Music licencing

Radio shows, podcasts, live events, CD releases, etc...
Post Reply
User avatar
StormKeeper
Forum Loony
Forum Loony
Posts: 148
Joined: 24/05/2005 - 1:44
Location: London/Kent, United Kingdom
Contact:

Music licencing

Post by StormKeeper » 07/10/2011 - 18:22

Hey guys, long time no see!

I have question, although I'm not sure if it's the right forum, but I'll ask here anyway, and assume that it'll hopefully be moved to the right place if it isn't already. Basically, I was going though all my old FB groups and stumbled upon a particular group involving he who must not be named (begins with a P), and ended up clicking on a thread about this individual's permission to play tracks by certain remixers (and also SID composers). It reminded me of something I meant to ask ages ago, but due to life circumstances, it completely slipped my mind! Anyway, I'd best get to the questions I want to ask.

Firstly, I'm looking at eventually setting up an internet radio station (and another one in the future, which will have more of a focus on games music; this one will only have occasional plays) in the future, and in light of what's happened in the past, I want to go about getting the right permissions to play music by certain artists or composers. I am aware that songs by certain artists played require a blanket licence to play, although I was wondering if there's any list of what composers/remixers a licence is required for?

Secondly, as I want to minimise costs for the radio station in its first year, while it finds its feet, I was wondering if there any songs that can be played without the use of a licence? Forgive me for sounding cheap, but at the moment, I couldn't possibly afford to pay out for a licence for a while, so I'm looking to only play tunes that I don't require a licence for.

Lastly, I would like to ask the permission of the remixers if I'm allowed to play any of their songs on the station, though I'll understand if you say no. Additionally, if anyone has granted me permission to play their tunes on the radio and they either wish to revoke their permission later, I'll honour their request, but I would inform them that I may need a bit of time to remove the tunes in question.

Thanks for reading all this, and also thanks in advance for your responses.

Chris Abbott
Forum Admin
Forum Admin
Posts: 5233
Joined: 22/11/2002 - 12:21
Location: Dubai. No, not really.
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by Chris Abbott » 07/10/2011 - 19:02

Well, the list of composers "out of bounds" in the MCPS sense is quite long.

Out of curiosity, what would happen in subsequent years to generate money to pay for a licence? If you're being free all the time, you're never going to be able to buy a licence since you're not generating money.

Chris
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

User avatar
StormKeeper
Forum Loony
Forum Loony
Posts: 148
Joined: 24/05/2005 - 1:44
Location: London/Kent, United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by StormKeeper » 07/10/2011 - 19:52

I am looking at relying on advertising down the line, although only between shows (and before and after) and on the Auto-DJ function. I wanted to essentially see how feasible the radio station(s) would be before committing a lot of money to it, as I know how much hassle they can be to operate, so I want to sort out a basic structure first and build up a small listener base. I want to do things by the book, but at the same time, I want to make sure that the investment isn't wasted as I can't afford to put money into something that won't do well. Another idea I have is for a "premium account" system, but the idea for that is kind of far off for now, and something like that would definitely need some licencing in place!

I'm going to be including a lot of indie, CC, PD and "in house" content as well, to help reduce the fees somewhat, but I appreciate that can only do so much.

Chris Abbott
Forum Admin
Forum Admin
Posts: 5233
Joined: 22/11/2002 - 12:21
Location: Dubai. No, not really.
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by Chris Abbott » 07/10/2011 - 21:51

Well, basically, no one but MCPS is able to grant permission for various composers, but equally hardly anyone in the scene has gone down that route. So no one really can throw stones at you, and MCPS are quite... lazy... in terms of enforcement.

So basically my advice is to just start off doing it, and be nice to everyone. The issues you read about were mostly about attitude and behaviour: for instance, no one will complain if you start a radio station, be nice to everyone, and be humble. People tend not to complain about nice people. I think you'd have an easier time just running it and not getting a licence and not getting advertising. Whenever money gets involved (at either end) it tends to make people look at things differently, and things become a lot less fun.

Chris
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

User avatar
StormKeeper
Forum Loony
Forum Loony
Posts: 148
Joined: 24/05/2005 - 1:44
Location: London/Kent, United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by StormKeeper » 12/10/2011 - 22:14

As far as things go, even without the issues of... that individual, I'd probably still have gone about the things similar to the way I brought them up here a couple of days ago. Especially in light of all that's happened, I want to keep on people's good sides; my intention isn't to make a profit with the stations, but if money were involved, I'd want to basically have the stations be able to meet their costs, though naturally at the start, that won't be possible. As far as things go, once I am in a position to start up the station I'll be sure to announce it here so composers and remixers have a chance to leave any feedback with regards to things. I would like to mention now, in the interests of disclosure that I'd likely be getting a lot of the C64 remixes from RKO, given that's the easiest place to source the remixes.

I was also wondering about how the above would apply to being able to play any CDs that I have purchased from you in the past, as well as any CDs I plan to purchase in the future? Another thing I do plan to do is allow composers/remixers (or their representitives) to have an easy avenue to discuss their tracks being used, or if they require it, removal from the stream. As far as humility and niceness goes, I know a lot of you personally, so on that basis, I think it'll make things easier to deal with in the long run. With regards to starting up, I can certainly go down that route, but I have to remember that in the case of the non-gaming stream, I will eventually want to use mainstream music, which puts me at a bit of an impasse with the MCPS and PRS, and while I might be able to probably go licence and ad free for the gaming stream (if I stick to just games-related stuff amongst other things), the other station might incur some operation issues later on.

Involving money with things does add its own set of complications though, which is unfortunate... the only other option is that if find a way of personally financing both streams and going ad/licence free for both, but skip out on the mainstream music altogether... I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thank you for your responses so far by the way, it helps me out a lot :)

Chris Abbott
Forum Admin
Forum Admin
Posts: 5233
Joined: 22/11/2002 - 12:21
Location: Dubai. No, not really.
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by Chris Abbott » 13/10/2011 - 8:52

Well, however it works, you won't find me a stumbling block (or asking for money). I'm sure you'd be sensible about how many CD tracks you played, how often and when (SceneSat and Slay seem to get this balance right).
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

User avatar
StormKeeper
Forum Loony
Forum Loony
Posts: 148
Joined: 24/05/2005 - 1:44
Location: London/Kent, United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Music licencing

Post by StormKeeper » 14/10/2011 - 21:07

I'd be making sure I had a reasonable balance with the CD tracks, and I'll certainly have a closer look at how Scenesat and Slay do it to make sure I get it right as well. If you feel I need to tone things down a bit, you can let me know and I'll be sure to readjust the balance of tracks.

Thanks again :)

Post Reply