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These cable systems are located in small communities where there is usually one predominant industry, such as fishing or timber. The largest communities served by cable systems are Ketchikan and Juneau with 6,000 and 7,000 persons respectively. The average population for all these communities is approximately 3,000 persons. Several, such as Kotzebue, Nome, and Point Barrow, are Native communities where television is not only an educational and entertainment medium, but also is a primary tool in efforts to combat a most serious problem of alcoholism.
Thus, cable systems in Alaska are an integral part of the still developing communications network of the state. In most cases, they provide these small com. munities with their only video link with the outside world.
The cable systems serving these areas are already saddled with many difficult problems stemming from their isolation. The bicycling of tapes enables these sys. tems to cope with the tremendous expense involved in providing cable service in Alaska. Since most of the 12 small communities which have cable systems receive programming originally taped in Seattle, exclusion from the section pertaining to bicycling would cause significant disruption in programming and service as well as requiring these stations to pay an added expense which they cannot bear. The exclusion of Alaska cable stations from the established practice of bicycling tapes within systems while allowing such practice in other non-contiguous zones would be a grave injustice.
Additionally, I would like to point out a problem contained in Section 111(e) (1) (C) (ii) which deals with prevention of duplication during the actual taping process. Again, this appears to be a proposal designed to cover only a certain portion of non-contiguous cable operations, namely those which have their own taping facilities. Taping for cable systems in Alaska is done in Seattle by separate firms. As such, there is no possible way cable systems of this type can guarantee they will prevent duplication (during taping) by facilities they neither own nor operate.
“Although I am sure that the subcommittee is familiar with the legislative history of the "Stevens Amendment," I do believe a cursory review of its purpose will be helpful in understanding the problems I have outlined.
Cable systems in non-contiguous zones, such as in Alaska and Guam, are too far from the mainland to receive television signals off the air or by microwave. Therefore, there is no way these systems can get their full programming without taping. The taping is done in the contiguous 48 states and shipped for cable. casting. When aired, the program is a nonsimultaneous secondary transmission.
Under present law, cable systems that take signals off the air or receive them by microwave for simultaneous broadcast do not violate copyright laws. This principle has been supported in Fortnightly Corp. vs. The United Artists Television Broadcasting System, (342 US 296) and Teleprompter Corporation vs. Columbia Broadcasting System, (43 LW 4323). However, the law is unclear with respect to cable systems which broadcast non-simultaneously.
The Congress has expressed its opinion, as evidenced in the Copyright Bill, that copyright owners should be compensated for cable transmission. The cable broadcasters have accepted this in principle. The technique which will be employed to achieve this will require cable broadcasters to pay a fee into a general fund from which copyright holders may draw payments. This technique is designed to avoid protracted individual bargaining over programs and prices.
Unfortunately, because of the unclear legal status of non-contiguous cable systems, this is precisely what has begun to develop in these areas. Non-contiguous cable systems have found themselves faced with the very real threat of program-by-program, system-by-system negotiations with every single copyright holder for permission to carry programming.
My amendment was designed to place all cable systems on an equal basis under the law, and to help disperse legal clouds shrouding the status of non-contiguous cable systems as regards copyright matters. That is why I am concerned that any further changes regarding this situation retain this "equal footing" concept between cable systems.
As your subcommittee may know, Alaskan cable systems did enter into a consent agreement last year with certain motion picture corporations covering the use of copyrighted material. This is a three year agreement of which one year has already expired.
This consent agreement does not solve the basic problems addressed by my amendment. It simply binds the parties to a temporary settlement covering a certain percentage of broadcast programming. The threat of further litigation
from other sources, and/or renegotiation upon the expiration of current settlements fully exists. It should be remembered that these cable systems are now paying copyright while their contiguous counterparts are not.
Also of note is the fact that this current agreement allows for the bicycling of tapes as has been the custom in Alaska.
As the subcommittee knows, the tremendous changes, technological and otherwise, which have occurred since the initial copyright laws were drafted in 1909 have rendered many of these statutes obsolete while spawning vast new areas of uncertainty with respect to copyright protection and application. The Congress has been working on a total package approach to general copyright revision for many years now.
It has always been my belief that a comprehensive, long-term approach to copyright revision is the proper course. Because of this I have attempted to address matters of concern to my state in this area strictly within the body of the Omnibus Copyright Bill.
It is my sincere hope that the subcommittee will recognize that any agreement pertaining to the unique problem of non-contiguous cable operation should include all systems it affects if drafted into the Copyright Bill. To do otherwise would be contrary to the spirit of equitable reform.
Accordingly, in order that the deficiencies I have outlined be corrected, I am recommending that the following changes be made in the amendments to Section 111 of H.R. 2223 proposed by Mr. Richard L. Brown in his September 15 letter to the subcommittee and subsequently presented before the subcommittee by representatives of Guam Cable Television and the motion picture industry during hearings on the Copyright Bill held September 18.
In the proposed amendment to H.R. 2223, Section 111 (e) (2) (C) (ii), which reads: "prevents duplication while in the possession of the facility making the videotape for the system,” should be changed to read : "prevents unauthorized duplication while in the possession of the facility making the videotape for the system, where the facility is owned by or under the control of the system,”.
This wording will allow for full compliance with this section by cable systems which own their own taping facilities as well as those who do not.
Additionally, that part of Section 111(e) (2) of the proposed amendments which reads: "except that any cable system in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands may transfer,” should be changed to read : "except that any cable system in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands may transfer,".
Further, that portion of Section 111(e) (2) of the proposed amendments which reads: "to another cable system in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, if :" should be changed to read : "between and among cable systems in Alaska; between and among cable systems in Hawaii; between and among cable systems in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, if:'.
Again, I must emphasize that I do feel these underlined changes are essential if the keynote principle of equitable treatment between cable systems is to be maintained.
I would greatly appreciate the inclusion of my letter in your hearing record at the appropriate place.
Thank you very much for your consideration of this matter which is of great importance to the cable systems in Alaska and elsewhere. I stand ready to work with you on this matter should you desire it.
If you desire any more information on this subject, please don't hesitate to contact me or have one of your staff contact Ernie Kelly at x41038. With best wishes, Cordially,
TED STEVENS, U.S. Senator.
COPYRIGHT LAW REVISION
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1975
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:15 a.m., in room 2226, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Robert W. Kastenmeier [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Kastenmeier, Drinan, Pattison, Railsback, and Wiggins.
Also present: Herbert Fuchs, counsel; and Thomas E. Mooney, associate counsel.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. The committee will come to order. This morning's hearing on copyright law revision relates to a number of miscellaneous issues. First, we shall receive testimony from four witnesses who wish to be heard on the so-called manufacturing clause, section 601 of H.R. 2223. We will examine these witnesses when they have all testified.
At earlier hearings, the subcommittee received testimony of governmental witnesses, notably from the State Department, on this particular issue.
Second, we are scheduled to hear testimony on H.R. 4965, introduced by Mr. Won Pat, Delegate from Guam, that would provide a nonsimultaneous recording right for transmission on cable systems in noncontiguous areas.
Third, we will hear testimony on ephemeral recording right provisions with respect to music of a religious nature, section 112(c) of the bill.
Lastly, we will receive further testimony on public radio and the handicapped.
At this time, then, the Chair is very pleased to welcome our first witness, Mr. O. R. Strackbein, representing International Allied Printing Trades Association. Mr. Strackbein, vou testified before the subcommittee just over 10 years ago in August of 1965. We welcome you back.
TESTIMONY OF 0. R. STRACKBEIN, REPRESENTING INTERNA
TIONAL ALLIED PRINTING TRADES ASSOCIATION
Mr. STRACKBEIN. Thank you. It seems quite a while from when I testified on this subject the last time. I am happy to be back. I hope this time that we will go through.
I appear here as the legislative representative of the International Allied Printing Trades Association to testify on H.R. 2223, a bill for the general revision of the copyright laws.
The International Allied Printing Trades Association is composed of the combined printing trades unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
These unions are:
When I testified previously, there were, I think, five or six of these international unions, but there have been some mergers since that time, and the number is now down to three, but the membership remains at upwards of 575,000. So, I will skip that part and go on to the substance of their position.
We believe that the manufacturing clause, which has been in existence in somewhat of a modified form since 1909, should be retained as it stands in H.R. 2223, unmodified. The original purpose of the clause itself remains unchanged. Numerous assaults have been made against it over the years, but it has stood the test of time. It is not necessary here to spell out the meaning of the clause other than to say that with a reasonable exception all books of nondramatic literary material, authored by an American national, printed in the English language must, in order to enjoy copyright protection in this country, be manu
factured in this country. The exception is that of 2,000 copies to permit testing the market.
The reason for this requirement is the maintenance of employment in this country at levels of compensation and under working conditions that are in keeping with the standard of living achieved here and maintained over the years.
Until recently foreign wage levels have remained at levels far below those prevailing in this country, including the printing trades.
While during the recent worldwide inflationary period foreign wages have risen, the narrowing of the wage differential may be temporary. It is still quite wide in any event, and imports of printed matter by this country have increased from $97.2 million in 1966 to $271.3 million in 1974. This represents a near tripling of imports.
Some of this sharp increase may be attributable to the removal of our duty on books under the Florence Convention which was negotiated under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and ratified by the Senate. It took effect in 1966.
Opposition to the manufacturing clause is often based on the simplistic objection that it is protectionist. However, a copyright is itself protectionist in the sense that it bestows a monopoly on the author or his publisher. That purpose is contained in section 8, article I, of our Constitution. The purpose is to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
The Universal Copyright Convention extends copyright privileges in this country to foreign publishers but does not preclude this country's setting forth the conditions under which the monopoly privilege may be enjoyed. Foreign authors are not excluded from the enjoyment of