Radio stations and internet streaming question

Every day I listen to a local radio station over the internet. Today, I was greated by this message:

Just what is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? Why is this station forbidden from streaming today? Why can this same station play Elton John songs on their internet-only “album cuts” station?

I don’t get it.

My guess is that the station did not create the program, but bought it from a distributor. And under the license from the distributor, the station could play the program only within the station’s local broadcast market. Playing it over the Internet would in effect being playing it for a national, or international, market. The rate for a performance license for a syndicated program is based partially on the market’s listenership.

WDRV is free to create, broadcast, and stream its own program about Elton John.

…Or perhaps this “Artist Portrait of Elton John” program included album sides. TTBOMN, radio stations are not allowed stream their signal when they play full sides of an album. Thursday’s between 8-9PM on’s stream, their ‘CD Of The Week’ program with Corny O’Connell is blacked out entirely. I opresume it’s due to a regulation within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent piracy (i.e. recording the digital program and copying it).

Pesronally, in your instance, I wouldn’t complain. Anything that exceeded a 1/2 hour of Elton John music would send me out searching for long screwdriver to gouge out my eardrums

I don’t think that’s it. When they do the artist of the day, it just means they play two songs in a row by that artist every hour or so (not album sides or anything like that). The DJs also give some trivia tidbits and such. Besides, last week they streamed the artist of the week.

Oh, I’m not complaining, too much Reg Dwight is never a good thing. :smiley:

I’m just curious about this whole Digital Millennium Copyright Act thing.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Truthfully, it had nothing to do with the millennium, but the title had a pretentious ring to it.

Title IV has to do with webcasting of sound recordings on the Internet:

Translation: broadcasts are exempt from performance licensing, but webcasts are not. The radio station needed to get a performance license for its webcast. Apparently the royalty rates for Elton John songs were not amenable to them.

Royalty payments for web or terrestrial broadcast are flat; they don’t vary by artist. (I’d look up a cite, but it’s in a mind-numbing 40±page contract BMI makes you sign.)

I’m guessing that either that station doesn’t have a webcast contract with whichever of the three agencies represents Elton John or the distributor of the program denied a webcast license. This often happens when a program is to be distributed to more than one station. The distributor might grant webcast exclusivity to a handful of stations to keep the competition down. Meanwhile, everyone else has to pound sand.