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Royalties for public television programs often not claimed, leaving monies undistributed.
More than $180 million exists in the royalty pool.
WASHINGTON, D.C. / BOSTON (March 24, 2011) – Intermediary Copyright Royalty Services (Intermediary) and American Public Television (APT) announced today that they are launching a joint effort designed to help producers of public television programming receive the full amount of their portion of government-collected retransmission royalties.
According to Intermediary founder Ted Hammerman, there is a total of $180 million held in the royalty pool managed by the U.S. Copyright Office. Hammerman says that approximately $10 million, or 7.4 percent of the total, is owed to public television program producers. These royalties come from combined cable and satellite royalty pools. Last year, more than 1,000 organizations filed claims to collect television retransmission royalties from these combined pools of $270 million.
“APT’s goal is to help our producers retrieve all revenue to which their programming is entitled,” said David Fournier, APT's vice president of finance and administration. “We look forward to connecting these clients with Intermediary to successfully claim and collect the royalties they are due.”
Hammerman said: “These pools are rarely fully claimed. Copyright holders rarely discuss filing royalty claims annually for their programming because the more parties who file claims, the less each claimant receives.” Intermediary and APT have agreed to advise public television producers of these royalties and will assist them in claiming and collecting their royalties.
“Most public television content is initially broadcast on free-to-air TV. Some programs are then retransmitted over cable. When that occurs, this content is eligible for royalties in the U.S. Fees may also be due from collectives internationally,” said Hammerman. “By working with APT, we hope to assist as many of their producers as possible.” A recognized leader in this niche of copyright law, Intermediary claims, tracks and distributes royalties for clients.
Under the Copyright Act, federal law mandates payment of retransmission royalties. These compulsory payments made by cable operators are submitted to the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office semiannually. Cable operators are required to pay pennies so that each system’s distant-signal subscribers may receive broadcast programming. Based on the number of U.S. pay-TV subscribers, these pennies “add up to millions of dollars,” added Hammerman. In the U.S., claims must be filed each July for the prior year’s programming. Initial royalty distributions can take more than four years to process from the filing date. However, royalties can only be collected via the filing of claims.
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. In 2010, APT distributed nearly half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves' Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia's Italy, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Murdoch Mysteries, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at WORLDcompass.org. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org. For more information on Create, visit CreateTV.com.
Founded in 2002 in Washington, DC, Intermediary represents more cultural programming interests in copyright proceedings than any other entity worldwide. The firm serves as copyright holders’ advocate to assert claims, enforce rights and recover royalties due and payable to rights holders.
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