As July slips into August, it’s time again to remind television broadcasters that Copyright Royalty Claim forms – for cable retransmission copyright royalties and/or satellite copyright royalties earned during 2011 – are due at the Copyright Royalty Board by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.  (The CRB’s site doesn’t specify that that’s 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, but it’s probably best to assume that that’s what they mean.)  This is your opportunity to lay claim to a share of the annual fund from which television broadcast stations get paid for their programming that is retransmitted by cable and satellite service providers outside of their respective service areas.

In general, TV stations that are carried on cable systems as a distant signal, and those stations that provide programming to other stations that are carried as a distant signal, are entitled to royalty payments.  A cable system is “distant” vis-à-vis a station if the system is: (1) outside the station’s DMA; and (2) at least 35 miles from the station’s city of license; and (3) outside the station’s predicted Grade B contour.  Stations whose programming is carried on satellites to subscribers outside the station’s DMA are also entitled to royalty payments.

The Copyright Office encourages stations to file their Claim Forms online.  The forms can be found at:

If you would like assistance in the preparation and filing of royalty claims, please contact Davina Sashkin at or (703) 812-0458.