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The cable compulsory license (17 U.S.C. §111) was enacted 35 years ago as part of the Copyright Act of 1976,[1] in part because Congress found "that it would be impractical and unduly burdensome to require every cable system to negotiate with every copyright owner whose work was retransmitted by a cable system."[2]


  1. Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541 (1976).
  2. H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 89 (1976); see also Cablevision Sys. Dev. Co. v. Motion Picture Ass’n of America, Inc., 836 F.2d 599, 602, 603 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (Congress adopted the Section 111 statutory license “to address a market imperfection” due to “transaction costs accompanying the usual scheme of private negotiations . . . .”), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1235 (1988).