- February 27, 2019 at 7:00 am #109856Rocknoldies1570Participant
Total posts : 14March 1, 2019 at 9:31 pm #109912
Wasn’t able to read the article without membership, but was able to watch the video which was superb.April 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm #110771
Here’s a link I was able to read: CALLING ALL OLDIES STATIONS!
It seems to refer to some kind of legalization of playing pre 1972 music without being sued.. I don’t quite grasp what it is saying, but the deadline for comments is on April 9 only days away..
“…Interestingly, the Copyright Office does not discuss on this web page the reasons why a service would want to provide notice of contact information but instead focuses on a separate filing provision applicable to copyright owners… Once April 9 has passed, there is no further opportunity for a service to receive these protections.”
Comments? Explanations?April 6, 2019 at 7:52 am #110788ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 515
Copyright laws in the U.S. are a dogs breakfast.
This is definitely a biased article, but it does explain the issue.April 6, 2019 at 8:49 am #110789Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
Looking For / Haven’t Found
KDX is looking for a website that reports on all legal claims, actions, lawsuits and the like, against streaming radio stations being accused of using copyrighted music without appropriate licensing.
It would be like the FCC Enforcement Action sites, only for music licensing issues.
There are streaming radio stations that avoid using copyrighted music thus intending to avoid the responsibility that goes with licensing, but one sees no mention of these stations in any posts we’ve seen on the subject. We are given the (false) impression that ALL streaming stations must pay royalties.April 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm #110796
Artisan, I don’t think that’s quite the same thing.. that article is 5 years old, the above linked article is recent and seems to relate to a different proposal of which the deadline for stations to achieve the rights to play without infringement must be submitted by the 9th of this month or else your not protected..April 7, 2019 at 5:21 am #110805
Actually, all streaming stations must pay royalties. UNLESS the music presented is in the Public Domain AND performed by YOU, or someone YOU hired.
This is often an area of confusion. Just because the SONG is in the public domain, does not mean the PERFORMANCE is. This isn’t a big deal over the air, but it IS if you’re streaming.
Terrestrial radio pays royalties for the song only. Only the song writers get paid. Streaming pays this AND an additional royalty for the performers of the song. That is what Sound Exchange collects. Royalties for the performers.
e.g. if you play the Beatles doing “Twist and Shout” on your streaming station Phil Medley and Bert Burns would receive the royalties for the SONG (they wrote it), and the Beatles would receive the royalty for the performance. If you only played it over the air, Phil and Bert would get paid but the Beatles wouldn’t.
If you play Beethovens Fifth Symphony by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra on your streaming station, no one gets a royalty for the SONG, as it’s well into public domain territory. BUT Sound Exchange will still come calling for a royalty for the orchestra.
If you play “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” by Bruce Springsteen on your streaming station, you would pay royalties for the song AND the performance even though the song is in the public domain! Why? Because the ORIGINAL lyrics to the song are PD, but additional lyrics were added later, so if you sing the later lyrics your version is NOT PD. Additionally, the Springsteen version’s arrangement is different enough, with additional lyrics, that Bruce can claim a new version. Hence, NOT PD. This shows how complicated it can get!
But the impression is correct that ALL streaming stations, even with all public domain music, are liable for royalties to the artists for the performance. The only way around this is if YOU are singing or playing the public domain songs yourself, or musicians YOU HIRED are playing it under “work for hire” laws and you own the performance they are providing because you are paying them to provide it.
I don’t know that it would be possible to report on all legal claims, as streamers are taken down by the thousands every single day for violating copyright. There are millions of streams out there. Tune In alone has over 100,000 broadcast stations and networks from around the world on the service, and 4 million programs and podcasts as well. Add to that the hundreds of other like services and those who stream without a dedicated provider or with their own server. Copyright takedowns happen every minute of every day. The FCC sites are easy — they involve one agency. Copyright violations can be enforced by hundreds of thousands of sources, from individual copyright holders to publishers, record company, artists, writers, etc. And since streaming stations are not under any one specific jurisdiction (Like the FCC for broadcast) there’s no way to gather the data. Legal claims for infringement can start with a simple letter from an artist or lawyer. Claims, actions, lawsuits can happen in thousands of different cities, counties, states, etc. Most people who are caught illegally streaming get shutdown by their ISP or the streaming service they are using to provide their stream. Most don’t get to the level of a court battle.
TIBApril 7, 2019 at 5:35 am #110806
Remember, all this jibber-jabber about pre 1972 song copyrights applies only to the PERFORMANCE of the songs, NOT the songs themselves.
They’re trying to get away without paying the performers for the actual sound recording royalties (what you pay to Sound Exchange).
This has no application to terrestrial radio — broadcasting only pays song WRITERS — e.g. the copyright holders of the songs themselves. This all applies ONLY to streaming, and satellite, and only to royalties to performers, not writers.
You’ll notice the article talks about STREAMING royalties — specifically talking about satellite and internet/streaming radio. THEY pay royalties for the PERFORMANCE and it’s the performance — the sound recording itself, that does not have federal copyright prior to 1972. NOT the SONG.
So this would not effect over the air royalties at all, only streaming royalties that are paid to the performers for the rights to the recording.
Also, note that filing this form as described does NOT prevent you from getting sued or paying damages, nor does it let you stream older songs for free. But it will prevent them from suing you for PAST infringements, and give you 90 days to rectify any later infringements before you can get sued. So you get some past forgiveness, and 90 days to rectify once you’re busted. It does not give you free use of oldies.
And the headline “Attention Oldies Stations” isn’t really applicable as it applies to streaming royalties only (well, and satellite radio but I doubt any of us are on satellite radio) and terrestrial radio does not pay royalties to performers anyway.
TIBApril 7, 2019 at 6:21 am #110809Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
I Think It’s More Complicated Than That
Just to let all the readers of this website know who we are and what we’re talking about, we are very fortunate to have Tim in Bovey weigh in on these complex copyright issues particularly involving internet streaming. I agree fully with everything Tim has described and believe it is all true and correct.
As intricate and complex as all of it is, I think there’s yet more to it that doesn’t seem to be reflected in what Tim says.
What I try to bring into the conversation are other dimensions that probably don’t come across Tim’s day-to-day experience because it involves other forms of content that don’t occur in the commercial radio world.
Let’s take a single program, let’s say the news program “Between the Lines”, which is mostly voice content and requires only the permission of the producer to stream, but the program also uses theme music, but they commission original music that becomes owned entirely by the news producer in all aspects, including composition and performance.
There are “buy out” music libraries commonly purchased by program producers that comes with all rights which extend to non-commercial carriers of those programs and are outside of the licensing required by publishers, performers and recordists.
There are online “free music” sources that can be downloaded and used by streaming stations which require no royalty payments and give stations the power to have their own program themes, bridges, bumpers and music fills at no cost.
There are Creative Commons and other licensing mechanisms that make it possible for programs to be made available to non-commercial stations free of royalty concerns.
Some classical program sources collect all permissions from musicians and composers and own their own recording facilities to make program series available to stations.
Every year the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival out of WWOZ makes live concerts available to affiliate stations. WWOZ collects all permissions, makes the recordings which they own, and is able to provide the music free to non-commercial stations. Sometimes even “name” artists that are widely popular in the record arena are heard, but only when those artists enter into agreements to make their work available to the Jazz Festival. Artists who do not enter into these agreements are not broadcast.
There is a large universe of legal music not controlled by the publishers and other rights agencies, but of course most of the stations in this part 15 world want the record hits in their commercial market form which obligates those stations to pay streaming royalties.
Another category called INDY music (Independent Music) intentionally exists outside of the royalty confines for the very purpose of being available for performance without compensation by non-commercial outlets.
To further numb the brain we mention “fair use” which was devised to make it simple for producers to use music to build a program in a non-commercial academic documentary educational form, but when challenged it stops being simple and gets expensive to defend.
All this being so what I think streamers still need to be wary about are bogus claims by the copyright mafia; claims of infringement that are dishonest and predatory, knowing that small-timers cannot afford to prove their innocence.April 7, 2019 at 4:35 pm #110813ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 290
Some Album Rock material is available through Creative commons
There was a big write up when the RIAA started their sue them all campaigns about certain artists in which have put their music on Creative commons for file sharing. If you don’t want to go through that with your quarter mile-2 mile stations and feel the paranoia you could ease your mind that way.
Canada does seem more Realistic in all of this copywright mafia stuff we deal with.April 8, 2019 at 4:30 am #110817
Carl is right, there are various aberrations in the world of music licensing. However organizations that obtain rights such as he mentions above are few and far between. And still, they have to have the ability to license song and performance.
The licenses of these uses are for those specific performances only, and often the fine print includes that the station airing them be licensed through BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. The fact that stations are licensed thusly is assumed by most.
And yes, there’s a ton of “production music” out there. I’ve been collecting production music libraries for decades. The various companies offer varying licenses, from buy outs to specific licenses for a certain amount of time. Again, you have to read the agreements closely. Many buy outs still limit you to a specific geographical area or market. Of course the very concept of a buy out is that you don’t have any licensing costs, but those are usually meaning no specific costs to the company — many buy outs assume your station is licensed to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC and the authors of that production music is getting paid for that writing, as a tiny piece of your fees to those organizations, but the companies only income is from the buyout.
There are a thousand variations on this. For example a company that offers a production library for barter — they provide the library in exchange for airtime, which they then sell to various companies and then send the ads to the stations for airplay. This is pretty common. We had one that did this and as long as the station remained with them, they provided additional music by sending more CD’s every month or so as long as the barter continued.
The variations in agreements and licenses for production music are as varied as the day is long. Oft times they may be a buy out, or a barter, or whatever, but you are limited to using them on your stations only. Which means if your station provides dubs to other stations in the market (pretty common around here) those other stations don’t have the rights to air production music from the library you licensed. Sometimes it’s OK.
Yes, there are countless variations. But for the most part stations playing any sort of commercial music you’re gonna need to license appropriately.
Remember, the RIAA lawsuits were not for playing, streaming or performing music, but for illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Mostly exchanging mp3 files of music via the internet. Ahh yes… the RIAA, the only company that regularly sues their best customers. Remember the good ol’ days when the RIAA went after people making cassettes of their favorite albums? Or sharing “mix tapes”. Remember when they were successful in getting a “tax” added onto the sales of blank cassettes, allegedly to distribute the money to artists? I believe they actually called it a “levy”. They later managed to get a levy added to the sales of blank music CD’s and CD recorders. Heck, when they first came out you couldn’t buy a CD recorder unless you could show you were going to use it in business (e.g. studio, radio station, etc) and they were only advertised in industry catalogs. Then they added the levy and made them available to the public — I *think* it was 2% on blank CD’s and 3% on the recorders, but it could be the other way around. Remember when the store sold “Data CD’s” and “Music CD’s”? The Music CD blanks had to pay the tax, data CD’s didn’t. Until people figured out the CD’s themselves were the same thing and you could certainly record music on a data CD which was often just a tad cheaper.
Ah, yes. It’s a complicated world out there!
BTW the levy on blank cassettes is still in effect as well.
TIBApril 8, 2019 at 1:32 pm #110824KeithParticipant
Total posts : 24
Have just finished researching all this and talking to all the PROs, etc.
SESAC: don’t know, can’t get ahold of them for my life.
BMI: they have a specific Part 15 plan for licensing. I think all said and told it averages out to about $400/yr
ASCAP: $261 for streaming, terrestrial is FREE.
SoundExchange: $500 for starters, if you go over that based on your listeners then you pay more.
Hope that helps.
kcApril 8, 2019 at 2:15 pm #110825ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 290
If you use StreamLicensing or Live 365 your music licensing is covered a lot cheaper!!
StreamLicensing covers BMI, SESAC, Sound Exchange, ASCAP, SOCAN (For recordings out of Canada). Not too sure about Live 365.
It doesn’t make sense that I’ll have to get a sponsor for part 15’s music licensing for BMI at that rate. I wonder who is worse?
In a way I hope the NAB wins and this all stops for terrestrial Radio. No Radio means no promotion. No promotion means the kiddo’s won’t hear your stuff and this also means you starve because it takes a LOT of repetitive airplay to sink a song into the heads of young adults younger than 35-40 I get that. But older folks will turn to music with more diverse catalogs.April 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm #110826MarkModerator
Total posts : 564
Keith’s info. on the licensing in the USA is surprising to me as I assume that BMI and Sound Exchange costs apply to over the air Part 15? That’s quite expensive between the two of them. They actually knew what part 15 was and have a plan for it?
When I checked with the three here in Canada, quite a while ago now, they don’t know what BETS-1 is(the Canadian version of part 15). There was no plan for this and they all told me that, so no license fees or record keeping is needed here for over the air radio. Only commercial stations or streaming.April 8, 2019 at 3:33 pm #110827KeithParticipant
Total posts : 24
I like the idea of streamlicensing, but there seems to be an awful lot to have to deal with with them. Downloading certain things of theirs and all that. I confess, I might not understand their system entirely, however, just opening an account with someone and being able to make my yearly payment seems easy enough. I had also heard that they have had some issues from time to time with getting everything covered.
I’m also not sure how I feel about having to make changes to a website in order to accommodate my player. I am already not net savvy anyway (see my other post on needing website help). Also, depending on your station income and your listener count, the monthly cost, after a certain level, is the same or more.
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