Clarification of Answer by
10 Mar 2005 11:09 PST
Hi Jaynick glad I could help.
I see this may be your first question here.
FYI, we normally provide links to the information requested rather
than post hundreds of pages of information.
For example, in this case you need to read the ENTIRE Chapter 1 and
hundreds of court decisions if you want to really understand just how
much trouble you are about to get into if you do what you propose.
Just the legal definition of certain terms can be rather vague.
Perhaps I misunderstood your comment and you understand that you can't
do what you want but if you have taken the single paragraph you have
quoted as meaning you DO HAVE permission to re run TV programs on your
web site I STRONGLY recommend that you contact a lawyer BEFORE you
If I misunderstood your comment and you DO understand this IS
copyright infringement, then don't bother reading further, but if you
attempt to post copyrighted TV programs on a Web feed you will likely
get hit with so many lawyers you will regret ever having seen a
You might be able to obtain permission to do this by contacting the
copyright holder, then it would be fine. Otherwise, at the very least,
you will need a big budget for legal help to fight this out in the
As for the section you quoted, are you a registered charity recognized
by the IRS or a news organization? If not, then proving no "direct or
indirect commercial advantage" would be extremely difficult. For
example, will you have visitors to your site? Will there EVER be any
advertising of any sort on the site or any site linked from your site?
And that's not the only problem.
Further, Section 111 refers only to:
"The complex and economically important problem of ?secondary
transmissions? is considered in section 111. For the most part, the
section is directed at the operation of cable television systems and
the terms and conditions of their liability for the retransmission of
copyrighted works. However, other forms of secondary transmissions are
also considered, including apartment house and hotel systems, wired
instructional systems, common carriers, nonprofit ?boosters? and
translators, and secondary transmissions of primary transmissions to
Are you a common carrier? hotel? hospital? appartment house owner?
These are LIVE re-transmissions, not the rebroadcast of something
taped for later playback.
The next section beyond the one you quote is:
"(b) Secondary Transmission of Primary Transmission to Controlled
Group.? Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (c), the
secondary transmission to the public of a performance or display of a
work embodied in a primary transmission is actionable as an act of
infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies
provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, if the primary
transmission is not made for reception by the public at large but is
controlled and limited to reception by particular members of the
public: Provided, however, That such secondary transmission is not
actionable as an act of infringement if?
(1) the primary transmission is made by a broadcast station licensed
by the Federal Communications Commission; and
(2) the carriage of the signals comprising the secondary transmission
is required under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the
Federal Communications Commission; and
(3) the signal of the primary transmitter is not altered or changed in
any way by the secondary transmitter."
The key word in that is "actionable."
You will note that the conditions in 1,2, and 3 are ALL required, you
have to meet all of them, not just one.
Are you an FCC licensee?
house report no. 94?1476
"the section does not cover or permit a cable system, or indeed any
person, to tape or otherwise record a program off-the-air and later to
transmit the program from the tape or record to the public. The one
exception involves cable systems located outside the continental
United States, but not including cable systems in Puerto Rico, or,
with limited exceptions, Hawaii. These systems are permitted to record
and retransmit programs under the compulsory license, subject to the
restrictive conditions of subsection (e), because off-the-air signals
are generally not available in the offshore areas."
Are you operating a cable system outside the continental U.S.?
You might read this also:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use
of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or
phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for
purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching
(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or
research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether
the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the
factors to be considered shall include?
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use
is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to
the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of
the copyrighted work.
Best of luck, but before you decide to violate U.S. Copyright laws you
should read all of the applicable laws and rulings of the Patent and
Trademark Office which extends to thousands of pages including