View Full Version : Question about non-"major label releases" being broadcasted.

12-28-2011, 05:21 AM
Hello everyone,

I'm thinking about starting an online radio station that focuses primarily on late 80s/early 90s alternative music that was never really played on the radio and isn't legally available online anywhere. The majority of the bands that made this music have been broken up for years and a large majority of the music is out of print. I've collected a lot of CDs by these bands and I'd really like to broadcast them online so that everyone can hear them.

So my question is: Can you broadcast music that was put out on an indie label (that may or may not still be a label) that is currently out of print by a band that's broken up? Would I have to worry about copyright laws or someone suing me if I played a song by a band that's never been played on the radio?

For example: I'd like to play a song by a band called Green River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_River_(band)) who's been broken up since 1988 off of their Come On Down (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_on_Down) EP that has been out of print since pretty much after it was released in 1985. It was released on Sub Pop, which is still around, but I can't just call Sub Pop up and ask if I can broadcast an album that's been out of print for 25 years. Can I broadcast it legally?

Thanks in advance!

12-28-2011, 10:05 AM
Yes you can play the music.. Will still have to pay royalties to ASCAP/BMI as per CARP.. I know Green River generally became Pearl Jam after Woody's death..

12-28-2011, 11:16 AM
Alright cool, good to know.

Also yeah, Green River split off into Mudhoney and into Mother Love Bone, which later produced Pearl Jam. The other guitarist for Green River went on to play drums in Love Battery, which is one of my favorite bands.

12-28-2011, 01:06 PM
Royalties are still owed to SoundExchange, and BMI/SESAC/ASCAP assuming you're a USA broadcaster.

SoundExchange in the US has been designated by Congress/CRB to collect royalties under the Statutory License for *ALL* musical works. So unless you have releases from all copyright holders for a musical work (Artist, Label, Composer, Lyricist etc) then royalties are due. This is true whether signed, unsigned, major label, defunct label...

12-28-2011, 04:50 PM
Your best bet is to go with a blanket license through streamlicensing, loudcast, or live365. That way you are covered no matter what. It's cheap and no hassle licensing and covers BMI, SESAC, ASCAP and SOUNDEXCHANGE. You will have to follow their terms of use to the tee regardless of which one you choose.