Copyright Liability for Cable Television

Is Compulsory Licensing the Solution?

by Stanley Besen, Willard G. Manning, Bridger M. Mitchell


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback54 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Analyzes the historical background and the economic issues leading to the General Revision of the Copyright Act, which provides a compulsory license instead of full copyright liability. This license permits cable systems to carry those signals currently authorized for retransmission by the Federal Communications Commission upon payment of a specified percentage of revenues. The basic thesis of this report is that the adoption of compulsory licensing will aggravate the problems associated with distant signal importation. (1) A compulsory license is less efficient than full liability because the consumers' willingness to pay for programs is perceived only indirectly by program suppliers. (2) The lack of specificity in the guidelines for allocating the compulsory license fees among suppliers can only aggravate their revenue problems. (3) Whereas full liability would have provided a more enduring resolution of the copyright liability for cable, the General Revision provides only a temporary solution.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.