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SB 263: "An Act relating to copyright licensing and royalties; and providing for an effective date."

00 SENATE BILL NO. 263                                                                                                     
01 "An Act relating to copyright licensing and royalties; and providing for an                                             
02 effective date."                                                                                                        
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS 45.45 is amended by adding new sections to read:                                                    
05 ARTICLE 7A.  COPYRIGHT ROYALTIES AND LICENSING.                                                                         
06  Sec. 45.45.500.  NOTICE REQUIRED BEFORE CONTRACT.  (a)  A                                                             
07 copyright owner or a performing rights society may not enter into, or offer to enter                                    
08 into, a contract for the payment of royalties by a business proprietor unless at the time                               
09 of the offer, or within 72 hours before entering into the contract, the copyright owner                                 
10 or performing rights society provides to the business proprietor a notice containing                                    
11   (1)  the rates and terms of the royalties under the contract;                                                        
12   (2)  the rates and terms of the royalties in other agreements executed by                                            
13 the copyright owner or performing rights society with business proprietors of                                           
14 comparable businesses in the area of the business proprietor;                                                           
01   (3)  in the case of a performing rights society, a list of the copyright                                             
02 owners represented by the society and of the works of those copyright owners licensed                                   
03 by the performing rights society under a contract entered into on or after the effective                                
04 date of this Act or under a contract that does not prohibit the disclosure;                                             
05   (4)  in the case of a performing rights society, if agents or employees                                              
06 responsible for enforcing the rights of copyright owners represented by the society are                                 
07 paid in whole or in part on a commission basis, a list of the commission rates in effect                                
08 for the performing rights society in that area;                                                                         
09   (5)  in the case of a performing rights society that offers discounts to                                             
10 business proprietors in the area on any basis, the amounts and terms of the discounts;                                  
11 and                                                                                                                     
12   (6)  a statement, in a form established by the Department of Law by                                                  
13 regulation, that the business proprietor is entitled to the information required by this                                
14 subsection, and that the failure of the copyright owner or performing rights society to                                 
15 provide the information is a misdemeanor and that the failure may render the contract                                   
16 unenforceable under AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590.                                                                           
17  (b)  The notice required by (a) of this section shall be given in writing, except                                     
18 that the information required under (a)(3) of this section may, at the option of the                                    
19 business proprietor, be given electronically.                                                                           
20  Sec. 45.45.510.  MINIMUM CONTENTS OF ROYALTIES CONTRACTS.                                                             
21 (a)  A royalties contract entered into, issued, or renewed in this state must be in                                     
22 writing and signed by the parties and may not exceed one year.  The contract must                                       
23 include at least the                                                                                                    
24   (1)  business proprietor's name and business address, and the name and                                               
25 location of each place of business of the business proprietor to which the contract                                     
26 applies;                                                                                                                
27   (2)  name and address of the copyright owner and any performing rights                                               
28 society authorized by the copyright owner to act on the copyright owner's behalf;                                       
29   (3)  copyrighted works licensed under the contract;                                                                  
30   (4)  duration of the contract; and                                                                                   
31   (5)  terms for the collection of the royalties and a rate schedule for the                                           
01 royalties, including any sliding scale, discount, or schedule for an increase or decrease                               
02 of the rates during the contract.                                                                                       
03  (b)  A contract for the payment of royalties entered into, issued, or renewed in                                      
04 this state may not exceed one year at a time.  When each year of the contract ends,                                     
05 the contract is automatically renewed on the same terms and conditions unless either                                    
06 party to the contract provides the other party with written notice of the party's desire                                
07 to terminate the contract or to change its terms and conditions.  The notice must be                                    
08 given at least 45 days before the termination each year.                                                                
09  Sec. 45.45.520.  DISCLOSURE REQUIRED.  A copyright owner,  performing                                                 
10 rights society, or an agent or employee of a copyright owner or performing rights                                       
11 society may not discuss or inquire of a business proprietor, or the business proprietor's                               
12 employees, about a contract for the payment of royalties or about the use of                                            
13 copyrighted works by the business proprietor without first identifying the owner,                                       
14 society, agent, or employee and disclosing to the business proprietor the purpose of the                                
15 inquiry.                                                                                                                
16  Sec. 45.45.530.  COLLECTION OF ROYALTIES.  A copyright owner,                                                         
17 performing rights society, or an agent or employee of a copyright owner or performing                                   
18 rights society may not collect or attempt to collect a payment or another fee under a                                   
19 royalties contract between the copyright owner or performing rights society and a                                       
20 business proprietor unless the contract complies with AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590.                                         
21  Sec. 45.45.540.  PROHIBITED NEGOTIATION AND RETALIATION                                                               
22 PRACTICES.  (a)  A copyright owner or performing rights society may not engage                                          
23 in the following practices when the owner or society negotiates a royalties contract                                    
24 with a business proprietor, or as retaliation for a business proprietor's failure or refusal                            
25 to negotiate a royalties contract with the owner or society:                                                            
26   (1)  threatening to start a court action in connection with an alleged                                               
27 copyright violation by the business proprietor if the intent of the threat is to coerce the                             
28 business proprietor to negotiate or enter into the contract; or                                                         
29   (2)  charging or collecting royalties that are unreasonable in comparison                                            
30 to the royalties for similar licenses in the area.                                                                      
31  (b)  In (a) of this section, "copyright owner or performing rights society"                                           
01 includes an agent or employee of the copyright owner or performing rights society.                                      
02  Sec. 45.45.550.  PENALTY.  A person who knowingly violates a provision of                                             
03 AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590 commits a class A misdemeanor.  In this section,                                               
04 "knowingly" has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900.                                                                      
05  Sec. 45.45.560.  PRIVATE ACTION.  (a)  In addition to any other remedies                                              
06 available to the business proprietor under law, a business proprietor may bring a civil                                 
07 action against a copyright owner or performing rights society, or both.  In the action,                                 
08 the business proprietor may seek                                                                                        
09   (1)  to enjoin a violation of AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590;                                                              
10   (2)  to recover damages sustained by the business proprietor as a result                                             
11 of the violation;                                                                                                       
12   (3)  to terminate a contract that violates AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590; or                                              
13   (4)  to obtain a combination of two or more of the remedies listed in (1)                                            
14 - (3) of this subsection.                                                                                               
15  (b)  In addition to other legal or equitable relief ordered by the court,  a court                                    
16 shall award a business proprietor who is the prevailing party in an action under (a) of                                 
17 this section three times the damages sustained by the business proprietor.                                              
18  Sec. 45.45.570.  EXEMPTION.  The provisions of AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590                                               
19 do not apply to a royalties contract between copyright owners or performing rights                                      
20 societies, and broadcasters licensed by the Federal Communications Commission,                                          
21 except that, if a copyright owner or performing rights society is licensed by the Federal                               
22 Communications Commission, AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590 apply to royalties contracts                                        
23 between the copyright owner, or performing rights society, and the business proprietor.                                 
24  Sec. 45.45.590.  DEFINITIONS.  In AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590,                                                           
25   (1)  "area" means a circular geographical region having a 25-mile radius                                             
26 surrounding the business location of a business proprietor;                                                             
27   (2)  "business proprietor" means a person who owns a place of business,                                              
28 including a store, restaurant, hotel, or bar, in which the public may assemble and in                                   
29 which nondramatic musical works or similar copyrighted works may be performed,                                          
30 broadcasted, or otherwise transmitted for the enjoyment of the members of the public                                    
31 assembled on the premises;                                                                                              
01   (3)  "copyright owner" means the owner of a copyright of a nondramatic                                               
02 musical or similar work recognized and enforceable under 17 U.S.C.;                                                     
03   (4)  "performing rights society" means an association or corporation that                                            
04 licenses the public performance of nondramatic musical or similar works on behalf of                                    
05 copyright owners;                                                                                                       
06   (5)  "royalties" means the fees payable to a copyright owner or a                                                    
07 performing rights society for the public performance of nondramatic musical or other                                    
08 similar work;                                                                                                           
09   (6)  "royalties contract" means a contract for the payment of royalties.                                             
10    * Sec. 2.  AS 45.50.471(b) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                             
11   (41)  violating AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.590 (copyright royalties and                                                    
12 licensing).                                                                                                             
13    * Sec. 3.   AS 45.45.500 - 45.45.510 and 45.45.530, enacted by sec. 1 of this Act, do not                            
14 apply to a contract entered into, issued, or renewed  before the effective date of this Act.                            
15    * Sec 4.  This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).