Total posts : 45366
I’m just putting the facts out there.
Yes, there is public domain music. It MUST have been written before 1922. You can broadcast it free, but you can’t STREAM it free, unless you or someone you hired is performing it.
Yes there is a TON of great Creative Commons and independent music out there. Lots of it. Some good, some bad, just like the product from the majors. Much of it deserving of play and being discovered. But to some extent most won’t get played because radio either wants to play what’s already poopular, or what has been popular, and few will try to run their station based wholy on unheard of music. There are several sources for CC music. You of course can use all the music you want from independent artists who give you permission. If I write a song (eeewww) I still own the copyright even if I have nothing to do with any organization or company. And if I hear a radio station play it and I didn’t give them permission, it’s still a violation of copyright law. You can be fined, and if I’ve registered my copyright I can sue for damages. So independent music still requires permission. Creative Commons has several levels of license but most of it is clear as long as you give attribution for the song.
Interesting. Copyright trolls. If I rob your house and you or the cops come looking for me, are you then “theft trolls”? If I come to your gas station and fill up my tank and drive off and you come after me, are you then a “gas troll”?
ASCAP, BMI, SESAC only pay WRITERS. They have nothing to do with the labels or the artists or the RIAA. Unless of course the artist is also the writer. At this time in the USA terrestrial broadcast radio pays ZERO dollars to the artists or the labels or the RIAA. ZERO dollars. So rants against the labels and RIAA have NOTHING to do with paying the ARTISTS through these three performing rights organizations. Note that the song WRITERS do NOT go out on tour selling out stadiums. They do NOT sell T-shirts with their name or logo on it. People don’t put posters of songwriters to hang up in their bedrooms. Radio pays the people who WROTE THE SONGS for the right to use THEIR work on their radio stations. It’s like anything else that is copyrighted. If I take a photograph and Time Magazine wants to use it on the cover, I expect them to pay for that right. If they don’t pay for it and I see the issue on the newsstand, I’ll be suing. I’d be a copyright troll, darn me anyway.
You need to look past your hatred for labels, the RIAA, and apparently those darn greedy artists, and remember the ONLY people radio pays are the song writers.
Maybe some think it should be free, then convince hundreds of thousands of song writers of that. Or just play the free music. Until the people making the Creative Commons music decide they actually need to earn a living for their time and effort.
Lets say your station has a library of 200 completely independent songs on the playlist. That means you need permission from 200 songwriters, obtained individually, by you, to use them. Independent writers still own the copyright to their music.
I can’t tell you if any Part 15 stations ever get caught. It would rarely make the news and those of us here would only know if it happened to one of us and it was posted. Clearly there are a LOT of stations that aren’t here. How many local bars, coffee shops, retail stores, malls, etc have you heard about getting busted? Not many. But if you Google things like BMI or ASCAP lawsuit, or BMI and ASCAP lawsuit with “bar, store resturant” etc you’ll these guys DO travel and DO listen to radio, visit public places, and depending on the situation insist they stop the music and get a license, or if it’s been a long standing blatant violation, they start lawsuits. Remember too that the PRO’s do not make up the rules or the laws. These are backed by FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW.
Now, you can find plenty of articles how these organizations are theiving maniacs, greedy bastards out to destroy the world and steal all our money. That does NOT change the current LAW or the requirement to pay to play.
As I say, it’s just like speeding or any other violation. You evaluate the risk you’re willing to take and hope for the best.
What I am advocating is making your station as impervious as possible to being shutdown, and the two legal ways that can happen are unlicensed music and non-compliant transmitters.
Clearly some of us have different fears. I do not fear anyone finding my station and breaking in and swiping stuff. I do not worry about haters trying to jam my signal. I find no need to try to hide my station from the public. they key to successful broadcasting is to make sure everyone who can hear, at least knows you exist so they have the option to listen if they so choose. My only fear is legal. I think we can all find examples of Part 15 stations being discovered and questioned by commercial broadcasters. happened to me even when I started this up. Guy went nuts because I was illegally selling advertising on a hobby station, and I was clearly a pirate. I have the opportunity to reply to him. It’s all posted here someplace. Had he really wanted to he could have called the FCC, who would have found me legal, and he could have called the PRO’s to say I was illegally broadcasting their music. Had he done that, in my case they would have discovered that I was already covered by SESAC and BMI and had done everything humanly possible to get things covered by ASCAP. This would have shut down any of his possible legal avenues to stop me from runing my station.