Cinnamon Mueller Client Updates


FINAL FILING REMINDER: Copyright Forms and Fees Due by August 29, 2017

Cable operators must file with the U.S. Copyright Office their Statement of Accounts (Form SA1-2 or SA3) and pay any royalty fees due for the January 2017 – June 2017 accounting period by August 29, 2017. The following forms apply:

  • SA1-2 Short Form.  For use by cable systems with semiannual gross receipts of less than $527,600. 
  • SA3 Long Form.  For use by cable systems with semiannual gross receipts of $527,600 or more.

Cable operators may now electronically sign and submit their SOAs.   Excel-based SA1-2E Short Form and SA3E Long Form, along with additional instructions regarding the forms, are available for download on the Copyright Office’s Section 111 webpage.  Cable operators may choose to continue to use the paper-based forms as well.

Copyright filings must be accompanied by a filing fee in addition to the royalty payment.  The filing fee is calculated based on the type of form filed:  

SOA Type

Filing Fee

SA-1 ($137,100 or less gross revenues)


SA-2 ($137,101 – $527,599 gross revenues)


SA-3 ($527,600 or more gross revenues)


Operators must also remit the royalty fee and filing fee in a single electronic payment.  If you have any questions about copyright forms or fees, please contact Bruce Beard at (314) 394-1535 or 

FINAL FILING REMINDER:  FCC Form 477 Due September 1, 2017 

            The next Form 477 is due September 1, 2017.  Telephone, broadband, and interconnected VoIP providers must report information about broadband connections and local telephone service as of June 30, 2017.  

As a reminder, Form 477 must be filed online through the FCC's filing interface.  Instructions for filers can be found here.  Filers can also review a brief summary of the Form 477 changes made in 2014 on the FCC’s website

If you have any questions about Form 477, please contact Scott Friedman at (312) 372-3930 or 

Preparing for Retransmission Consent

Election Letters Must be Postmarked by October 1, 2017 

            The next round of retransmission consent negotiations is upon us.  To help you prepare, we outline the requirements for a commercial broadcast station to properly elect retransmission consent.

Since 1992, Federal law has provided two, and only two, legal ways for a cable operator to retransmit a commercial broadcast station.  The first is “must carry” - mandatory carriage for qualified stations that request it.  The second is retransmission consent.  Must carry stations aside, the law is clear:  no consent, no carriage.  Carriage of a commercial station without consent violates FCC regulations, the Communications Act, and constitutes copyright infringement.  Simply put, with limited exceptions, carriage of a commercial broadcast station without consent is not an option.

            FCC rules govern how a broadcaster elects retransmission consent.  Under these rules, local commercial broadcast stations must elect retransmission consent every three years by sending a valid election letter.  Valid letters must be:

  • Postmarked by October 1, 2017.
  • Sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Placed in the broadcaster’s public file (available online here).
  • Consistent throughout the franchise area.

If a local broadcaster gets this wrong, the station defaults to must carry.  Accordingly, cable operators should carefully review and document each election letter received. 

Note that if you want to carry a distant station, you still need retransmission consent but the station is not obligated to send election letters to operators outside its market.

If you have questions about retransmission consent elections or negotiations, please contact Scott Friedman at (312) 372-3930 or or Bruce Beard at (314) 394-1535 or