So you want to start streaming your radio station on the Internet? Or maybe you want to start a whole new Internet radio station. In a session at last week’s Texas Association of Broadcasters Annual Convention in Austin, Dave Oxenford talked about the legal considerations starting an Internet radio station, while Chris Dusterhoff of Bryan Broadcasting in Bryan/College Station, Texas talked about some of the technical and business issues in doing so. A copy of Dave’s PowerPoint presentation from that session is available here. The presentation addresses some of the issues that you need to consider, including the music royalties that will be required from most webcasting operations.
In addition to the issues involved in streaming your signal on the Internet, broadcasters have a host of other legal issues that they should consider in connection with their digital presence. Issues that arise with service marks and copyrights, with employment issues, social media, privacy and sponsorship disclosure were all addressed in Dave’s presentation on the Legal Issues in the Cyber Jungle. A copy of his PowerPoint presentation is available here. Dave also mentioned that stations with websites featuring user-generated content, to help insulate themselves from copyright infringement that might occur in the posts from their audience members, should take advantage of the registration with the Copyright Office that may provide safe harbor protection if a station follows the rules and takes down offending content when identified by a copyright holder. The Copyright Office instructions for registration can be found here. Additional information about use of music on the Internet can be found in Davis Wright Tremaine’s Guide to The Basics of Music Licensing in a Digital Age.