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FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?

Posted by Ben DeDominicis 
FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 11, 2007 03:02PM
I think Jomo mentioned something about the FCC considering a ban on internet streaming of radio broadcasts. Does anyone have any more information on this matter? Is WCSB going to attempt to raise public awareness of it?
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 11, 2007 09:19PM
It is my understanding that the FCC has actually very little to no involvement with this situation . It is more the record industry fault and their organization representing them (I believe it is called ...) sound exchange. In order to keep our live feed running we would be obligated to keep track of all songs played over the air and then pay royalty fees to the organization. The fate of our live feed is yet to be determine. It would be a shame to loose it since we where one of the first stations who brought this feed with Audioactive but these are the consequences of greed. It has been brought to my attention that WRUW and WJCU (both local college stations) have already shut down their feed.). That makes the decision more troublesome since both of these colleges have a bigger spending budget than we do. Even though our station does play music from major record labels we also play several bands that have no label at all and they benefit from the exposure we provide them. The only way possible to really “stick it to them” would be to just air unsigned and indi labels which would be a lot of work and semi unrealistic. Next time you see Metalica or Dr Dre. make sure you tell them thank you.
What ever the decision may be I guarantee you it is with the best intention to keep our mission statement alive. It is my personal feeling (with out knowing all the facts) that if our station were to shut down its live internet feed, you most likely would hear from us again in the near future. With more people podcasting and information becoming more personal the organizations which are trying to keep us “down” can’t shut the whole world up .
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 12, 2007 12:33AM
WRUW (wruw.org) has put their stream back up. WJCU (wjcu.org) has a statement from their GM about the rule changes in place of their stream.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 12, 2007 09:19AM
so what that means is that we shouldn't get our dander up about this just yet?
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don't mind me, i just really wanted to say "get our dander up".
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 12, 2007 03:10PM
Well, the loss of the live internet feed would be a great loss for me. I am thinking about moving overseas again and I was counting on continued access to WCSB.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 15, 2007 06:59PM
Here's the WJCU GM's statement:

WJCU Web Stream Changes
Dear Friends of WJCU,
As you may or may not be aware, a final agreement was reached in October between the US Copyright board and Sound Exchange, the sole collective representative of recording artists in matters of recorded sound performance royalties for webcasting, including that by non-commercial broadcasters.

Under a previous interim agreement, WJCU paid a very reasonable annual fee to webcast our programming. Under the new agreement, however, things have taken an onerous turn. Effective immediately, all non-commercial broadcasters are required to pay both a fixed annual fee and a per-song fee of .02 cents per-listener connection to our stream! Based on this requirement, we expect the cost of licensing our web stream to increase by a factor of at least 10.

While that's pretty rough on an all-volunteer station whose actual operating budget is now smaller than it was 5 years ago (before we even began streaming or maintaining a website) it didn't seem to be an insurmountable obstacle.

But, unfortunately, the old adage "the Devil is in the details" applies with particular emphasis in our case. As it turns out, Sound Exchange demands to know not only how many copyrighted songs we are playing to how many people at any given moment, but also the title, artist, album and label information for every copyrighted song we play. Unfortunately, it now seems that the only workable short-term solution for meeting all the data logging requirements is to use a commercial streaming service that requires the SIMULTANEOUS transmission of all the artist and title data as part of a total webstream. And that would require that all music we play would have to be preloaded into our computerized playback system...a relatively simple thing for commercial broadcasters with tiny playlists and some fully-formatted college stations, but obviously not a practical matter with the eclectic mix of musical styles and source material our many volunteer broadcasters use in programming at WJCU.

So, it is with profound regret that we terminate our audio streams, effective Friday, December 29th, for an indefinite period. This decision is one we are forced to make because we cannot place the University at risk of litigation The only possible exception will be Blue Streak sports, since no copyrighted music is involved - but there are technical issues yet to be worked out with this as well.

We deeply regret this turn of events. Beside the immediate negative impact in terms of listener options, we believe that streaming is where the future of the radio lies. So we're committed to finding a way back on the web as soon as possible.

And so we ask for your understanding, patience and support. We promise to keep you advised of developments, and will resume our streaming service as soon as humanly possible.

As always, thanks for listening to WJCU.

Mark Krieger
Director/General Manager
WJCU Radio
A Service of John Carroll University
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 15, 2007 07:25PM
None of this has anything to do with the FCC. It is about the US Copyright Office and the Sound Exchange (soundexchange.com)

The issues at play (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) are an increase in royalties that we pay on a yearly basis and 8 weeks worth of tracking everything we play. The items we must track are:

1. name of the service making transmissions;
2. identification of the transmission category from one of eleven choices;
3. name of the featured artist;
4. sound recording title;
5. album title and marketing label OR International Standard Recording Code ("ISRC"); and
6. aggregate tuning hours, channel or program name, and play frequency OR actual total performances.

The money probably won't be prohibitive, but tracking all of the other info might prove to be nearly impossible. These regulations are designed for tracking what is played to pay musicians (or at least their labels). Tracking the information is much easier when your a commercial entity playing only 16 songs in a given week. I think it will be possible to do this but it will be difficult at best to determine when we played what. The best way to do this, perhaps the only way would be to create on on-line data entry form we can fill out during our shows. SoundExchange does not accept paperwork and they want everything emailed to them.

For the record- I brought in more money from on-line donors this year then I did local ones. Not that I brought in a huge ammount or anything but it does merit being mentioned. I'm currently have aproximately 25-35 listeners on any given week.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 16, 2007 06:00AM
certain listeners of ours would also be devastated if we discontinued the online feed. we have at least 10 nearly-regular online listeners and sometimes up to 14 or 15 on a normal nite.

soundexchange is a bitch and a bastard because i don't know the sex of the person in charge.

i think a lot of shows on CSB would suffer greatly if this happened. it is a sad day for college radio.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 17, 2007 12:18AM
when i was on thursdays, i had at least 17-19 listeners and the random international listener from canada or germany which was nice. at the same time since i post on other boards and talk to other people from across the nation, they listen in as well when they can. so its not just a promotional thing for my show but also at the same time all factors going in about exposing the unknown and unsigned still apply. even then most of the unknown/unsigned have copyrights but see no royalties (as far as i understand). the only money they make is on guarentees/tour/merch and that goes back to paying debt to the label/themselves before they get above and actually make something or gas.

i think in another thread i brought up an idea of keeping an online playlist and while the stream was out you could read what is being played currently while not having to wait for the DJs to talk about what was played. is that still going to be possible and able to solve the current problem?


ps: fuck metallica. yes i like the short lived thrash era they had , everything after that can bite it (IMO).

---------------------------------

carnage asada [U GNARLIN?]
thursday night 11p-1a


you will miss me when im gone. you will miss my hateful song.
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 17, 2007 10:52AM
I think the solution to our problem is to all get on the muppet bus and make our way to sound exchange and demand that they don't charge us for our internet fee...in a song.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 17, 2007 12:01PM
i agree! when do we leave? who's bringing the cream pies?
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 18, 2007 11:08AM
I call shotgun! and I'll be Animal!
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 21, 2007 03:14PM
This may be the best idea I've heard yet! Muppet-brand street theater, WCSB style.

Not only will we have to report 8 weeks per year (2 weeks per quarter), Sound Exchange is asking for these records retroactively! Do you have records for everything you've played on your show for the past 2 years? I don't. As far as the new fees, it could be seriously pricey...we just don't know yet.

Maybe a Webstream Committee would be a good idea, but I'm glad to see people are discussing the issues.

For some background, "Save our Stream" is:
[www.ruf.rice.edu]
College Broadcasters has some useful info as well:
[www.askcbi.org]

We may need to get creative...stay tuned.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 22, 2007 05:28AM
actually, erin and i have record of every single thing we've played since our show began in nov. '04.
but...
i guess i still don't understand why they give a crap about most of it...don't they only deal with major labels?
regardless, i get more mad every time i think about it.
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 22, 2007 06:44AM
You know it's funny I just realized this but sound exchange is also incharge in getting royalties for JukeBoxes....how messed up is that?!
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 22, 2007 01:33PM
Could WCSB give us a link to a web site which is lobbying on behalf of college radio stations and listeners on this issue?

I listened to Fillipe's exhortation to contact my Congressman about the demands of Sound Exchange but I feel like I need some help in phrasing my request to my Congressman. I recall, several years ago, when the Digital Milennium Act was under debate, I think WCSB had a link to a web site of an organization which 1) explained the issue, and more importantly, 2) had a form letter ready for a person to complete and send to his Congressman. (I sent my letter to Congressman Ralph Regula, and he actually responded.)
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 22, 2007 02:41PM
We are in the process of doing just that. Once we become better informed about the situation expect the info to apear in the near future on our website.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
January 26, 2007 08:29AM
NOT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plague! It seems like just yesterday that we had the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hanging over our heads. And to think: I am presently writing a series of science-fiction stories (under the compilation-heading CLEVELAND ROTS), and the one I'm working on now deals in part with the final assault on independent non-commercial radio not only from the weepy-peepies at the commercial music-and-media concerns, but also from various "special-interest" therapsid-clownees who essentially demand that stations like WCSB become their own personal sounding-boards exclusive to no viewpoints other than their own. I would tell you how it winds up, but a writer's got to make a living, so you'll just have to buy the book -- and hope the dystopias portrayed remain FICTION.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2007 08:35AM by baronightwolf.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
February 02, 2007 08:06AM
Using the WCSB links and form letter, I sent my letters to Regula, Voinovich and Brown through their respective, official websites, as well as to the Copyright Royalty Board through its website. I would like to be optimistic about the outcome.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
February 21, 2007 01:34PM
If WCSB had a regular internet audio stream kick off time period, necessitating that a listener re-log on say, once every 30 minutes, would help satisfy _Sound Exchange_ and the other corporate actors complaining about royalties?

WCSB's IT person informed me that at times the server automatically logs off listeners to allow other potential listeners to access the audio stream. I assume the problem is that some people might log on and never log off, even when away from the computer. Yet, WCSB's computer facilities can accommodate only up to 25 logged on listeners at a time.

I don't think WCSB has enforced this policy recently, but I could be wrong.

If _Sound Exchange_ is really concerned about internet downloading, then part of a compromise deal might include prohibiting time unlimited log ons, requiring that listeners have to re-log on periodically. It would be a bit of a pain but not too much.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
March 04, 2007 01:45PM
By the way, not that anybody cares, but I did order _The Swans: Various Failures_ from amazon.com after being blown away by their "Failure" on Krauty's Fill-In show a few weeks ago. The recording industry should be grateful that internet college radio exists. Now, if I could only track down something by Drunks with Guns ...
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
April 12, 2007 10:26AM
I will not ride the Muppet bus, as I only ride the short bus.

Lars Ulrich seems to have forgotten that, many moons ago Metallica was good. Likewise and tangent to, that his band broke without MTV and little, if any, radio. EXCEPT college radio (such as WCSB alumnus Joe Mack).

I will now boycott Metallica AND covers of their songs, effective retroactively, but only posted today.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
April 26, 2007 03:19PM
It's good to see some people in Congress are concerned.
There is a bill the works to invalidate the U.S. Copyright Royalty Boards previous decision.

Note that neither of the Congressmen are from Ohio. I got "sorry can't help you, but I'll keep an eye on it" letters back for the letters I sent to them.
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
July 13, 2007 08:51AM
Another update.

We're not out of the woods yet, but it may be getting a little clearer.
Anonymous User
Re: FCC interfering in internet streaming of radio broadcasts?
July 15, 2007 08:18AM
I wish we were out of the woods... the woods are sooo thick and complicated
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