Old 22nd November 2002, 23:10   #1
djphil
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Legal Question

Hi there,

I have a question that I’m really not sure where to ask, hopefully you can help. I’m very interested in starting an Internet-only radio station. This would not be a traditional radio station, the format would consist of dance remixes similar to products listed on http://www.remix.com. There would not be full songs similar to a normal radio station, but rather samples and parts of songs remixed together. It would be similar to a dance club, just broadcast over the Internet. I’m not sure what licensing this entails – can you point me in the right direction or give me any hints on where to find this out?
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Old 24th November 2002, 21:52   #2
Windmaker
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question

Yes I would like to see this answer as well. Can you have a radio station up and running with worrying about getting sued by metallica like on napster, etc. Are there any fees you need to pay etc. for copyright laws?
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Old 27th November 2002, 16:12   #3
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not a legal beagle, mind you, just another like so many who obviously don't own or pay rights fees for the material I have on my hard drive and intend to broadcast...
just do your thing... check out other people's Disclaimers and edit one to suit your situation... if the music companies or bands get uptight, you'll get a Cease & Decist letter-- but I venture to say that WinAmp and SHOUTcast (and Live365 and others) are on top of the situation and will let users know where we stand, hopefully translating the legalese into layman's terms in a Update e-mail and on their sites.
if you're not presenting someone's material in a bad light and not making money off their efforts, then you're probably acting as an artist using common and readily available material &/or you're actually promoting other people's work and helping stimulate sales of their goods... what's to complain about?
even getting a C&D letter... don't automatically panic-- that's their first line of attack and you don't necessarily have to fall for it. check with others in a similar situation and see how they've handled it. the one letter to take dead-dog serious is the one from your ISP-- right or wrong, they hold the trump card... your connection. you really don't want to piss off your landlord and find yourself out in the off-brand dial-up cold.
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Old 30th November 2002, 14:21   #4
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I had hoped to see someone with either real legal knowledge or first-hand experience follow up on this thread... really kinda expected someone to cut me down for sounding off like a loose cannon.
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Old 30th November 2002, 14:42   #5
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LOL. I'm waiting on first-hand experience as well. From what I've read, I either need permission from the copyright holders to promote it, or pay BMI or ASCAP. The only thing that would stop me is lots of licensing fees.
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Old 30th November 2002, 17:59   #6
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There is a way around it - use a service like www.futuretrack.org. Otherwise you will be legally required to pay to play the music, unless you have permission from the copyright holder.

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Old 30th November 2002, 21:10   #7
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I went to that futuretrack.org place... the "Licence" they want us to sign stated that we (I) are the rightful owner of the material to be broadcast... now, I'm not sure how far a legal persecutor could go with an online fill-in form, but I just lied a big fat lie in accepting the terms of that "licence" in order to move ahead and see what the place is all about.
I will definitely bet a dozen fresh donuts that the futuretrack.org people are not going to stand between us lying licencees and the law when the hammer comes down. that so-called "licence" merely indemnifies futuretrack of any responsibility or liability...

yeah, right... I'm the rightful owner of every comedy, drama, western, mystery and detective show, plus all swing and big band music, recorded and broadcast on radio between 1919 and 1962... I seem to remember one Carl Amari of RadioSpirits trying to pull that one a couple years ago-- sending C&D letters to OTR collectors, traders and broadcasters, claiming to own the rights to nearly everything.
so... who will I hear from first? MCI? ASCAP? The Evil Empire? Congress?

futuretrack.org...? look before you leap, my pirate radio friends.
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Old 1st December 2002, 09:26   #8
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yes the agents are coming out of the wood works due to this royalty stuff. It's still simply easier to track down your own artists and get written and signed release forms.
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Old 2nd December 2002, 14:57   #9
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The only time you have to accept the license is if you are providing material to broadcasters, not if you are a broadcaster yourself.

There is a section to list or exclude specific tracks, albums, whatever also, if you desire.

Not sure exactly what you are referring to waxxman, maybe you can clarify In fact, at the top of the screen, when you register as a webcaster it clearly states:

Review the terms of the license you will be granted as a Webcaster. If it is acceptable, click the Finish button to create your account.

This is the license you will be GRANTED. Not a license that YOU are agreeing to. This is what the copyright holders have signed, and here it is:

-----
Internet Radio Streamcast License

I hereby grant to the requesting Webcaster holding an account at FutureTrack.org (hereafter referred to as "Broadcaster") permission to stream over the Internet, without payment of any royalties or other fees to me or any performing rights organization, any songs published by me which I designate in the FutureTrack.org database as being covered by this license.

Provided, however, (1) that this license is solely for the aforementioned material; (2) that the material may only be streamed over the Internet and not made available for download or other digital copying by any individual or entity to whom I have not granted express written permission; (3) that the material shall not be sold or otherwise licensed for pay by Broadcaster without my express written permission; and (4) that I may revoke this license at any time, for any of my music, via FutureTrack.org's automated notification system, and any affected Broadcaster must remove affected music from distribution within 45 days of receiving the notification.
web

I hereby represent that I am the sole copyright owner of the aforementioned material or a designated representative of the owner; that I am fully empowered and entitled to grant this license; and that I am doing so of my own free will without coercion of any kind.
----

Please explain how this is simply 'designed to stop liability for Futuretrack' - I'm kinda confused now!!

And of course futuretrack.org isn't going to stand between anybody - it's simply a central source for labels and holders of music copyright that WANT radio stations to play their material to get together. That's why contact info for all the copyright holders is listed - so you can contact them, if need be

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Old 4th December 2002, 14:05   #10
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maybe it's a matter of presentation... that thing appeared in a popup box with no prior explanation... it looked and acted like some requirement to participate in that site's program at all. I do see that the site is in development-- I hope it will be arranged in such a way that it's clear what roles there are to play and that potential participants will be led in the right direction. I'm certainly not a creator of Old Time Radio or any other original material, nor a supplier of same, so that bit of legalese was not for me and I'll get back to that site and ask to be removed/released from it.

what I am is, like most people who set up internet radio stations with SHOUTcast and live365 and have websites, etc., is an end-user/collector/fan who simply wants to share and show off his collection.
those who do this for free are a different breed than those who repackage other people's material (copyright protected or not) and sell it. (IMHO), where there's money involved, particularly anyone making a profit from someone else's efforts, it's time to call in the lawyers and start throwing legal papers around.
over the past few years, though, the legal defenders of copyright protection have been less discriminate in their method and manner, and many individual end-user/collector/fans have had their sites shut down as a result of C&D letters to themselves and their web hosts.

if this site offers protection to people like myself, then I'd be interested to see the correct web pages, contracts or licences, etc. that apply to me and people like me.
in any case, if the webmasters of that site would offer clear explanation in layman's terms what it's all about, I'm sure some others would be as appreciative as myself and may be more prone to participate, having assurance of true understanding.
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Old 4th December 2002, 15:37   #11
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There is no contract for webcasters to agree to. All you have to do is abide by the labels/copyright owners wishes (e.g. if they say 'you cannot play this song' then you have to accept that.)

The waiver you viewed was what you were being given - it does say that at the top of the popup window The waiver was what the copyright owners have signed - it's just for you to see as an 'FYI'.

I'll talk to the designer though and let him know that you didn't notice that.. maybe there's something we can do to make it more obvious. Eliminating 'legalese' is impossible though - everyones ass needs to be covered

Free radio or not, they will be after you. You making a profit or not is of no concern to the RIAA. We're just trying to help out.

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Old 4th December 2002, 18:42   #12
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I would love to see a legal answer to this question as well.
I want to run a small site for a group of friends, although it would be semi private, it would be publicly accessible.
I don't want to violate any laws, with all the copyright battles going on now.
I definately couldn't afford a lawsuit.
I would assume Artist's wouldn't mind a streaming broadcast of their music, it's not like "file swapping" but at the same time it's not worth the risk.
Any lawyers around?
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Old 4th December 2002, 20:41   #13
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"I would assume Artist's wouldn't mind a streaming broadcast of their music, it's not like "file swapping" but at the same time it's not worth the risk."

Note that it's not the artist's that own most of the copyrights...it's typically the label, which is supported by the RIAA.
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Old 4th December 2002, 20:44   #14
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yea alot of webcasters look at what they offer an artist when they stream their music is some type of benefit, while that may be true, you too derive some benefit from using their music, so it's a two way street. Which leads to a question of control, and whoever controls or owns the copyright has the ultimate say in how their music is distributed.
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Old 5th December 2002, 18:27   #15
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ok, I only want to make one comment regarding this great thread on legal issues: While I completely understand the copyright ramifications and all the legal rights of said owners to decide how their product is promoted, I don't like to see all that lumped in with my "benefit" from their product. To whit, KXRM writes:

webcasters look at what they offer an artist when they stream their music is some type of benefit, while that may be true, you too derive some benefit from using their music, so it's a two way street.

Lets keep that out of the equation, The RIAA uses that argument enough as it is. If they had their way, I would pay them each time I "derived benefit"(i.e. pleasure) from listening to their product or playing it for some friends in my own home, from my own legally purchased copy of the CD! Streaming it to a couple of simultaneous people on a non-profit, teeny little webstation is not so very different.

No insult intended by quoting...

the end
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Old 5th December 2002, 18:53   #16
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i think that it's been made clear that for now you are safe from having to deal with this. Considering the size and amount of enforcement needed, going after someone who hosts for 20 people or so is not their priority.
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Old 6th December 2002, 02:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by waxxman

futuretrack.org...? look before you leap, my pirate radio friends. [/B]
This is NOT radio, my friends, this is webcasting. Pirate radio is the act of broadcasting over the AIRWAVES with out benefit of license from the FCC. Webcasters are not radio stations. It's amazing how many people have this common misconception.

If you can't tune it in on a RADIO then it's not a radio station.
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Old 9th December 2002, 17:51   #18
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Well, hopefully at least some of you checked out the site - we're doing it to try and help the webcasting community. We're working on adding additional services to help both copyright owners and webcasters, too.

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