Starting an Internet radio station/show
February 26, 2005 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I want to start an Internet radio station (streaming and archived). How do I deal with the royalties issues legally?

Most podcasters and small time online radio stations generally don't worry about royalties, but I plan on doing some big things so I want to get it right from the get-go. The various guides to the copyright law I've found are all rather confusing, although I got as far as finding out that I'd be paying something like 0.02¢ per "performance".. or, as I see it, per track/per listener. However, how is this audited? I might play tracks which I have permission from the band to play, so these I would not pay for. Very confusing :)

More confusion sets in because I'm in the United Kingdom, but would be transmitting my station in the US (in terms of the server the listeners all connect to). Do I need to set up a deal with the various British copyright authorities? Is there a way I can avoid this? Does the UK even have specific legislation for non-commercial online radio stations? I can certainly deal with the 0.02¢ per performance and the $500 minimum requirement, but it's all rather confusing.

BTW, I don't want to use Live365 or some other "managed" service, I want to do it myself, as I understand the tech pretty well. So has anyone here set up a legal online radio station? If so, how did you do it, and how are you dealing with the licencing? Also, is anyone here running a legal music podcast? If so, again, how? :)
posted by wackybrit to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
I can tell you that Live365 provides hosting, but aside from that it doesn't have to be in your face. You can set up a simple Shoutcast on your box and have them relay it to your listeners. In my experience, this is the simplest way of going about it (as you can have all royalties included at a flat rate in your monthly hosting fee). On the downside, their service sucks.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:05 AM on February 26, 2005

Best answer: JWZ did this a couple of years ago. Here's his write-up.
posted by smackfu at 8:17 AM on February 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

The only realistic way to deal with the royalties legally is to host your service in a country that does not respect US copyright law.

Then, you can run your service. Simple, and legal.
posted by Jairus at 11:20 AM on February 26, 2005

Response by poster: As a corollary of the above.. which is the best country with decent bandwidth and Internet infrastructure? ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 9:53 AM on February 27, 2005

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