Settling Devotional Claimants v. CRB, No. 13-1276 (D.C. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Cable operators’ retransmission of religious and devotional programming produced a pool of royalties that Congress charged the Copyright Royalty Judges with distributing to the copyright owners. In this appeal, Devotional Claimants argue that the Royalty Judges wrongly calculated their respective shares by allowing IPG to press claims without proper authority and refusing to accept Devotional Claimants' evidence regarding how the relative value of claims should be calculated. Devotional Claimants claim that, after the Royalty Judges rejected both their and IPG’s proposed methodologies, the Royalty Judges’ final allocation simply split the difference between the two parties, and that decision was arbitrary and capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence. The court agreed with Devotional Claimants' latter claim, concluding that the Royalty Judges are subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 706. The court affirmed the Royalty Judges’ procedural rulings resolving which IPG claims could go forward and whether the Devotional Claimants’ methodological evidence could be properly considered.