----- Original Message -----
From: "Dismuke" <[log in to unmask]>
> > If "radio stations"...
> > digital, terrestrial, or both...are now being
> > treated as "public erformances"
> > (which, in a sense, they ARE...!)...then an entirely
> > new set of rulebooks
> > will have to be created...quite probably also
> > including the redefinition,
> > via legal "precedents," of how such obligations can,
> > or will, be defined...
> > as well as "who owes whom what...?!"
> Terrestrial radio stations have ALWAYS paid royalties
> to ASCAP/BMI and SESAC. In MOST countries outside of
> the USA, terrestrial stations also pay a performance
> royalty on sound recordings. Take a look sometime at
> a European CD copyright notice. They specifically
> prohibit unauthorized broadcasting.
> The United States is a bit out of step with the rest
> of the world in that radio stations do not pay
> royalties for sound recordings. My understanding of
> the history of this is that there was a rather heated
> dispute over this issue back in the 1930s. As you
> well known, many labels carried the notice "not
> licensed for radio broadcast." Many smaller stations
> did so anyway - but to do so was to take a potential
> legal risk. At the time there existed transcription
> services that provided musical recordings that were
> specifically licensed for play on radio stations. If
> my memory is correct, I think it was around 1939 when
> the courts finally decided that record labels could
> not stop radio stations from playing records over the
> air. I am not sure what the basis for this was - but
> in the years since, the justification that has usually
> been offered is that radio airplay constitutes free
The radio "industry" and the record industry were basically bitter
enemies through about the first decade-and-a-half of their coexistence,
with each one viewing the other as a competitor in providing in-home
music and entertainment. The first "disk-jockey" programs appeared
around 1936...and quickly became popular with the young "bobby-soxer"
crowd who bought swing records. These may have been (I'm not sure here)
technically illegal, although they DID become very popular!
Meanwhile, a few minor details...WWII, the AFM strike, usw...interrupted
things. When record pressing and sales resumed (c.1945 in many cases),
record companies had noticed that when their records were played over
the air-waves, they sold much better! By 1946, record companies supplied
"disk jockeys" with their latest product for free (and, later, went well
beyond that, as the 1959 "payola" scandal proved...)! This is still the
case, for both Internet and terrestrial radio stations; I do a "Net-radio"
blues program for the student facility at Durham College/UOIT, and regularly
receive new blues CD's, with "press kits." in my mail.
Fortunately, SOCAN has not yet started "demanding tribute" from Canadian
"webcasters!" If they did, it wouldn't surprise me if the school simply
locked the doors of our so-called "broadcast studio"...! As well, because
I'm not involved with the station's operation, I have no idea if we have
to pay SOCAN, CMRRA or both; however, venues which feature live music do
have to buy "permits" from SOCAN to do so! CMRRA, which collects publisher
royalties, DOES demand tribute when a sound recording is pressed for sale...
you have to pay a fixed sum, which, IIRC, covers the first 100 discs you
press. I'll have to find out the details when/if I start marketing the
shellac obscurities I own after "burning" them to CD-R (I'm NOT expecting
to reach "gold" or "platinum" sales levels with these, I must admit...!).
Note that this will be entirely legal up here "north of the border" although
in many cases I'll have to pay CMRRA their "tribute!"
So, if you are anxiously awaiting your opportunity to hear "Since Willy Got
a Whippet," all I cany say is "Good things come to those who wait...!"
Steven C. Barr