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In a ruling that may boost monthly rates for the nation's 5.5 million satellite TV subscribers, the U.S. Copyright Office on Monday more than doubled the fees that satellite operators pay to air network TV programs.

Effective Jan. 1, the decision will boost the satellite industry's annual copyright royalty payments by as much as $55 million and deals a setback to recent federal efforts to foster more competition with the $27 billion cable television industry.

The hike is a result of recent federal legislation that changed the method by which the Copyright Office and the librarian of Congress set broadcasting fees.

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