Washington

Interim Copyright Royalty Judge Named

Judge Richard Strasser to step in for retired Judge Stanley Wisniewski 9/17/2012 02:24:01 PM Eastern

Librarian of Congress James Billington has
named Richard Strasser, senior staff attorney on the Copyright Royalty Board as
interim royalty judge for six months or until a replacement can be found for
Judge Stanley Wisniewski, who retired at the end of last month.

The
judges are part of a statutory body overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars
in payments by satellite and cable operators under compulsory licenses
.
Those blanket licenses allow them to retransmit broadcast programming without
negotiating individual payments to the various content providers for each
program. Instead they pay into a pool of money then distributed either by
private agreement or determination of the judges.

Copyright
holders must file annually for their payments from the pool, either by private
agreement or a decision by the judges if there are disputes. The Copyright
Office has been leaning toward recommending phasing out the blanket license
regime in favor of per-program licensing, which could mean more money for
content providers but more rights-clearing headaches for distributors.

September
October