View Full Version : Licensing- Living in Canada, Broadcasting on US Servers

19th October 2006, 13:10
socann has proprosed a tariff on broadcasting in Canada. The wages are ridiculous. I got a reply to an e-mail from socan and the copyright board of Canada that if I did broadcast or create a website with media download/broadcast, socann can come after me for retroactive payments if the tariff passes.

So I am wondering, if I rent servers that are physically located in the US, does socann still have any jurisdiction for royality fees over my broadcasts?

I'm also wondering about jurisdiction about lawsuites-
What if a company decides to sue me or something. Since my servers are located in the US but I live in Canada and my company is a canadian company, but I am paying all my royalities through the US, would that lawsuite fall under US laws or Canadian laws?

Thanks in advanced for your opinions and replies.

19th October 2006, 13:20
With all due respect, asking for legal advice on this forum isn't wise. To my knowledge, no attorneys post here - and any advice you receive will be therefore be unqualified opinions instead of something you can regard as factual.

Talk to a copyright attorney - you can probably find one in Canada that will give you 30 minutes of time for just a little money. Small price to pay to sleep at night knowing you're not exposed to any great financial penalties.

19th October 2006, 16:45
well with the legal question on lawsuites aside, if I broadcast my music via servers physically located in the states, socann and the copyright board of Canada would have no jurisdiction right? (logically speaking that is)

I didn't e-mail socann or the copyright board of Canada about "broadcasting" in the states.

Just a bit more details about the proprosed tariff-

socann wants to put a tax on everything. ANYTYPE of broadcasting you do on the net even if it's your OWN music that you composed yourself and broadcast on the internet will be taxed. It's like 30% of your income and they also complete access to your financial records.

19th October 2006, 18:22
I am not canadian, or a lawyer, but I would imagine that if you are a Canadian citizen, living in Canada, it doesn't matter where your servers are ... you are still subject to the laws being enforced there. Especially if you are some sort of business entity registered in Canada.

Simply using a server in another country doesn't magically make you a business in that other country. If anything they'd probably try and slap more penalties on _because_ you used foreign servers. (A lot of the US laws for using electronic devices to facilitate illegal activities and interstate commerce come to mind ... again, I'm unfamiliar with canadian law but you probably get the idea)

19th October 2006, 22:00
Well if your serious about getting around the tariff just form an LLC in the USA with a dummy address. Having your servers in the U.S. could help, but there is no guarantee, you really need to find a lawyer that would give you some free advice.

other than that I would take the fight to your government and get friends and family to call and voice their opposition, sounds like the gambling b.s. they pulled here.

19th October 2006, 23:47
Even better - incorporate in Panama or the Isle of Mann or Vanatau or somewhere like that ;)

Because if you're webcasting in the US, that's just another set of fees to a different set of agencies ..

19th October 2006, 23:53
Originally posted by penasco
Because if you're webcasting in the US, that's just another set of fees to a different set of agencies ..

And that is the true lesson. No matter where you broadcast, someone is going to start sucking the money out of your wallet.

Your choise is who you are going to give it to.

20th October 2006, 23:08
I'm no lawyer - so don't take this example as legally binding....but here in the UK - I believe that the law revolves around where the stream originates from. This is crucially different from where your servers are based.

In effect - what I'm pointing at is - if you streamed from your computer in Canada to a server in the USA - would your stream technically originate from Canada?

Like dotme said - money well spent would be 30 mins with a copyright lawyer.

21st October 2006, 00:37
I also thought it has something to do with the locations that people tune in from. Hence, why would places such as streamsolutions offer services such as geo locked servers.

If only the origin is important, then there would be no point in a geo locked server. I have lost a lot of UK stations that I used to like to listen to ... oh they are still there, however they are not there for me to listen to because of where I live.

23rd October 2006, 08:44
thanks for all your comments

I probably will talk to a copyright lawyer about this issue in the long run. For now, I've decided to keep everything in Canada, because I know for sure what all the legalities and repercussion are for hosting it in Canada.

24th October 2006, 19:57
Hi Tonten,
Keep me posted, this is what I've heard and this is through speaking with someone at Socan you only need to pay on what is broadcasting out of Canada.
i.e. if you have your main servers with only 2-3 connections to relays you need to pay on that.
Any relays you have in the US would be subject to the good old logical us laws.:igor:

I agree, once Socan gets the laws passed things are outrageous. My operating tarrifs for a non profit station with 75 connections would go to about $4000 CDN/MO (way more than terrestrial for profit radio is charged). I'm all for getting the artists the credit they deserve, but these tarrifs only go towards artists who have registered with SOCAN even if you're an unknown artist that has given me permission to play. So if you're a european artist and you've never heard of SOCAN you don't get a dime of the money they've 'collected for you'

SOCAN has prices for charging arobics instructors who play music during class but not for streaming internet.

To make a long story short..I'm streaming totally outside of Canada.
Keep me posted.