Dave Oxenford this week conducted a seminar on legal issues facing broadcasters in their digital media efforts. The seminar was organized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and originated before a group of broadcasters in Lansing, but was webcast live to broadcasters in ten other states. Dave addressed a variety of legal issues for broadcasters in connection with their website operations and other digital media platforms. These issues included a discussion of service marks and copyrights, employment matters, music on websites, the use of social media, privacy, and sponsorship disclosure. The slides used in the Lansing presentation are available here. During the seminar, Dave also mentioned that stations with websites featuring user-generated content, to help insulate themselves from copyright infringement that might occur in the content posted to their website by their audience, 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.
One of the most common issues that arise with radio station websites is the streaming of their programming. In August, Dave gave a presentation to the Texas Association of Broadcasters providing a step-by-step guide to streaming issues, with a summary of the royalty rates paid by different types of streaming companies. That summary to Internet Radio issues is available 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. Dave also presented this seminar at the Connecticut Broadcasters Association’s Annual Convention in Hartford on October 14.