Copyright Royalty Tribunal

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The Copyright Royalty Tribunal was established by an act of October 19, 1976 (90 Stat. 2594; 17 U.S.C. 801).

The tribunal made determinations concerning the adjustment of copyright royalty rates for records, jukeboxes, and certain cable television transmissions. After compulsory cable television and jukebox royalties were deposited with the register of copyrights, the tribunal distributed the fees and, in cases of controversy among claimants, determined their distribution.

The tribunal established and made determinations concerning terms and rates of royalty payments for the use by public broadcasting stations of published nondramatic compositions and pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works. Cost-of-living adjustments were made to non-commercial broadcasting rates in August of each year.

Tribunal decisions factor in the existence of economic conditions, the impact on copyright owners and users and the industry involved, and the maximization of public availability of creative works. Recognizing copyright owners' right to receive a fair return, the tribunal ensured them access to information about the use of their works.

It was supplanted by copyright arbitration royalty panels.