Foreign Ownership of US Broadcast Stations Suddenly the Rage? – FCC Seeks Comments on Two Proposals for Alien Ownership to Exceed 25%, Including One for 100% Australian Ownership

Broadcast Law Blog

In the last two days, the FCC has asked for public comment on two proposals for foreign ownership of US broadcast stations where that ownership would exceed 25% of the company – a limit that has for decades been seen as the upper end of ownership by foreign nationals. Now, the FCC seeks comments on two cases, one where an Australian husband and wife team seek to acquire 100% ownership of companies owning 29 radio and TV stations in Alaska, Arkansas and Texas.

FCC Extends Filing Deadline for Biennial Ownership Reports Until March 2, 2018, But Will Require Reporting of Station Ownership as of October 1, 2017 Even By Those Who Sold Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC on Friday announced that they were extending the deadline for filing Biennial Ownership Reports by broadcasters from December 1 to March 2, 2018 to be sure that the new version of the form in the FCC’s LMS database will be up and ready to be used. The FCC will open the window for filing these ownership reports on December 1 (which was to be the deadline). AM Radio Assignments and Transfers FM Radio General FCC Noncommercial Broadcasting Television biennial ownership report

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This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: July 10, 2021 to July 16, 2021

Broadcast Law Blog

Many common applications, like applications for license renewal, assignment, transfer of control, and special temporary authority, now cost more to file. Biennial ownership reports, which will be filed later this year, will cost $15 more to file than they did during the 2019 filing cycle.

FCC Sets Comment Dates on Proposal to Relax Restrictions on Foreign Ownership in Companies Holding US Broadcast Station Licenses – What Is the FCC Proposing?

Broadcast Law Blog

In Friday’s Federal Register, the FCC published a summary of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to revise its policies regarding the ownership of broadcast stations by non-US citizens setting the date for comments on its proposal of December 21 , with Reply Comments being due by January 20. The NPRM suggests that the FCC will use for broadcasting, with some modifications, the procedures that it uses in assessing foreign ownership of non-broadcast FCC licensees.

FCC To Consider Allowing Alien Ownership of More Than 25% of Broadcast Licensees - Comments Due April 15

Broadcast Law Blog

The limits on the ownership of broadcast stations by those who are not US citizens is being re-examined by the FCC according to a recent Public Notice. Under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act , foreign ownership of a broadcast licensee is limited to 20% of the company's stock , or no more than 25% of a parent company of the licensee. But the caps remain in place, limiting foreign ownership.

Undoing the Past – New FCC Rescinds Rulings on Noncommercial Ownership Reports, Political Broadcasting Sponsorship Disclosure and Shared Services Agreements

Broadcast Law Blog

At the end of this last week, we saw the FCC’s Media Bureau take actions in three different proceedings directly applicable to broadcasters to undo what had been done during the prior administration – r escinding actions with respect to noncommercial ownership reports , the disclosure of information about the sponsor of political advertisements, and on the treatment of TV assignment and transfer applications for television stations where shared service agreements are involved.

FCC Approves Another Radio Station Acquisition by a Company that is 100% Foreign-Owned

Broadcast Law Blog

This is the third case where the FCC has approved ownership of US broadcast stations by a company 100% owned by foreign citizens (see our articles here and here on earlier cases). We have seen companies including Univision obtain approval for non-controlling foreign interests, but as of this point, we have not seen a situation where a public company has sought approval for majority foreign ownership.

Protecting Broadcast Investors’ Social Security Numbers for the Biennial Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcasters (and, Potentially, Noncommercial Ones Too)

Broadcast Law Blog

If all goes as scheduled, at the beginning of December, commercial broadcasters will file Biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323. As we wrote when the obligation to file the current version of these reports was first adopted , the FCC’s intent was to be able to track the interests of broadcast investors across all of their attributable ownership interests in various broadcast companies to assess broadcast diversity.

Fine for Missing Quarterly Issues Programs List Not Excused by Intervening Transfer of Control of TV Station – Buy Assets Not Stock to Avoid Assuming Prior Owner’s FCC Liabilities

Broadcast Law Blog

In an FCC decision fining a TV station $10,000 for failing to include 15 Quarterly Issues Programs lists in its public inspection file, the FCC refused to reduce the proposed liability based on an intervening “long-form” transfer of control followed by a short-form assignment of license of the station. In this case, the buyer, once it purchased a controlling interest in the station licensee, then assigned the license to a new company owned by the new controlling shareholders.

$18,000 FCC Fine for Operating Earth Station with Expired License Reminds Broadcasters That Not All of Their Licenses are Covered During the License Renewal or Assignment and Transfer Approval Process

Broadcast Law Blog

If a broadcaster does not pay attention to the expiration dates for these nonbroadcast licenses, or forgets to separately file an application for permission to assign these licenses during a sale of their broadcast station, a fine like the $18,000 fine that was just issued to a radio broadcaster who forgot that earth station licenses are different from a main broadcast license or a broadcast auxiliary license, may occur.

FCC Order on Biennial Ownership Requirements – All Broadcasters, Commercial and Noncommercial, Need to Start Collecting Information from Attributable Owners and Directors for Next Year’s Filing

Broadcast Law Blog

In an order released last month which has not received much attention, the FCC clarified its requirements for the filing of Biennial Ownership Reports. We earlier wrote here about the FCC’s proposals in this proceeding (including the dazzling use of acronyms for various kinds of identification numbers assigned to attributable owners). An SUFRN was just a random number assigned to the individual interest holder.

Bloggers Beware of Demand Media’s Demand for Ownership

Media Law

While I would retain ownership of my posts, I had to agree to give BlogBurst a “perpetual license to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works of&# my posts. The invitation doesn’t mention it, but if you “migrate&# your blog to Demand, you are also turning over ownership of your posts. You are turning over ownership of your blog to Demand. Way back in 2006, I accepted an invitation to enroll this blog in something called the BlogBurst Network.

July 8 Filing Deadline for Commercial Broadcast Stations Form 323 Ownership Report - Clarifications Issued

Broadcast Law Blog

The long-delayed revised Biennial ownership reports (about which we last wrote here ) for commercial broadcast stations, on the new Form 323 , are due on July 8 , and the FCC is in the process of clarifying what it needs. The Commission just released a Public Notice reminding broadcasters that the report is supposed to be detailing station ownership as of November 1, 2009 (when the reports were originally supposed to be filed).

Assignment of Copyright through Terms of Use: Does E-Sign Make It OK? A Tool for B2B Sites Dealing with Unauthorized Access to Their Content?

New Media and Technology Law

A typical copyright license conveys to the provider a broad, non-exclusive license to reproduce, edit, modify and otherwise use the user-generated content, while implicitly (and in some cases, explicitly) providing that the ownership of the copyright in such content is retained by the user. They may in fact need an exclusive license or an actual transfer of ownership in the underlying copyright.

July 8 Filing Deadline for Commercial Broadcast Stations Form 323 Ownership Report - Clarifications Issued

Broadcast Law Blog

The long-delayed revised Biennial ownership reports (about which we last wrote here ) for commercial broadcast stations, on the new Form 323 , are due on July 8 , and the FCC is in the process of clarifying what it needs. The Commission just released a Public Notice reminding broadcasters that the report is supposed to be detailing station ownership as of November 1, 2009 (when the reports were originally supposed to be filed).

What Does an FCC Designation for Hearing Mean?

Broadcast Law Blog

Assignments and Transfers Multiple Ownership Rules Public Interest Obligations/Localism designation for hearing FCC hearing sinclair tribune transactionIn light of yesterday’s announcement that the FCC Chairman has proposed that portions of the acquisition by Sinclair Broadcast Group of the television stations owned by Tribune Media would be designated for hearing , one question that many have asked is, “What does designation for hearing mean?”

Changes in the Board of Nonprofit Corporation Doom FCC Application for New FM Station – Addressing Control Issues in Noncommercial Broadcasting

Broadcast Law Blog

The change was deemed a major change in ownership, which the FCC rules says requires the assignment of a new file number – essentially meaning that the application is treated as a new application received after the filing window for the new FM stations was closed and was therefore dismissed. The FCC here equates ownership with board seats without ever specifically discussing that assumption.

FCC Sets Limits on Use of Divestiture Trusts When Station Purchase Would Put Buyer in Violation of Multiple Ownership Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

When one broadcast licensee company buys another, or when there is a restructuring of a company with broadcast ownership holdings that are grandfathered under current ownership rules, there often arises a need to divest stations so that the buyer (or the new controlling parties after a restructuring) complies with the multiple ownership rules after the completion of the transaction.

FCC Proposes Revised Application Filing Fees

Broadcast Law Blog

License Assignment. (i) Ownership Report. License Assignment. (i) Ownership Report. License Assignment. (i) Ownership Report. License Assignment. License Assignment. License Assignment. (i) FCC Fees fee for FCC construction permit application fees for FCC assignment fees for FCC assignment of license fees for FCC ownership report fees for FCC transfer of broadcast station

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$700,000 to Be Paid By Media General to End Inquiry on its Attempts to Enforce a JSA – What are the Limits on the Enforceability of a Contractual Restriction on an FCC Licensee’s Sale of its Station?

Broadcast Law Blog

Assignments and Transfers FCC Fines Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report Multiple Ownership Rules Programming Regulations Public Interest Obligations/Localism Television grandfathering of JSAs joint sales agreement Media General fine requirements for licensee control

Consent Decrees Remind Broadcasters to Seek FCC Approval for Corporate Changes – Even When Control Does Not Change

Broadcast Law Blog

This decision and two similar Consent Decrees entered into by public companies in recent months for, without prior FCC approval, moving station licenses among wholly-owned subsidiaries as part of corporate reorganizations (see decisions here and here ), remind broadcasters that, if they are making any change in their ownership where the chain of control changes, even if actual control remains the same, they still need prior FCC approval.

Odds and Ends – Divestiture Trusts, Shared Services Agreements and Determinations of Significantly Viewed Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

In TV, often stations that cannot be owned by a broadcaster who is buying another station in the same market consistent with the multiple ownership rules are not sold through a trust, but instead they are sometime bought by an independent party who can support the station through some sort of Joint Sales or Shared Services Agreements with the buyer. Sometimes the FCC decisions come out in a flurry, often with little nuggets of importance in each one.

New Form 323 Ownership Report Expected to be Ready This Week - And FCC Provides for Temporary FRN Without Social Security Number

Broadcast Law Blog

The new FCC Form 323 Ownership Report is expected to be available in the FCC's CDBS electronic filing database by Wednesday, December 9, according to a Public Notice released by the FCC yesterday - so that commercial broadcasters should have a month to prepare the form in time for the January 11 filing deadline. After all, he pointed out, the SSN is a number assigned by the Federal government, and used for all sorts of government forms and applications (like when you file your tax return).

Controversial “Gripe Site” Protected (Again) by the Communications Decency Act and Defeats Novel Copyright Attack with Website “Browsewrap” License to User Generated Content

New Media and Technology Law

In response to the posts, the plaintiff filed a state law defamation suit against the author of the posts and obtained a default judgment, which included an order transferring ownership of the copyright in the posts to the plaintiff. In his suit against RipoffReport.com, the plaintiff brought defamation claims, and armed with the copyright assignment, copyright infringement claims. The controversial consumer gripe site, RipoffReport.com, is at it again.

Why most “work made for hire” agreements in theatre don’t work.

Gordon P. Firemark

Under copyright law, the default rule for ownership of copyright protected works is that the author of a work is its owner from the moment of the work's creation. But, the law also provides a way for an employer or principal to acquire ownership of the work from that same moment in time, under one of two possible circumstances. How does a producer gain ownership o the material? The owner of a copyright can freely transfer ownership by way of a written Assignment.

Reminder on August 30 Effective Date for Increases in FCC Application Fees

Broadcast Law Blog

These application fees are paid with most FCC applications – including applications for the purchase and sale of broadcast stations , applications for new and modified station technical facilities , for special temporary authority (in most cases), with license renewal applications and even with Biennial Ownership Reports (to be filed by commercial stations in December 2017). Assignments and Transfers FCC Fees License Renewal changes in FCC application fees

More September Regulatory Dates – Effective Date of New Application Fees, Filing Deadline for TV Shared Services Agreements, Lowest Unit Rate For September Election and Reminder on Repacking Requirements

Broadcast Law Blog

In its 2017 order reconsidering the FCC’s decision in its last Quadrennial Review of the ownership rules , the FCC decided to retain the previously announced requirement that TV stations file shared services agreements with the FCC. With September 14 starting the testing period for TV stations assigned to move to their new channels in Phase 1 of the repacking, this notice is very timely. Yesterday, we wrote about the regulatory dates coming up for broadcasters in September.

FCC Releases Guide to New Broadcast Application Fees

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released a full guide to those fees – setting out how much broadcasters must pay when seeking any particular action from the FCC (including applications for approvals of assignments and transfers , construction permits , STA requests , license renewal , new call letters and even when they file biennial ownership reports). Assignments and Transfers FCC Fees License Renewal changes in FCC application fees FCC processing fees

FCC to Require New Ownership Reports from all Commerical Broadcasters on November 1

Broadcast Law Blog

At its meeting today, the FCC decided to revamp its Ownership Report filing process - requiring all stations to file Biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323 on November 1 of this year - even stations that have just filed those reports in the normal course in the last few months. In the past, such stations did not have to file reports as any change in ownership would have required, at a minimum, the filing of a Form 316 short-form assignment or transfer application.

FCC to Require New Ownership Reports from all Commerical Broadcasters on November 1

Broadcast Law Blog

At its meeting today, the FCC decided to revamp its Ownership Report filing process - requiring all stations to file Biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323 on November 1 of this year - even stations that have just filed those reports in the normal course in the last few months. In the past, such stations did not have to file reports as any change in ownership would have required, at a minimum, the filing of a Form 316 short-form assignment or transfer application.

SAG-AFTRA Engages Jonathan Handel as Outside Special Counsel

Digital Media Law

Handel has left his post at The Hollywood Reporter , but will continue to practice entertainment and technology law for other clients that do not conflict with SAG-AFTRA assignments.

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Producer beware: “Work Made For Hire” agreement creates a “statutory employee” relationship.

Gordon P. Firemark

Code, and the ordering or commissioning party obtains ownership of all of the rights comprised in the copyright in the work. Code, and the ordering or commissioning party obtains ownership of all the rights comprised in the copyright in the work.” So, just get an assignment of copyright instead, right? Many of those taking this view have suggested that the solution to the copyright ownership problem is to have the contractor execute a simple copyright assignment.

FCC to Examine the Process for Awarding Construction Permits for New NCE and LPFM Stations – And Some of the Rules that Apply Once a New Noncommercial CP is Awarded

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC looks for comments on the following issues: Whether it should eliminate the current requirement that NCE applicants include in their governing documents specific provisions obligating the applicant to maintain localism and diversity in order to receive points as “ established local applicants ” and for “ diversity of ownership.”

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What’s Up for Broadcasters in Washington Under the New Administration – A Look Ahead at TV and Radio FCC Issues for the Rest of 2017

Broadcast Law Blog

Despite calls for reform and relaxation of the rules, no changes were made in the local TV ownership rules nor in the ban on the cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations. For radio, a request is on file to change the Commission’s treatment of the ownership attribution of stations in embedded markets. In short, given the past statements of the two Republican commissioners who now form the majority at the FCC, expect to see deregulation in these ownership rules.

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Spider-Man faces an enemy more persistant than the Green Goblin — litigation!

JetLawBlog

instituted a $5 billion lawsuit against Marvel Comics, claiming that Lee had retained his co-creator rights to the Marvel characters he created, had contractually assigned those rights to Stan Lee Media, and thus, the Company was due half of the earnings derived from those creations. On Monday, January 26, 2009, the shareholders of Stan Lee Media, Inc. (&# the Company&# ) filed suit against Marvel Comics, Inc. ,

9th Circuit Agrees Righthaven Lacks Standing to sue on Copyrights

Entertainment Law

The 9 th Circuit determined the agreements assigning Righthaven LLC the bare right to sue for infringement of newspaper articles, without the transfer of any associated exclusive rights in the articles, did not confer standing to Righthaven to sue. Underlying facts: Plaintiff Righthaven LLC was founded, according to its charter, to identify copyright infringements on behalf of third parties, receive “limited, revocable assignment[s]” of those copyrights, and then sue the infringers.

FCC Requires that TV JSAs be Filed By November 28, and Releases Guide to Filing Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

As we wrote in early April , the FCC has determined that TV Joint Sales Agreements , by which the owner of one TV station in a market sells more than 15% of the advertising time on another station in the same market , are “ attributable interests ” under the multiple ownership rules. That means that a station can only have a JSA with a station in the same market if it can own that station under the rules limiting the ownership of TV stations in one market.

A Presentation on Legal Issues for Podcasters – Who Owns What?

Broadcast Law Blog

As we wrote here , independent contractors normally own the rights to the content that they create, unless it is specifically assigned in a written agreement to the company that hired them. Advertising Issues Intellectual Property On Line Media Podcasting Website Issues independent contractor copyright music in podcasts ownership of podcast podcasting legal issuesLast week, I spoke at Podcast Movement 2018 – a large conference of podcasters held in Philadelphia.

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports; Comments In Proceedings Including One on Digital Auxiliaries; and More Incentive Auction Seminars

Broadcast Law Blog

Noncommercial TV stations in Delaware , Indiana , Kentucky , Pennsylvania , and Tennessee ; and noncommercial radio stations in Texas, need to file their Biennial Ownership Reports with the FCC on April 1. Comments in the proceeding to determine how to assign FCC Identification Numbers to attributable owners of broadcasters for purposes of the Biennial Ownership Report (summarized here ) are actually due at the end of this month (March 30), but reply comments are due April 13.

Work for Hire – Entertainment Law Asked & Answered

Gordon P. Firemark

So Tom writes: I’ve been looking at some “record label” contracts for musicians who submit completed tracks to these record labels, in which the artists submit the masters to the label, assign all their rights in perpetuity, and include a statement that the masters are “works made for hire.” And this leads to lots of uncertainty and concern from the big entertainment companies, who build their businesses on ownership of copyrights.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Repacking Reports and More

Broadcast Law Blog

That filing obligation comes while the window is open for many of these same TV stations to file construction permits for improved facilities on the channels to which they have been assigned, or to seek alternative channels. The beginning of a calendar quarter always brings numerous regulatory obligations, and October is one of those months with a particularly full set of obligations.

Who owns the cover art for a novel? – Entertainment Law Asked & Answered

Gordon P. Firemark

A: Well Unlike Ralph's Patio contractor scenario… Under copyright law, your ownership of the work done for you by a book cover artist or designer does NOT automatically belong to the hiring party, even though that's who's paid for their work. The reason for the backup, called an assignment, is that the work made for hire doctrine in copyright law is limited to only a few KINDS of work that can be handled that way. AUDIO: ?. link]. TRANSCRIPT: Who owns the cover art for a novel?

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This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: April 3, 2021 to April 9, 2021

Broadcast Law Blog

In the latest example, a Tennessee station had not filed an ownership report since 2012 and had not uploaded any quarterly issues/programs lists to its public file. Full-power TV and Class A TV stations that were assigned to repack phases 1-5 have a final invoice submission deadline of October 8, 2021. Full-power TV and Class A stations assigned to repack phases 6-10 have a deadline of March 22, 2022.