Librarian of Congress shall also establish”.
Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(3), substituted “decision by the Librarian of Congress or determination by the Copyright Royalty Judges” for “determination by a copyright arbitration royalty panel or decision by the Librarian of Congress”.
Subsec. (e)(6). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(4), redesignated par. (7) as (6) and struck out former par. (6) which related to publication of notice of the initiation of voluntary negotiation proceedings as specified in par. (3).
Subsec. (e)(6)(A)(i). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(5), substituted “Copyright Royalty Judges” for “Librarian of Congress”.
Subsec. (e)(7) to (9). Pub. L. 108–419, § 5(b)(4), redesignated pars. (8) and (9) as (7) and (8), respectively. Former par. (7) redesignated (6).
2002—Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 107–273 added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).
1999—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), redesignated par. (3) as (2).
Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), (2), redesignated par. (4) as (3) and substituted “(1)” for “(2)” in first sentence. Former par. (3) redesignated (2).
Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), (3), redesignated par. (5) as (4), substituted “(2)” for “(3)”, “(3)” for “(4)”, and “(5)” for “(6)” in first sentence, and substituted “(2) and (3)” for “(3) and (4)” in penultimate sentence of concluding provisions. Former par. (4) redesignated (3).
Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), redesignated par. (6) as (5). Former par. (5) redesignated (4).
Subsec. (e)(6). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), (4), redesignated par. (7) as (6), substituted “(3)” for “(4)” wherever appearing, and substituted “(4)” for “(5)” in two places. Former par. (6) redesignated (5).
Subsec. (e)(7) to (10). Pub. L. 106–44, § 1(b)(1), redesignated pars. (8) to (10) as (7) to (9), respectively. Former par. (7) redesignated (6).
1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–304, § 402, designated existing provisions as par. (1), in introductory provisions inserted “, including a statutory license under section 114(f),” after “under a license” and “or for a transmitting organization that is a broadcast radio or television station licensed as such by the Federal Communications Commission and that makes a broadcast transmission of a performance of a sound recording in a digital format on a nonsubscription basis,” after “114(a),”, redesignated former pars. (1) to (3) as subpars. (A) to (C), respectively, and added par. (2).
Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 105–304, § 405(b), added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsec. (e) as (f).
Amendment by Pub. L. 108–419 effective 6 months after Nov. 30, 2004, subject to transition provisions, see section 6 of Pub. L. 108–419, set out as an Effective Date; Transition Provisions note under section 801 of this title.