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SHVERA Estimated to Cost $11 per Family

WASHINGTON: Satellite copyright legislation moving through Congress will cost the average American family nearly $11, according to Washington Watch. The watchdog Web site maintained by the Cato Institute estimated Satellite Home Viewer Update and Reauthorization Act of 2009 will cost taxpayers around $10.96 per family. H.R. 3570, the version passed by the House Judiciary Committee in September, provides rules for satellite TV providers to carry local broadcast signals. Among the bill’s details:

“Applies various existing provisions to digital transmissions by removing the word ‘analog.’ Requires a separate royalty fee for each stream of a multicast transmission.

“Requires that a specified predictive model be used to determine presumptively whether a person resides in an unserved household with respect to digital signals.

“Increases the maximum statutory damages for violation of territorial restrictions: (1) for willful or repeated individual violations, from $5 to $250 per month for each subscriber to whom the secondary transmission was inappropriately sent; and (2) for a willful or repeated pattern of violations, from $250,000 to $2.5 million for each six-month period.

SHERVA, as the satellite carriage law is commonly known, must be renewed before it expires at the end of this year. The various versions of the bill working their way through the House and Senate extend it five years, through Dec. 31, 2013.

The House Commerce Committee last week passed its version, H.R. 2994. Parallel legislation in the Senate was the subject of a subcommittee hearing two weeks ago. The text of the House Judiciary bill is available at Thomas under H.R. 3570.

More on SHERVA:
October 15, 2009: House Commerce Committee Passes SHVERA
The House Commerce Committee passed its version of satellite TV legislation today. H.R. 2994 included a directive for determining digital-signal eligibility based on new digital reception methodology.

October 8, 2009: “Broadcasters Fight SHVERA Modifications”
Until a new digital metric is determined, Karpowicz suggested grandfathering in distant signals allowed by the previous determination.

July 15, 2009
: “Congressman Bows Bill to Import TV Signals”
Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross is pushing legislation to overturn the current rules governing which broadcast signals satellite and cable operators can carry.

June 25, 2009: “SHVERA Passes House Subcommittee
The only changes to the legislation as it was written in 2004 were the date and the provision to measure digital signal coverage using the Longley-Rice model employed by the FCC.

June 16, 2009: “Broadcasters Battle for Signal Protection
The broadcast lobby is playing the localism card in a big way as Congress considers the renewal of the SHVERA.

May 8, 2009: “ACA Says Retrans is Squeezing Too Hard
The cable industry has not yet rolled over on retransmission consent, whether or not it comes up in pending satellite copyright legislation.

March 30, 2009: “Network Affiliates Urge Lawmakers to Preserve Distant-Signal Limits
CBS and NBC are urging key lawmakers to maintain restrictions on what TV stations cable and satellite operators can carry in a given market.