Do I need a license ?

Support

Level 1 Support
Staff member
#21
Hi,

Relating to your post at the start of this thread, I just wanted to ask what might be a dumb question, but do I need a license if I intend to only play my own stuff? I'm guessing you don't, as no other work or artists are involved in what I would be doing. Still, I would appreciate your thoughts on this, based on your company's experience.

My thanks in advance for you taking the time to reply to this.

Regards

Solaris
You would not require a license if you intend on only playing your own music. :)
 
#24
PPL and PRS

Do you have to pay both these companies surely the CR holders would be getting money from both of these in some cases which wouldn't be right.

ps what sort of licence do most people go for I am only starting and don't really want high costs
 

Busby

New Member
#26
We can only suggest contacting the PPL UK for more information on this, although it sounds like you will most likely require the Small Webcaster Licence. :)
Anyone broadcasting from the UK will need at a minimum a 'Small Webcasters License' from PPL plus a license from PRS For Music.

My station plays only promotional mixes supplied directly by artists, but I found that I still needed licenses.

Save yourself a lot of stress and get licensed - trust me its not easy - but you sleep better when you have one.
 
#27
There is an alternative to paying the PPL/PRS (UK) and SoundExchange (USA) fees.

The organisations have confirmed this with me in writing. If you have received permissions from the rights holders to broadcast a tune then you do not need a license to broadcast that tune. So if your entire broadcast is made up of tunes that you have received permissions from the rights holders to broadcast then you do not need a license!

For a small community charity radio station such as Pigpen Radio this is ideal. We can continue to support smaller local artists and everyone so far has been very supportive of us.

I have added the following disclaimer to the bottom of my website just to make it clear to anyone who gets in touch donating tunes or asking questions about licensing. "Pigpen Radio has received permission from the relevant recording rights holders and music publishers for every recording broadcast. Therefore a license is not required from PPL, PRS, SoundExchange or comparable organisations."

I am aware this setup might not be ideal for many, but it's working well for Pigpen, so I hope my post helps some others, oink oink :)
 

Busby

New Member
#28
I'm afraid that is not the information I have..

I have been told that in most cases the artist does not have the right to waive the royalties [in most cases] as the royalties are owned by the record companies.

I also asked about getting waivers from my artists but was informed that I would need to get the permission of every company for every track and there are thousands of companies.

Also, it doesn't matter if you play 1,000 tracks or just 1 which requires a licence and you don't have one, you will be breaking the law..

To be honest, I couldn't take the chance of some tracks slipping though so I have a license.

If one of your local artists plays a cover of someone else's music - you need a license..
 

General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
#29
TBH having had a look at the different stations output, both of you are correct!

But the situation is complicated, and fast changing, hence why its worth getting a license if you can afford it (the stations I work with are licensed to broadcast in the countries they originate from).

In many cases especially with "underground" music genres it is perfectly true the artist, writer and record label are at least initially one and the same, and therefore they can give permission for the broadcast.

I am old enough to remember both punk/indie and rave scenes starting up and how bands went from struggling artists willingly foregoing their royalties to get pirate radio airplay (in some cases you could not even log the broadcast easily even if you wanted to as it was white label unmarked apart from matrix number).Also remember ringing up PPL in the late 90s when working with a community broadcaster, reading off a list of local dance labels to them and being told "never heard of them mate, don't worry about your shows returns, we are only interested in the morning lot playing pop music"

but even "underground" people have a price, and major record deals still exist. Bands and even many EDM productions are done by more than one person and the bandmembers over the years might develop different attitudes to monetizing their music, people form long term relationships and have families - everyone wants to try and squeeze out money in a economic depression.

A punk/alternative friend of mine did some remix of this punk ska track and he had to take it off a sharing site because the band members had actually auctioned off their rights to the music to some random company for cash! It surprised me as much as it did him, especially as these sorts of groups once had different ideas to the music business.

You certainly can, if you are very clued up about your music do exactly what pigpen are doing but it only takes one of your friends to decide to sign up to a label/distributor even if its just to make a few hundred euros to buy a new piece of studio equipment and then they cannot make a agreement to let you broadcast as they have signed away their authority, thats how the business works.

OK in Europe you are unlikely to get feds busting in at your door but you could have to censor your content, even unpick a track from a mix (not easy!), pull whole shows out from playout (like what has happened with Welsh music copyright) or worst case close your station.
 
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#30
I have been told that in most cases the artist does not have the right to waive the royalties [in most cases] as the royalties are owned by the record companies.
Yes this is true I believe. Just to clarify my post above, for my playlist in the majority of cases the artist and rights holders are one and the same, but I am also in correspondence with various labels and promo organisations regarding how we broadcast. I am confident that I am making best efforts to keep my station legal.
 

General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
#33
Anyone know FCC policy for the US? Any link for us radio application?
you only need a FCC license if you are also transmitting a signal on the conventional radio airwaves as well as over the Internet. They are doing low cost low power community radio licenses in some areas (this is a very recent thing). There are various websites mentioning this process (google for community radio and USA and) or I would suggest checking with the FCC themselves. its not as simple or cheap as just setting up a internet station but not impossible or unaffordable either - in Europe we have had these community radio stations for years now. You can still of course broadcast online to extend the range of your transmissions as you are normally only allowed a 100W transmitter which would only cover one the main town area.

As for the copyright stuff thats more complicated but I'm sure you can get a similar license for both FM and online broadcasting like we can in the UK / Europe.
 
#34
you only need a FCC license if you are also transmitting a signal on the conventional radio airwaves as well as over the Internet
Hey Alex, do you have any info on small 'community' over the air broadcasts? just noticed your sig said your an engineer, i used to DJ on a erm local community cough cough station but there is nothing like that where i live now. would i still need a giant old BBC transmitter, or have things got smaller and cheaper? you can pm me if you want.

thanks
 
#35
i rec'd an email today from PRS, saying its been brought to our attention you do not hold a licence to broadcast over the internet....how that got this info i'll never know ive only had 4 listeners so far
Someone has reported you to them, and they've gone through their data base with the names of stations and your name wasn't in the list , that's how they know.
 

Busby

New Member
#36
Someone has reported you to them, and they've gone through their data base with the names of stations and your name wasn't in the list , that's how they know.
You must have at least a 'small webcasters' licence which will cost you about £200 a year, plus VAT, and you need to send them reports every 3 months..
 
#37
unsigned music license

we are thinking of starting anew net station , i host an unsigned rock show , i have 1500 bands on rotation and am exclusive with the 365 network , wd i need alicense to play unsigned original music ,
 

Busby

New Member
#38
we are thinking of starting anew net station , i host an unsigned rock show , i have 1500 bands on rotation and am exclusive with the 365 network , wd i need alicense to play unsigned original music ,
I would suggest you direct that question at PPL..

If you were 100% sure they are using their own origional material, maybe not - but I doubt they are..
 
#40
Hi there newbie hear so you will have to excuse me if this has been ask before.
After 25 years as a mobile and club DJ i gave up, but like the idea of broadcasting from my own arm chair. but my concern is who is responsible for the ppl & prs licence . is it the station he works on or the DJ who has bucket loads of MP3 on his computer. only it seem there are a lot of stations asking for DJ's but i not sure whether to apply as i don't want the expense of paying for the licences if its the DJ's responsibility.

Many thanks
Migsy


If The Internet Radio Station Has Both Licences PPL And PRS
Then You Are Covered.