Do I need a license ?

Demo

Active Member
Hi amateurdj.
It is the station responsibility to have all the correct licence in place and Not the DJ / Presenter so you are safe to distribute your pre-recorded shows to anyone who wants them.
 

amateurdj

New Member
Hi amateurdj.
It is the station responsibility to have all the correct licence in place and Not the DJ / Presenter so you are safe to distribute your pre-recorded shows to anyone who wants them.

Thanks a lot for the answer. I'll finish polishing up the first few episodes then.

Just as an add on question here does this extend to their being no need for a license on the client side with regards to 'format shifting' the songs into the recordings to the file that is sent to the broadcasters or is that a different minefield?
 

MedwayRadio

Member
Thanks a lot for the answer. I'll finish polishing up the first few episodes then.

Just as an add on question here does this extend to their being no need for a license on the client side with regards to 'format shifting' the songs into the recordings to the file that is sent to the broadcasters or is that a different minefield?

You are right in that licensing is a minefield. Assuming you are talking about music licencing here and UK based

As mentioned previously, a station requires appropriate licencing in place to BROADCAST music and your show content may have to align with the conditions of the licence(s) the station has, for example, only a certain number of tracks within a timeframe, provide all the detail of the tracks etc etc.

However as a producer of a product you may need SEPARATE licences to those above. A PPL/PRS licence for COPYING commercial music comes to mind. A investigation/discussion with PRS/PPL/MCPS may be required. Good Luck
 
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gulbis37

Member
Who cares? My radio broadcast without any licences for ages like thousands others and nobody trouble me about ppl or PRS...maybe these radio stations which having hundreds of listeners are in trouble but if you got few listeners or sometimes even no one per day..who cares..
 

Mugophone

New Member
Hi everybody! My questions is: That tousend and tousend internet radio station have all licenses? It is very hard to believe, a station with 200 song and few accidental listener with no commercials, to have different licenses. I think is madeness.
Maybe is fair, if this licenses institutes scan this hobby radios and if they find some with commercials, and tousends of listeners, ask them to send periodicaly the resume of playlist and playtime, to calculate some for license payment, but every hobbyst radio station to pay for nothing, it is not normal. The hobbyst radio Dj make the world better and nicest, spend a lot of time and pay for server, that is ok. But to have license in my opinion is non sense.
 

General Lighting

Super Moderator
Staff member
It is true that small stations without ads may be left alone for a bit (I ran an EDM station for about 2 years not registered to copyright and had no trouble; ironically because each part of it (music store, playout server, live stream studio) was in a different EU country and none of the copyright authorities were able to handle such a situation, but also didn't want to shout about it as it meant they weren't complying to the EU requirements for free trade across borders - so I couldn't go legit even if I tried to! :D

A great deal depends on your country's laws (and how much they are enforced!) the kind of music you play (many specialist genres and independent labels are not always registered with the copyright authorities) and how popular your station becomes.

A lot of popular trance/EDM labels *are* registered to the copyright authorities; but their legal teams often choose not to enforce the laws heavily (otherwise the whole EDM/rave scene would never have worked as if they are strictly applied even DJ's mixes are forbidden!) Similar happens with the Dutch "piratenhits" scene which combines streaming and real pirate broadcasts on FM bands, as well as the older hits/Schlager which are on major labels there are a lot of new independent tracks.

Beware though there are these startup companies that monitor all radio streams "on behalf of artists" and tip off copyright authorities. These are often the "bots" you might see constantly tuned in in your Centovacast panel; I've identified loads on the community radio streams for my district (admittedly those have to be registered to copyright and do run ads).

So it is up to you how much risk you want to take (I closed down my stream due to work pressures and a family bereavement, not because of copyright issues but another popular EDM station I worked with had to stop all its live shows (which where getting hundreds of listeners!) because it did get some warnings about copyright.
 

MedwayRadio

Member
A great deal depends on your country's laws (and how much they are enforced!) the kind of music you play (many specialist genres and independent labels are not always registered with the copyright authorities) and how popular your station becomes.

Beware though there are these startup companies that monitor all radio streams "on behalf of artists" and tip off copyright authorities. These are often the "bots" you might see constantly tuned in in your Centovacast panel; I've identified loads on the community radio streams for my district (admittedly those have to be registered to copyright and do run ads).

So it is up to you how much risk you want to take (I closed down my stream due to work pressures and a family bereavement, not because of copyright issues but another popular EDM station I worked with had to stop all its live shows (which where getting hundreds of listeners!) because it did get some warnings about copyright.


Its not just startup companies who carry out anti-piracy activities, PRS/ PPL have their own investigation units. PRS has its Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS -- which tracks links to unlicensed and infringing sites, up to 5 million according to its website ) which can kick off take downs, google delistings etc etc near automatically.

PPL pays significant amounts of money to partner organisations (BPI & IFPI to name a couple) for anti-piracy activities.

Add to that Artists / Record companies initiating their own litigation (as Sony/WB did with TuneIn recently) unlicenced sources of music are being increasingly detected. Not to forget mention of rivalry/grudge from local sources which can kick off tip offs to the reporting phone lines. Have heard of this some years back when rival FM stations tried to take each down by one means or another.

As mentioned its up to individual whether they take the risk, similar to the situation in our local area some time back, where one man businesses such as nail bars, coffee shops, thought they didn't need a licence to play a radio until they got hit by PRS
 

keithuk

New Member
Hi Dj's

Newbee here on IR.

I am ready to explore this world of internet radio and really would like to establish a station that plays various 78's 80's soul greats for discussion only. For example I may play a track from Marvin Gaye which would then be followed by a 30-60 minutes live phone in or podcast, dissecting the music and Lyrics to learn how the track. singer/songwriter musician have contributed to and affected the development of that genre of music.

I expect because I will be playing a copyright track, I would need a licence. Can anyone tell me if they know if a licence is required here and if they have heard of stations offering this format?

Thanks
 

keithuk

New Member
Hi DJ's

I have a second question. When staring out with a brand new internet radio station in UK, what is the lowest yearly licence cost atm. Thanks
 

boxfrank

New Member
@ keithuk

Normally, radio-broadcasters have the streaming-servers not at home. They rent an external SERVER with an amount of listeners, and feed it from home-pc using (free) radio-broadcaster-CLIENT software.

If the "feeder" plays music with copyrights, HE has to pay for it, and NOT the server-farm-company!
In most countries the copyright-authorities offer plans for an amount of listeners. (For example, in Western Europe the yearly costs for 100 listeners are higher, than in Eastern Europe)

There are two possibilities:
1.) You want to pay
2.) You want not to pay

1.) You want to pay

The easiest way is to buy a plan in your own country.
But I know someone, who has good friends in a country with very cheap copyright-plans. So he lets one of his friends pay for the copyright-songs. He uses an IP fom this country to feed the streaming-server. This works for years, and he saves over 400 Euros a year!

2.) You want not to pay

Of course, you can use your own IP for your illegal radio-stream, and if you are lucky, nothing will happen.
But I can not recommend this!
If they find out, you have to pay THOUSANDS for punishment!

So NEVER use your own IP-address doing this!

There are some countries in the world ANYONE cares about ANY copyright. And if an authority asks for the real user of an IP, they get no answer! (Nigeria for example, but working IPs for a longer time are hard to find)

Hiding own IP-address is no secret. You can use a proxy, SSH-shell or VPN.
But be careful! Some streaming-programs are spys. They steal your personal data and it's not possible beeing anonymous using them.

A good anonymity-checker is this one:

Take a look at the last line called "Unsecure Headers".
If your real IP is shown here, you are not anonymous!
 
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MedwayRadio

Member
For UK, you'll need 2 licences, PRS & PPL. Cheapest PPL is £150 pa, PRS is £146 pa. plus VAT in both cases. With PRS you can obtain a 6 month licence at £73 plus vat.

With PPL, the year begins 1st of Jan, if starting mid year the fee is pro-rata to the nearest 3 months, so if starting now 3/4 of the fee. I think similar with PRS but you need to check
 

keithuk

New Member
Thanks for both of your answers. Boxfrank, I appreciate you giving a frank reply on all the possible ways to set up, including ways that would not technically be legitimate. As I plan to one day to monetise the station if there is sufficient interest, I think I would opt to pay for the licences require.

I have read that many famous DJ's once began their careers on pirate radio stations, but in those days we didn't have th eweb.

Medway, I am grateful for your advice. The licence cost is not too bad for beginners and would allow me to test the water.

I've one more question. Can anyone recommend the best cost free method to trial my new station? I have seen some sites that offer a free 1 week trial, but I don't think this is sufficient enough time to gauge whether or not there would be interest from an audience. Are there live streaming sites/ apps that give longer trial periods?
Or am I being over optimistic? I suspect that it may take many months or longer to build up an audience base.

Thanks

KeithUK
 

MedwayRadio

Member
Not many Stream hosts go beyond the 7 day trial timeframe, There are some free services around, but usually means having to use their player which enables them to inject banner/audio ads, also they don't always guarantee bandwidth. This site in offering a PAYG option is low cost way of getting started.

As for ways of checking for audience interest, try starting a new forum thread relating to this topic as you may get some better response as its getting a bit thread off topic here
 
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