I was nosing around on several Part15 sites you all have and wondered who also streams in addition to a transmitter?
Also, about what does it cost you annually for a single connection?
The ALPB (Association for Low Power Broadcasters) is planning a 3 or 4 part seminar (how-to-turorial with video & audio) on streaming, from the points of view of our members who stream.
1.) It is possible to stream from your home computer for free;
2.) There are paid stream services that take care of copyright royalty licensing;
3.) Stream technology has many aspects such as bit-rate, sample rate, mono or stereo, etc.
Join the ALPB to attend our TeamSpeak Meetings twice a month, or just browse everything we post at
While it may be technically possible to stream from your home computer for free, it is not legal to do so unless you aren't playing any music.
Well, I guess if you wrote all the songs and performed them yourself you'd be OK.
Even Public Domain songs require payment to SoundExchange for the rights to the performance of the songs. e.g. if you play the Boston Symphony playing Beethoven you don't pay a royalty for the song, but you do pay a royalty for the Boston Symphonies performance of it.
Over the air adio alone only pays rights for the songs themselves (and for Part 15, only BMI requires it). Streaming must pay BMI, ASCAP, SESAC (for the songs) and SoundExchange for the performance.
I'm a little behind the times.. I thought streaming radio cost had gone sky high, making it unfeasable for the little guy. Am I mistaken?
Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..
Tim makes a serious and important reminder: "While it may be technically possible to stream from your home computer for free, it is not legal to do so unless you aren't playing any music."
Truth: Engineering wise it is possible and legal to stream from a home computer.
In some cases ISP's (Internet Service Providers) might have prohibitions in the wording of Terms and Conditions, so over a long holiday weekend it would be informative to read all 200,000 words of the often hard to locate terms and conditions.
Content Streamed is Subject to a Range of Obligations that are even more complex than Tim has mentioned... Content both speech and music must be carefully checked for licensing terms.
Some talk programs, such as NBC News, may NOT be available for streaming except with an affiliate agreement.
Often the producer of a program will give permission to carry shows under his/her brand, but may NOT be able to give permission for any licensed music used for bumpers, bridges, and themes.
There is an entire universe of free-to-use music and programs through Creative Commons, open source, public domain, community audio, but, as Tim says, sometimes the owner of the MEDIUM, such as a CD, must be paid or give permission.
There are many Indy Bands", music groups not signatory to the large publishers and owning their own platforms, which allow free use of their music, but of course it is not the top 40 music industry by big artists.
If in doubt consult with a media attorney and prepare to mortgage your house.
For a 128kbs or 192kbps stream with 100 to 150 slots $5 to $12 a month. Stream Licensing $110 to $200 a month.
So then, grand total on an online hobby music station cost from $115 to $205 per month? To me that sounds crazy.
But if you stream only royalty free or Creative Commons music, or talk only programing, then your total cost is only $5 to $12, correct?
Yes correct. I can get you a good deal on Shoutcast hosting if you need it I am a shoutcast reseller hit me up Skype DJboutit
One more think is if your server for your shoutcast or icecast is outside the us then you do not know have to follow US licensing laws.
Listen2MyRadio, a free stream hosting service located in Isreal, has servers located in the US and out of the country. You can choose which to use.
Since your source stream originates here, are we sure using an out of country host server skirts the licensing laws?
Charter Member - Association of Low Power Broadcasters
Member Station - ALPB
Define "royalty free". A song someone wrote who has either put it in the public domain or creative commons (depending on the CC class it's been put into). OK. Is the performance then also royalty free? e.g. the person who wrote it, recorded it, and then put that performance in the PD or CC. What if someone else records it? this often happens with PD and CC music, specifically as the performer does not need to pay royalties. However, HIS performance/recording may very well NOT be PD or CC. In which case SoundExchange woujld have to be paid.
Remember, any PD song performed by someone would still require payment to the performer which is what SoundExchange pays. e.g. any calssical music. You play a cover version of Braham's Lullabye performed by Bob Dylan or the Boston Symphony Orchestra, even though the SONG is PD the performance isn't. If I sing it, and you play it, I still own the copyright of my sound recording, and can stop you from playing it or demand payment for it. Not to mention that ANY performer can join SoundExchange at any moment. My performance may have been clear for you to use, but if I sign up for SoundExchange anyone who plays my singing of a PD song now owes me a royalty through SE.
So you need a PD or CC song, performed by a performer is also declares their performance to be PD or CC and who never joins SoundExchange or ever licenses any of the songs they wrote.
But yes, streaming itself is very inexpensive. Copyright for material to stream is not.
Keep in mind a "hobby music station" has the same potential to reach thousands if not millions of people just the same as a commercial streaming station. Look at all the silly Youtube videos that have gone viral with millions of views, done by someone just recording something on a whim. The same thing can happen with a music stream. Especially if you're actually streaming something worthwhile and a few right "key" people hear about it.
Also note that it's VERY easy for the rightsholders to find and check your stream. I work in commercial broadcast radio, and we also stream. Most of our songs played come out of the computer and the necessary data is provided to the streaming company tha tprovides what's been played. But I regularly play some vinyl on the show that the computer doesn't know about. We get notified every now and then from SoundExchange that they heard us play "X" song on such and such date and time but it wasn't on our computer generated log. Oops. I actually have to write down everythinng I play that doesn't come out of the computer and our PD enters the data manually into our music logs. They have computers that monitor streams -- t housands of them per minute - and song identifying software that kows what you're playing (think Shazzam only more sophisticated).
Lots of details...
Tim has done an excellent job of detailing many of the variables that make streaming music difficult to be clear headed about when it comes to rights management, and here's yet another caveat...
Tim said that "classical music compositions" are in the public domain, but that's not true of NEW classical music written during the recent copyright period, be it 75-years or whatever it is..
Strange as it sounds, not all classical music is old... it includes music witten for symphonic (acoustical) instruments and thousands of "serious music" composers are fully protected by royalty status.
The rights management departments at symphony orchestras are busy full-time keeping track of which works on their schedules are PD and which require filing papers and paying royalties to perform.
Not even the ALPB knows all there is to know.
I believe that US licensing applies if a stream originates in the US.
If both the server & stream are outside, then I believe that the rules of that country apply.
Our LPFM uses Live365. We pay an anual rate of $948 or $79 a month. Stream rate is 128K and commercial free. Apps for smart phones as well. Support has been excellent.
Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.
It's worth taking note that if you are broadcasting or streaming Creative Commons licensed songs on your station, you are required to give attribution. e.g. you can't just let the songs play. Title and artist needs to be given, and it's also required that you state the music is licensed under Creative Commons and you need to provide a link to the license online or in your broadcasts.
You just can't grab the songs and play them. There ARE some requirements to fulfill your end of the deal to use the CC license.
Like anything else there are going to be some gray areas. But attribution is necessary. As I see it, if you broadcast the title and artist with the song, and have some sort of announcement that plays now and then indicating that you station is using music licensed through Creative Commons and including their website in the announcement, and also have a link on your station website, etc you've upheld the intent of the license.
The creators make their content available to you inexchange for you telling the listeners who and what they are enjoying, rather than making you pay them money.
Upon considering Tim's post about Creative Commons Attributions KDX has decided to review our entire method of observing licensing requirements of all types.
For an example, when we have done a half-hour program containing some of this and some of that, we have often made attribution announcements collectively at the start or end of the program. But perhaps this isn't a right way of doing it. Maybe the attribution message needs to go directly with the song or sound-clip being attributed.
Another layer of concern... even if a station is paying for royalty coverage, that payment only covers the copyrights represented within the stream agreement, and will not include material under other licensing schemes such as Creative Commons, which must be dealt with separately by the station.
We will need to go over our entire schedule item by item to ensure compliance in all areas. This could take a year.
"We will need to go over our entire schedule item by item to ensure compliance in all areas. This could take a year. .."
..or a lifetime.
this is why i gave up my stream too risky to do it illegally and too expensive to do it legally!!!
eventually they will have to lower royalties on streaming or a good number of streaming services will go belly up and terrestrial stations will drop their streams in droves.
Part 15 Engineer
Hindsight is 2020
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