Last week, we noted that the Copyright Royalty Board had a notice on its website saying that, because of the government shutdown, it could not publish its notice soliciting petitions to participate in WEB V, the case to set webcasting royalties paid to SoundExchange by noninteractive webcasters (including broadcasters who simulcast their programming on the Internet) for the period 2021-2025 because of the government shutdown. That notice is normally required by law to be published by January 5 and to give parties 30 days to file a petition to participate in the proceeding. Well, it looks like the Federal Register authorities have changed their tune, as the notice seeking petitions to participate is in the Federal Register today, setting a deadline of February 4 for parties to file their petitions seeking the right to participate.
It is interesting, as the notice was dated January 4, and presumably was expected to be published much earlier. So, while parties should have had 30 days to indicate their intent to participate, the time is now much shorter – with the petitions to participate due in just 10 days. While late filings can be accepted in the discretion of the Copyright Royalty Judges, such late filings limit the participant’s rights. We will see if there is any accommodation made because of the unique circumstances of this publication – but right now interested parties should be ready to file by February 4 their petitions to participate using the procedures set out in the notice – establishing their interest in the proceeding and the required $150 filing fee.