- January 2, 2022 at 3:21 pm #118876
Why is it that it’s almost a given that Part 15 stations program music? I thought that our stations were supposed to be unique, better than the big bad (licensed) stations. If you’re just broadcasting for yourself, that’s fine. But expecting listeners? Why imitate those who can do it better? Surely we can do more than playing familiar oldies, or the latest top 40 or whatever.
There are plenty of non music formats that are possible. A little more on that later.
If you’re going to play music, at least make it different.
Something like the Vegetable Orchestra
Or the Typewriter Orchestra
Or early 20th century music (a lot of which is in the public domain in both Canada – music and performances – and the U.S. – music only).
As for non music formats…
The sky is the limit. Carl Blare’s KDX has a sister time station (KHZ), which broadcasts the current time (with intervening tones) a la WWV.
Artisan Radio, when it returns, is going to be one of the only audiobook radio stations. I’d say only, but with well over 100,000 streaming stations alone, who knows exactly what is out there hidden in some corner of the internet? Or broadcasting over the air with a range measured in feet?
We’ll be playing short stories in various categories (mystery, horror, romance, etc.), poetry, theatre and even longer works serialized.
I’ve done some test runs with a bit of the material, and it works, at least for me. Who knows who else?
It’ll be fun to find out. There will be streaming as well, as all works and performances will be in the public domain in both Canada and the U.S. Other countries will be geo blocked using a poor man’s mechanism I’ve described previously in my blog. I might get around to posting it here at some point if there’s any interest.
There is plenty of third party non music programming that’s available ‘out there’ for the asking. Science, politics, religion, just about anything.
Why not give it a try?January 2, 2022 at 6:33 pm #118880
Me, I’m all automated, as I am a listener to my own station. All the talking station ID’s jingles are all in files in the mix. I am a disaster and if I tried to be live not just to do talk but just to say something between songs or announce the next song or just say a few words. I would stumble over the words, not know what to say next, it would be disaster!
Even when making my voice tracks with a recorder I have to say it several times before it comes out right and I don’t stop in the middle when I screw it up. I have admiration for DJs and talk show hosts that can keep talking and think of what to say next without dead air.
I am oldies but no commercial broadcast stations do what I do or sound like I do. I am the first and foremost listener and I am who it’s for. To keep radio sounding like the 50s and 60s and 70s. Not just top 10s but all songs that were on the hit parade at some time. Including the jingles, everything.
Somewhat like you sounded when you used to stream do wop.
Main thing I have to like it, not just do something to be different from everyone else. Or just because it’s in the public domain.
What commercial station will play what is playing on my station right now….”Ballad of a Boy and a Girl” by the Graduates?
I know what you are saying and yes we should be different and I am…..Commercial radio gets younger as time goes on as the advertisers dictate what is played and if you are over 55 radio leaves you behind and I am for the boomers like myself so I am different.
What stations will play Canadian stuff like the Haunted and the Nocturnals? Garage bands in the 60s.
To do the programming you mentioned like science, religion, politics etc(we can’t do religion and politics) I don’t know how I’d even do that. Carl has station that does just the time? Now that I would like to hear!
Also all the talk stations are doing politics and in the USA and some Canada religion. There’s lots of Christian stations around in Canada.
As for running radio dramas like CBS radio mystery theater, Suspense, Gunsmoke before it was a TV show I don’t know if you can do that….isn’t it all copyrighted?
So is the music but no fees are needed for an unlicensed over the air station but what about the radio dramas? I used to have a lot of Chickenman episodes but after awhile took them off as I had about 30 of them and they were the same ones over and over.
Plus to do what you are doing I have to like it first of all and searching for public domain stuff is much more than I am prepared to take on and I wouldn’t know where to start. I’d just pay the license fee if it was needed for over the air and 2 listeners.
By the way how long is it till something is public domain? 50 years? more? Willing to bet that a few things I play are public domain…don’t know but could be.
I want listeners but I am the first and foremost listener so it has to be automated and I have to like it. It’s just like another station on the radio.
If you stream I would like to hear how you sound. Would like to hear material in the public domain.
I went to that vegetable orchestra and that was interesting. There was a duo in the late 60s called Silver Apples that did stuff like that with 2 big synthesizers. I think they made 1 or two albums. Got some air play on the album rock stations.
By the way I am back on AM again with the Procaster making AM radio great again. Using the Schlockwood AM processor.
This is where this format should be as we grew up with it.
Also in the GTA(greater Toronto area) even the last place on FM to go isn’t good as repeater stations from other locations come in and out on the only place where there’s space and empty on each side that it cuts my range down to half of what I should get with the Decade if it was clean white space. All other clear space has a station on an adjacent frequency and most radios don’t separate it like the car does.January 2, 2022 at 9:50 pm #118883
I bet you can find any type of music on the internet, given enough time & energy. Even the esoteric stuff, and believe me, my musical tastes are not mainstream. I broadcast and stream music to myself, but want something different for what listener base I have.
In Canada, musical performances go into the public domain 50 years after they are released. The laws changed in 2015 to extend that to 70 years. So any performance released in 1964 or earlier is in the public domain.
The music itself goes into the public domain 50 years after the last creator passes away. The law was due to change in 2021 to 70 years but I don’t know if it actually passed. All pieces written exclusively by Jimi Hendrix, as an example, are in the public domain as he passed away in 1970. His performances of that music are not.
The U.S. is totally different. No musical performances are in the public domain. However, as of yesterday, all music published in 1926 or earlier is in the public domain. Next year, the cutoff will be 1927, etc.
The copyright status of OTR in Canada is complex. The performances are generally all in the public domain. The content may or may not be, depending on a large number of factors. You have to look at who created what in the show itself. Whether anyone cares or not is something else.
In the U.S, each show has to be taken on a case by case basis. Dramatic performances are treated differently than music (more like films). Unlike Canada, copyright notices had to be published in the correct format, registered & then renewed. Research has shown that no OTR shows ever had their copyright renewed.
However, courts have ruled that some early shows like Fibber McGee Lum & Abner and others are in the public domain, while the later ones are copyrighted. It’s a very mixed bag and unclear.
Sorry I can’t be more specific.January 2, 2022 at 9:56 pm #118884
I’m actually wrong about no musical performances in the U.S being in the public domain. Apparently, legislation passed in 2018 by Congress will put over 400,000 works released prior to 1923 into the public domain. That was news to me.January 3, 2022 at 8:44 am #118886
Interesting! So going by what you say, 2/3rds of my playlist could be public domain? or at least 1/2 of it? But it is unclear if I could put old radio dramas on as you say.
More stations should be “real oldies” in Canada as the immense fee for playing music is gone. Swing era music included I assume is public domain? Glen Miller example?January 3, 2022 at 12:08 pm #118888
If you do the research (finding out who the music creators are, when they died, etc.), very little music of the 50s & 60s would be in the public domain in Canada (remember, all the creators, composers, lyricists, etc. had to have died by 1970). All the performances of the early 60s and 50s music would be in the public domain.
Even a lot of the jazz music from the swing era is not in the public domain. I’d estimate maybe 20%. Again, I’ve done the research. I can go through an album of maybe 25 songs and find 4 that are public domain. However, the music from singer/songwriters that died early (such as Fats Waller, although you have to watch out for co-writers) is a treasure trove of public domain material. You really have to go back to 1920 & prior to get a majority of the music in the public domain – the music of Irving Berlin is an exception, as he died in 1989, living to be 100+. Many artists of that era covered his songs.
The Canadian music licensing organization. SOCAN, provides a database of music that is purportedly copyrighted. But again, it’s user beware, as there are errors and omissions.
January 3, 2022 at 12:19 pm #118890
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by ArtisanRadio.
Just a sidenote. As you’ve discovered, Mark, SOCAN and the other Canadian licensing bodies do not require licensing for over-the-air BETS (& presumably, RSS210) stations. It’s only for streaming that you have to worry about copyright.
And for streaming, you also have to worry about other countries. The Berne convention has a ‘rule of the shorter term’, which means that if a song is in the public domain in one country, then it’s in the public domain in all Berne countries. That rule is optional, however. The U.S. doesn’t follow it. And there are also other countries signed on to Berne that don’t follow it either. Canada implements it for all countries but the U.S. and Mexico (where the new NAFTA is in effect).
So, in particular, many songs are public domain in Canada that are not in the public domain in the U.S. If you’re streaming to U.S. listeners, you are violating copyright in that country, and theoretically could face legal consequences in that country.
I get around that problem by only streaming material that is in the public domain in both Canada and the U.S., and geoblocking all other countries. It’s just too much of a pain to find out definitively which countries apply that rule of shorter term.January 3, 2022 at 3:07 pm #118893
I think it’s amazing that you can find all this out and have the know how and dedication to do this! And to find out about other countries also! It boggles the mind thinking about it!
For me to find out if a certain song from a time period is public in the US and Canada say just an example picked out of a hat “Good Night Irene” my lord! And to do this with thousands of songs? Wow! And what about the blues people like Elmore James, Willy Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf etc….. The writers are dead but the performances live on as so many recorded their songs…..What about Little Richard and Chuck Berry? Buddy Holly?
Even a song written in the 1920s could be recorded by others so the “performance” is not public which means still under copyright?
I admire your dedication and know how to do all of this.
As for over the air BETS-1 and RSS-210 they didn’t even know what that was or had that on their radar. All they asked me as I remember, is, am I doing it in a place of business like a store or streaming and no I’m not. Socan wanted nothing more than to know what my operating costs are as it’s a percentage and when I said other than laying out money for a transmitter, computer, processor, no ongoing operating costs….not even the internet, it’s a hobby station….they had no requirements for this. Neither did the other….Resound…and one other I can’t remember now as this was a few years ago. At Resound it was a manager I spoke to on the phone. She just said after giving me the green light can I listen to your station and I said not unless you come to my area….oh OK. The end.
I had Socan’s response in an email when they got back to me but I don’t have it now as It got deleted a long time ago.January 3, 2022 at 3:35 pm #118894
When I ran Artisan Radio on Bowen Island, even under BETS, I had a SOCAN non-commercial license. You pay 1.9% of your gross operating costs (minimum $100 / year), and get the ability to broadcast and stream what you want. All they asked was for me to send them my play logs for a period of 4 days, once per year. They weren’t even in the format SOCAN really wanted, but they accepted them nonetheless and didn’t give me any hassle.
That license made sense to me, as the station was being operated as a business in conjunction with my other storefront business (I took sponsorship $ for various programs, some people even just donated). No commercials.
I want to stream, and to me, it just makes more sense to do the public domain thing. There’s plenty of material; it just takes time to wade through it all. It’s actually more work, at least at the beginning, to simply understand the copyright laws.January 9, 2022 at 4:37 am #118919timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 784
Can’t believe we’re rehashing copyright again. But I guess it’s time.
I avoid the hassle by paying BMI the $300 some odd dollars a year, and I have it in writing from ASCAP and SESAC that no licensing is required for a Part 15 broadcast. Done.
There are ZERO sound recordings in the public domain in the USA. SONGS pre 1925 ARE public domain, but NOT the actual sound recordings. Still OK for radio, since over the air radio doesn’t pay performers, just writers. But NOT OK for streaming.
The odds of getting caught are low. Worst case you’d get a cease and desist letter.
Since my station generates revenue I prefer to pay up and be certain I’m legal.
It would be a violation of copyright to play any recorded books on the air. You have copyright of the of the book itself as well as copyright of the sound recording. The only thing legal would be reading public domain books yourself, or having people who read them be hired by you or being people who have given you permission (having your neighbor do it, for example, you better have a note from him saying you can use the recording an it better be a PD book. People may not be excited to listen you read them books from before 1927.
If you want to stream you still must pay SoundExchange in the USA. It’s a pain in the butt and not cheap or simple. I know nothing about rules in Canada or elsewhere. Again, don’t know about Canada et. al but even if the song is public domain the recording is NOT (no matter how old it is) and you still pay SoundExchange.
Again, none of my comments apply to Canada.
TIBJanuary 9, 2022 at 3:25 pm #118924
I thought there were zero recordings in the public domain in the U.S. as well.
But look here: Public Domain Info
Apparently, all sound recordings released in 1922 or earlier are now in the public domain as of January 1, 2022.
If you have any information that indicates otherwise, let us know.
As for no one listening to book recordings. From what I can gather going through the IceCast streaming directory, there are thousands upon thousands of streaming stations playing music that no one listens to either.
I think you might be surprised as to what is in the public domain (both the U.S. and Canada) re books (both full length and short story), and how interesting they might be. Think better audio quality OTR dramas and you’ve got the idea. Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a whole host of others, some not so household names, and you’ve got the makings of what I consider interesting programming.
As for the sound recordings, there is a project called Librivox that makes and releases sound recordings into the public domain from, you guessed it, public domain books, short stories, poetry, etc. They’re associated with Project Gutenberg, which does the research to ensure that everything is in the public domain in the U.S. It’s pretty easy to determine if a book is in the public domain in Canada (authors have to have passed away in 1964 or earlier).
A lot of the quality is excellent, just as good and sometimes better than the professional stuff recorded and released today. Of course, there’s the occasional clunker, and some mediocre. However, for the really ‘popular’ stuff, there’s usually two or more different recordings and I haven’t had any difficulty finding reasonable versions of most things.
All in all, though, I as the foremost listener just have to like it. I’ve run through some test programming with Sherlock Holmes short stories (one per hour, they’re the perfect length), as well as hour programs featuring short stories from other mystery authors such as Dashiell Hammett, G K Chesterton, Ernest Bramah and others. It worked for me.
Other genres that will be included are horror, science fiction, poetry, philosophy, general short stories, romance, maybe even bipartisan politics – there are lots of options.
It’ll be something different. Unusual. Not just the run of the mill music station, licensed or otherwise. I like it.
January 9, 2022 at 3:35 pm #118926
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by ArtisanRadio.
Oh, and I’m also thinking of launching a sister station. I experimented a little while ago with broadcasting and streaming songs from the acoustic era of sound recordings (pretty much everything released prior to 1925).
However, I wasn’t then aware of the MMA that I referred to in my previous post, and went through some shenanigans to geo block the stream from the rest of world, only allowing Canada through.
Now I’m thinking of bringing back the concept, streaming music from 1922 and prior. Most of that music is in the public domain in Canada, and the sound recordings definitely are. As of January 1, 2022, the sound recordings are now in the public domain in the U.S., as is the music. So my stream can be geoblocked for everything other than the U.S. and Canada, which is what is in place now for audiobook streaming.January 17, 2022 at 4:45 pm #118993RFCCRadioAudioParticipant
Total posts : 36
My Part 15 programming is split: indie music on AM (daily minus Wednesdays, Sundays and holidays) and live sports on FM (once or twice per week and only at the game sites during basketball season and softball season).
The FM is more of a “radio station in a bag or backpack” setup, and I have the AM setup right next to my bed that I can flip on and off at will.
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