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  1. #11
    dotme's Avatar
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    Great post. I actually launched with SWCast, but moved over to LoudCity when they opened their doors in 2005. All the licensed networks (Loudcaster, Live365, LoudCity, Streamlicensing) have launch rules, etc. Those rules are for the protection of the webcaster. Stray, and it's not the network that get's the hammer. It's the broadcaster.

    I can verify that some stations do indeed slap a LoudCity or other provider's badge on their website without actually being a customer of the network they claim to be affiliated with. That doesn't fool the PROs though - It's that full-browser-window with domain visible rule that helps places like BMI know who's legit and who isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by cr08 View Post
    ...you have the traditional PC browser, website, and players which is what these laws were written around, and then you have the brand new section quartered off which is the mobile world as a whole that was never thought of.
    Absolutely - things in the music industry seem to move at glacial speed. Apps for stations under 3rd party licensed networks are a no-no, but the network can have an app. I don't see why a broadcaster, provided the page also resides on the network's domain, couldn't put up a mobile-friendly tune-in page to catch the iPod Touch/iPhone crowd. I built a whole mobile site for listeners on iOS/Android platforms a couple of years ago. Does it see a ton of hits? No, but for some of my listeners, it's important - plus it was fun to build.

  2. #12
    shoutcaststreaming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr08
    To me, the scenario I provided earlier along the lines of adding a 'Powered by Loudcity.net' badge in relevant areas regardless of domain/source would be sufficient and not change the amount of royalties that get paid out.
    The licensing companies (LC & StreamLicensing) have contracts with ASCAP, BMI, etc. that specifically call for the launch page to come from LC & StreamLicensing. It might seem OK to you just to put up a banner saying you are licensed, but this breeches the contract between ASCAP, BMI, etc and LC & StreamLicensing. That is why you have to do it. It's in their contract. Period. No way around it, unless you go to ASCAP, BMI, etc. and get your own license.
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  3. #13
    cr08's Avatar
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    I have a sortof related question to add to the thread: Is there any sort of solid list of what labels I am bound to abide by the playout rules on? I know a large amount of my library is foreign stuff and likely most of it is not under any label that is under the jurisdiction of BMI and co.. But I want to make doubly sure if I can. It'd be nice to not have playout rules enforced on as much as I can legally manage.

  4. #14
    Spinny's Avatar
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    For SAMS we set the "playlist rotation rules" at 60-60-180-180 so there is no chance of an intentional violation of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). I follow the DMCA regardless of who represents what artist because it is Federal law. If you are not bound by United States Federal Law, than check with your country's laws, there may be an international agreement with your country on the DMCA. You will find that the blanket license providers either mention the DMCA directly in their Terms of Use or quote the applicable sections. If you obtain a blanket license, you are bound by the Terms of Use for that provider. If in doubt, contact an attorney who specializes in business, copyright law, internet law, or send an e-mail to your license provider.

    Tom
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  5. #15
    cr08's Avatar
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    I actually did a little bit of digging on my own and apparently, at least on the part of SoundExchange, they pretty much 'catch-all' for everything played regardless if the songwriters/artists are actively asking for royalties to be paid and as an extension: Pretty much anything played which reportinng data reaches them (given the stipulation of 'You must only play content allowed in the US'). To put it blatantly simple anyways. Which really sucks and is a stupid way to run things. Unfortunately not much to do about it. So it makes plans a little more difficult going forward now. I'm going to have to examine my library with rotation rules in mind and see if things are still doable. Still in the process of organizing everything and reading close to ~9,000 tracks. Although there's some albums spread across multiple discs accounting for ~100 tracks each. The album playout rule is going to kill me. That and likely the artist rule depending on how multiple equal billing artists are handled.

  6. #16
    dotme's Avatar
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    Well, SoundExchange is a mixed blessing, but the system isn't as stupid as it may first appear.

    US copyright law has the provision for a "statutory license". SoundExchange is presently the entity selected by the Copyright Royalty Board to collect royalties from webcasters operating under the statutory license.

    The good here is that, absent that provision & license, any internet radio operator would have to spend all their time running around trying to secure permission and rights to webcast every track in their collection - and negotiate prices each time. Plus, the label/artist could simply say "no" - and then you can't play them at all. Ever.

    Because of the statutory license, they can't say no. And while the rates are high (too high, in my opinion), they are clear and guaranteed. I think a system without a Statutory License would send most legit webradio stations underground, or off the air.

    The tradeoff for the Statutory License? Some play rules to discourage piracy. Not bad, really, when you think about it.

    As for the album playout rule, it's not a big deal. You'll be operating on the same level playing field as every other pureplay webcaster. We all have to play by that rule. The artist rule is a bit more difficult to follow with automated systems, but the language of the DMCA, I think, includes the word "intentionally"

    It's pretty hard to unintentionally play an album. But it's possible to unintentionally play McCartney, Lennon and the Beatles all in the same hour. It should be avoided when possible, but I don't sweat accidental playlist issues like that.
    Last edited by dotme; 12-13-2011 at 02:33 PM.

  7. #17
    cr08's Avatar
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    Belatedly: Thanks. That actually puts a much needed 'human' look at the playout rules. Like to have that and understand them a bit better rather than cold and direct 'MUST do this and this...'

  8. #18
    Spinny's Avatar
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    There's another issue that has never been brought up here that needs to be addressed. I had an interesting conversation with my attorney regarding U.S. presenters/dj's that volunteer and if they too could be held legally responsible for violations of the DMCA and other applicable laws. Indeed, DJ's can be held liable for violations of the DMCA. I see a lot of posts from owners of U.S. stations wanting live DJ's/presenters. Rarely do you see "licensed station" in those posts. Please don't put your volunteers in a bad situation legally. Because a lot of station owners have Dj's sign electronic agreements to Dj with them, the potential Dj should read and understand what they are signing.

    If you are a DJ looking to volunteer, the first question in your e-mail to the station should be "are you licensed and if so through who?" Most blanket licensed stations have the licensing logo on their site indicating they are licensed (if they have thier own websites). As previously mentioned, be careful and double check as some stations are allegedly illegally displaying licensing logo's. If a station is properly licensed on loudcast, live365, and streamlicensing, they will be displayed on those sites under the requirements/agreements/ terms of use of the license provider. READ the Terms of Use of the license providers carefully.

    You should also be cautioned that some owners of stations will not be truthful when it comes to their license status. And some are not required to be licensed because of the type of station they have and the music they play, etc. Some may get thier licenses direct from the Big 4. Either way, as a DJ/Presenter, it is your responsibility to know what you are getting into when you volunteer for internet radio. If the station owner won't answer your questions or is being coy on the subject, don't volunteer for that station.

    Secondly. I have seen many a DJ who goes on air with what is an obvious playlist with illegally downloaded music. The tagging is horrible and painfully obvious where the music came from. If you are illegally downloading music and you DJ, your legal status is in further jeopardy when this type of playlist is displayed for all to see. Understand how the license providers file their reports and what is included in those reports.

    Thirdly, license fees are calculated using total listener hours each month, expenses/revenue each month, etc. The cost of music and the license fee itself are reportedly not to be included in the expense/revenue report you file each month with the license provider. Check with your license provider to make sure of what you are required to report for expenses. Keep in mind that under the Small Broadcaster Settlement Act the small broadcaster pays 7% of his/her expenses (or 10% of revenue) as part of our license fee. Yea, expenses....LOL. I'll keep my comments to myself on this one.

    There is also a profit margin with each license provider. Those margins vary from provider to provider. Understand that without these providers the small broadcaster would be paying 500-1000 dollars a year for a separate license from each of the four plus we would be filing our own reports. If you don't believe me on that, go check out each of the sites at ASCAP, SESAC, SOUNDEXCHANGE and BMI and look at the small/micro web broadcaster fees. Those fees are not sustainable for the small/micro broadcaster. Live 365, Loudcast, and Streamlicensing (more providers available or reportedly coming on line soon) provide an invaluable service to those of us that love internet radio and they do so in an affordable manner.


    Tom
    Last edited by Spinny; 12-20-2011 at 02:44 PM.
    Tom




  9. #19
    cr08's Avatar
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    Yep. The DJ+licensing aspect is one that has always been on my mind, albeit not front and center. But it has always been summed up from my perspective as 'The laws do not except live DJs/presenters, they follow the same rules as the station as a whole does'. And as a curiosity I have always wondered how many DJs on properly licensed stations have kept track of what has played X hours back before they came on the air and program their playlist accordingly. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that is a low percentage rate and they are just lucky enough to slip by the watchful eye of the Big 4.

    In my particular case I do not plan to run live DJs for the forseeable future largely for a 'professional sound' reason (that being hot cutovers from AutoDJ to live DJ's. Would rather have a smooth cutover right after a song/ID ends and right into the DJ's show's intro. I have a theoretical solution in mind but I have yet to find a working option in my searches). And at the very most it would be pre-recorded shows that were recorded off-air and thus better control over. Nice side effect there of being able to stay within the lines and help keep potential DJ's out of hot water as well.

    Your post and some of the others are very good sticky/site material here I think since this all equally applies to everyone running stations legally regardless of whether they pay directly or go through a blanket provider

  10. #20

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    Agree with Saint...Radinomy is superior platform

    I wanted to agree with Saint's previous post. European Radionomy has actually now opened in the United States in earnest, and producing on their platform has given me a turnkey solution to music rights. They offer a huge library of paid for music or I can upload my own music -- and provided I supply the correct metatags for my tracks -- they pay the royalties for these plays, no questions asked. It's fantastic to remove myself from all the rights morass and just focus on programming. Here is the most recent station I opened on Radionomy.

    http://www.radionomy.com/en#!/en/rad...oy-radio/index


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