TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

Re: Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

Neal McLain (
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 08:13:03 -0400

mc wrote:

> Martha Mendoza <> wrote in message

>> By MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer

>> To Stephen Dunifer, it was yet another revolutionary
>> moment. But to the untrained eye, it looked more like
>> a geek fest. Over four days, a dozen men and women
>> shyly bumped shoulders as they studied schematics and
>> tinkered with romex connectors, resistors, microphone
>> cords, meters, sockets and capacitors -- the stuff of
>> illegal radio stations.


>> Some opt to broadcast on the Internet as well, opening
>> up their audience to the entire globe.

> That, of course, requires no license at all and should
> be encouraged.

I agree that it doesn't require a *broadcast* license from the FCC.

> It still requires the permission of music copyright holders.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it doesn't require
"permission of music copyright holders." But it does require a
"compulsory license" from U.S. Copyright Office. It also requires
payment of a copyright royalty fee of 0.07 cents ($0.0007) per
"performance" per internet listener.

That may not sound like much, but if 100 listeners listen to 10 songs
over the course of one hour, the originator owes the Copyright Office
$0.70. Extrapolate that over a year, and the originator owes over

Licensed non-commercial broadcast stations get a break for internet
streaming if (and only if) the stream is concurrent with the
broadcast. This exception allows WCPE (a non-commercial station owned
by a non-profit corporation) to continue streaming. But WFMT (which
holds a commercial license even though it's owned by a non-profit
corporation) is subject to the full royalty fee. Which is why WFMT
now charges internet listeners.

Neal McLain

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Although WFMT chooses to charge
internet listeners, most other classical stations do not access that
charge. For example, KOSU/KOSN our classical music station here in
southeast Kansas continues to stream totally free of any charge, and
while they were operating, WNIB in Chicago likewise made no charge
for their music. PAT]

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