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The Internet Media Music Your Rights Online

Internet Radio May Stream North to Canada 73

Posted by Zonk
from the enjoy-your-soundtracks-eh dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With U.S. copyright royalties threatening to kill Internet radio in the U.S., Michael Geist explains why webcasters considering a move to Canada will find that the legal framework for Internet radio trades costs for complexity. There are two main areas of concern from a Canadian perspective — broadcast regulation and copyright fees. The broadcast side is surprisingly regulation-free, but there are at least three Canadian copyright collectives lining up to collect from Internet radio stations."
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Internet Radio May Stream North to Canada

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just gotta make sure that 33% of your music is from Canadian artists. Enjoy :D
    • by CheeseburgerBrown (553703) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:41PM (#18683139) Homepage Journal
      Actually, it's a sliding scale depending on the genre. While jazz and classical might have to keep over 40% of the content Canadian, pseudo-American pop music by Canadian artists need take up only 25% of the valuable airtime otheriwse devoted to truly American pop pseudo-music.

      Ahem.

      Avante-garde Brazilian elevator music, to take another example, has a special exemption that requires only 2% of the material aired be produced or mixed in Canada. John Cage performances are required to have only an 8% Canadian quality to the street noise that fills in the silences.

      Also, for some reason, Hip Hop from Quebec counts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kristoph (242780)
      If only you RTFA you would know that internet only radio stations are exempt from Canadian content minimums.

      ]{
  • Not me! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:05PM (#18682733) Homepage Journal
    My internet radio station will be broadcasting from Nigeria... just think of the fund-raising possibilities!
    • by sunwukong (412560)
      Better keep your contacts back here just in case you need help to move your money back in a hurry.
  • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:06PM (#18682751)
    One of my favorite internet stations is Industrial/Techno http://ebm-radio.de/ [ebm-radio.de] and is hosted out of Germany. I would suspect they have little RIAA music as it is, but couldn't you just find a hosting company in another nation? Sweeden perhaps?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Getting a minimum 128K uplink with QOS across the pond for signal relay is not for the faint of heart, or the non-commercial of budget. This is why Canada is a much preferrable option for many US-based webcasters.

      At the risk of repeating what may have been said already:
      http://www.saveourinternetradio.com/ [saveourinternetradio.com] - Bless you, Radio Paradise for leading the charge!

      I'd bless NPR for fighting this as well, but the fact is that NPR's opposition to third-channel adjacency rules in the Low-Power FM legal tussles of 199
    • Indeed, my synthpop radio [mirrorshades.org] station (plug!) is similar in scope, playing mostly things from non-RIAA labels and independant artists. I, too, have my server hosted in Germany, and the RIAA can kiss my ass. There isn't a place for people to get darkwave, ebm, futurepop type stuff from conventional radio, and net radio is often the only place to turn, outside the drunken haze of a gothic nightclub.

      The thing is, there ain't no Benjamens in doing this; I, like most other webcasters, shell out our own money for our own servers or bandwidth or services like live365.com, and we do it for fun and for love of the music. So far as I know, "terrestrial" stations aren't required to pay royalties in the same way, so why are we?
    • by DriveDog (822962)
      Why not the Bahamas or Mexico or some other place in Central America or the Caribbean? I realize that many don't have the infrastructure and/or connectivity, but some surely do...?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    DMCA has safe-harbor provisions, right? So why not let people upload songs, queue them, and then randomly stream the queue? Technically, wouldn't the RIAA have to file complaints against each file?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > DMCA has safe-harbor provisions, right? So why not let people upload songs, queue them, and then randomly stream the queue? Technically, wouldn't the RIAA have to file complaints against each file?

      We could call it "YouPod". And Google could buy it for a billion dollars. And dollar-for-dollar, lawyer-for-lawyer, the YouTube DMCA lawsuit is a fair fight.

      The problem is that after Google wins the YouTube/DMCA battle, the MAFIAA will simply buy a new law, DMCA2, on the grounds that the DMCA is obsole

  • Already did that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TwistedTR (443315) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:14PM (#18682829)
    About 3 years ago the shoutcast stream i'm affiliated with ETN.FM moved everything up to Canada, and got ourselves declared as a not for profit organization. Since this is just a hobby and no one is making cash from it, it afforded us a greater ammount of legal protection than we could ever hope to receive inside the US. There was some problems gaining the non-profit status, but it wasn't too difficult.
  • Stop the madness! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i_like_spam (874080) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:15PM (#18682859) Journal
    Moving to Canada, an offshore rig or Timbuktu is not a solution.

    Let's stop this madness.

    Write your Congressional representative. [ipetitions.com]
    Save the Streams. [savethestreams.org]
    • On the contrary. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:43PM (#18684911) Homepage Journal
      There is nothing that politicians respond to more than cold, hard cash. Unions are maybe the next most potent weapon, as collective power IS power. Most geeks and enthusiasts don't have the former and have rejected the latter. (Idiots.) With nothing to back up any protest and with no meaningful influence, you can write all you want and all it'll do is occupy some landfills.

      However, a move is something altogether different. Y'see, taxes ARE cold, hard cash. And all those listeners who aren't listening to the commercial stations' advertising? They ARE collective power. No listeners, no advertising revenue, no commercial stations.

      (In England, pirate radio eventually forced the Government to license independent stations for the same reason. People defected in far too large numbers to the likes of Stockports' KFM and the monopoly crumbled from a lack of listeners. Protests never made a difference for the same reason they won't with Internet Radio. The people who need to protest most have made their voice willfully the weakest. It won't get heard. The chink of money, however quiet, will be. A politician can hear a cent coin falling on cotton candy from a thousand paces. Moving is the only voice left. If you don't use that, you've nothing left at all.)

    • So what's to stop the radio stations from relocating in another country? What do you lose? Ok it's ashame that college kids and hackers won't be able to run their own *live* radio shows but as long as somebody's got a station set up surely you'll be able to pipe them some content? This here new fangled internet thing works further than you can shout you know. In the same way that here in the UK pirate radio stations moved onto ships and moored outside British waters and broadcast from there, why not just mo
    • I give up (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MichPOSDude (681182)
      The real upshot of all this is... I give up. "They" win. My station will never stream again.

      Truth is, everyone can sign all the petitions they want, send all the letters to Congress that they want, but at the end of the day it's still David & Goliath. And I don't like those odds, regardless of how that first David did. I just ran a radio station as a hobby, and it got damned popular for a small-scale, self-financed project. But it's over-regulated and too expensive now.

      Fight "the man" you say? Wh
  • CRTC (Score:5, Funny)

    by Malc (1751) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:15PM (#18682871)
    What? Regulation free? Haven't the Commission for Regulations and Thought Control got anything to say on this matter? Will Americans be happy with receiving minimum Canadian content? Well, I guess they were kind enough to liberate us of Celine Dion (big thanks there guys, it was an honourable sacrifice).
    • Re:CRTC (Score:4, Informative)

      by Scott Tracy (317419) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:29PM (#18683021)
      Any Internet venture is exempt from CRTC regulation, since a 1999 ruling by the commission. It's a very broad exemption too, that's been applied to mobile TV on cell phones, and interactive television. And there's no sign the exemption is going anywhere any time soon. So no Canadian content regulations, and no approval needed to launch an Internet radio station.
      • by jonwil (467024)
        How far does it go?
        Would something like Verizon IPTV count? (because it uses TCP/IP and travels over "the internet" from Verizon's servers to your set top box)

  • by rueger (210566) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @06:21PM (#18682921) Homepage
    ...There are two main areas of concern from a Canadian perspective -- broadcast regulation and copyright fees. The broadcast side is surprisingly regulation-free ...

    Actually it's quite unregulated because the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chose to not regulate Internet broadcasting... back in 1999. [crtc.gc.ca]

    Then again, we're also allowed to say "fuck" on the radio, unlike our American cousins....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm a webcaster from Alaska, you insensitive clod.
    • No you're not. Parts of Alaska are south of Canada.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If I move North to Canada where am I gonna connect my server, up a caribou's ass?
      • parts of canada are north of everything! (if your standing on solid land anyways)
  • Barbados recently won the second (appeal) round of its WTO case against the US for laws prohibiting on-line gambling. This gives Barbados the LEGAL right to take retaliatory measures. Maybe Internet Radio and Pirate Bay can both find a new home?
    • Barbados recently won the second (appeal) round of its WTO case against the US for laws prohibiting on-line gambling. This gives Barbados the LEGAL right to take retaliatory measures. Maybe Internet Radio and Pirate Bay can both find a new home?


      Are you sure it was Barbados? I thought it was Antigua. It wouldn't surprise me if there was more than one country going after the online gambling thing, though...
      • by denissmith (31123) *
        No, you are correct. The story I had read said 'Antigua and Barbuda', several days had passed and I misremembered. Not an excuse for failing to double check. Thank you both for your correction.
  • Socan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by geekmansworld (950281)
    SOCAN and other such organizations take a lot of heat from the digital-anarchy types for collecting performance royalties on behalf of artists. One needs to remember that performance-rights organizations aren't necessarily affiliated with record companies. They're operating on behalf of the artists themselves.

    We'd all like to live in a society where culture is free and ubiquitous. Squeezing greedy record companies out of the equation with modern technology is a no-brainer. But let's not forget that organiza
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm too lazy to read TFA, but the summary says that to escape royalties companies will flee north, where the only problem is the royalties?
  • North? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by punker (320575) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @07:15PM (#18683461)
    Viva el Mexico!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CptNerd (455084)
      So, Wall of Voodoo will just have to change the lyrics a bit:
      I'm on a Mexican (Internet) Radio"...
  • Maybe we'll legally be able to get Pandora now?

    (Pandora has heavy non-US disclaimers, but appears to work just fine north of the border.)
  • Namely, that, in the name of "harmonizing Canadian and American law," Canada will institute a fee schedule worse than ours? Because, then, in the name of "harmonizing Canadian and American law," we would - obviously - need to institute a fee schedule worse than Canada's.

    It would be like an arms race where the participants only hurt themselves... or like the evolution of international copyright law, if you will. OK, yeah, I know what you're thinking. It would be exactly like the evolution of international
  • I once flew to a writer's conference on Canada Council grants, and hearing more Nelly Furtado is allright by me!
  • Copyright killed the internet star

    I don't care who or what you are
    This damn time you've gone too far
    We're gonna create a copyright czar
    This is the way we raise the bar
    cuz Copyright killed the internet star

    Chorus
    • by dotoole (881696)
      Give it ten more years and we'll be singing "The Internet killed the Copyright Whores".
  • Should that not be "stream south from"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @08:21PM (#18684025)
    That's a bad idea. The stream will just freeze and then they'll play hockey on it.
  • If it's internet radio, why would whether it's hosted in US and Canada matter? It's played online anyway right?
  • Oh the irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @04:33AM (#18686353) Homepage Journal
    This is tagged 'blamecanada' yet most of this shit originates from the USA. I'm living/from the USA, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THE REST OF YOU SMOKING? Do you fuckers need a clue-by-four upside your fucking hypocritical heads?
    • Every story with "Canada" in the title gets that stupid tag. I'm really tired of it. It was cute the first 3 times. The subsequent 500 times went from cheesy to frustrating to insulting pretty quickly. If I could omit that one tag somehow I'd do it in a heartbeat.
    • Re:Oh the irony (Score:4, Informative)

      by syntaxglitch (889367) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#18688933)

      This is tagged 'blamecanada' yet most of this shit originates from the USA. I'm living/from the USA, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THE REST OF YOU SMOKING? Do you fuckers need a clue-by-four upside your fucking hypocritical heads?
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the whole point of the blame Canada stuff in South Park to make fun of Americans for not taking responsibility for their own mistakes? I think your perception of irony may be misplaced.
  • The best way to avoid the whole mess is to quit playing industry(read "popular music") copyright material.
    We have open source for a reason.Much music is out there from bands dying to be heard and will release under an openmusic or other GNU-like license.
    Since the Industry(read RIAA,Major labels,Career leeches)has caused this legislation in order to ruin our internet and benefit themselves,let them play with themselves,for themselves till no one is listening but themselves.
    Lose the middleman(Industry) and em

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