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Classical Music Programming

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Classical Music Programming

I used to produce a program entitled "If It Ain't Baroque..." - the content is pretty self explanatory, (mainly) Baroque music.  One hour in length (well, about 55 minutes to account for station ID's and news at the top of the hour).

In line with my upcoming switchover to all public domain music, I'm going to be reviving the show (although I may change its name), and making it available via the ALPB (whose mandate is to assist low power stations with programming).

The nice thing about classical music programming - the original oldies - is that all the songs are in the public domain (except for some 20th century modern stuff that I don't consider classical anyway).  That means that in the U.S., you can freely play such material on the radio over-the-air.  The actual performances of most available recordings will still be copyrighted, and that means that they cannot be streamed without paying licensing fees.

In Canada, the music, as in the U.S., is also in the public domain (songs are the purvue of SOCAN), but if the recordings were released 1964 or prior, they are in the public domain as well (recordings are the purvue of ReSound).  I plan on using only recordings of this vintage (many of the greatest classical recordings were made prior to the mid 1960s, regardless of later recordings using better technologies), so in Canada, these shows will be entirely in the public domain, and can be freely played over the air or the Internet.  They can even be archived (the purvue of the CMRRA).

In short, in Canada, you will be able to do whatever you want with the shows. The music will be great, but unfortunately, you'll also get my voice - nothing I can do about that, sorry.  It is what it is.

As things come closer to fruition, I'll post updates.

That means that in the U.S.,

That means that in the U.S., you can freely play such material on the radio over-the-air.  The actual performances of most available recordings will still be copyrighted, and that means that they cannot be streamed without paying licensing fees.

In Canada, the music, as in the U.S., is also in the public domain (songs are the purvue of SOCAN), but if the recordings were released 1964 or prior, they are in the public domain as well (recordings are the purvue of ReSound)...

I'm still confused about this.. Partly about which is legal in the Canada as opposed to the US.. But also becuase when I have looked into it, I find that these old recording require permissions from Sony and another company which I forget the name of at the moment, who apparently own the rights. I haven't looked into it deeply, but that's what it seems to say concerning the old classical music at the Library of Congress.

Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..

There are multiple rights to

There are multiple rights to music.

There's the song itself - the creators (music, lyrics if appropriate) own the rights.  In the U.S., anything written before 1922 is in the public domain.

Then there's the performance, or the recording.  In the U.S., there are no public domain recordings.  Everything is copyrighted.

In the U.S., radio stations only pay licensing rights for the song itself.  If the song is in the public domain, then you can freely play it.

Again in the U.S., for streaming, you pay licensing rights for both the song and the performance.  Since there are no public domain recordings (until 2036 or some such date), then you always have to pay a licensing fee.

Canada has much more lenient copyright laws.  Although radio stations and internet stations have to pay licensing rights for both songs and recordings.  Basically, though, any song whose creators have all died prior to 1966 is in the public domain (so 1965 or earlier).  And any recording released prior to 1965 (so 1964 and earlier) is in the public domain.  Canada just strengthened copyright laws in 2015 & 2016, but anything that had already fallen into the public domain is unaffected by these new laws.

Anyway, that's the explanation in a nutshell.  It's why you can play most classical music recordings over-the-air in the U.S. (virtually all songs date back prior to 1922), but you still have to pay the licensing fee for the recordings over the Internet.

Exactly Correct

Artisan is exactly correct. If you're playing classical music over the air in the USA you do not pay licensing.  Remember, over the air radio only pays song WRITERS, not performers. Songs written prior to 1922 are all public domain. Hence, over the air radio in the US pays zero.  However, if you stream then the performers will need to be licensed, through SoundExchange.

Although I have no experience in Canada, I do believe he's also correct there as well.

TIB

Hard to fathom

Hard to imagine that it would have been possible for a couple companies to aquire the rights to all classical music that's in the public domain, in every concievable recorded version.  Far as I know it's not even POSSIBLE to "un-public domain" something. 

TIB

Anyone can claim copyright

Anyone can claim copyright ownership. It's usually not worth fighting, particularly when the claimants have deep pockets. Witness WB's extremely dubious claim that they own the rights to Happy Birthday.

Wrong

No. You simply cannot "claim copyright".  If so, I hereby claim copyright for all songs ever recorded in the USA.  There. They're mine.

BTW, Warner Brothers was sued and LOST and paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in REFUNDS for monies collected for rights to Happy Birthday.

TIB

I was just reading that Elvis

I was just reading that Elvis' manager did not register with music licensing services and Elvis was hosed out of a ton of royalties.

 

Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.  

Actually, anyone can claim

Actually, anyone can claim ownership of anything.  It's done all the time with music.  It's whether it will hold up in court (the ultimate arbitrator) that matters.

I hadn't heard that WB lost that court case about Happy Birthday.  Good for whoever took the time, effort and money to do it (it was a class action lawsuit).  For years, movie production companies deemed it was cheaper, if they wanted to include Happy Birthday in their film, to pay the freight for what WB demanded as opposed to fighting it.  And WB's claim was just that - a claim, with no evidence to back it up.  The melody for Happy Birthday has been in the public domain since 1949, based on a song (Good Morning To All) from the 1800s. It was the status of the lyrics that was in question.

A couple weeks ago I had

A couple weeks ago I had posted over a the ALPB about one night on CBS; The Late Show, Jamie Fox James and Corden performed a public domain medley because he said he couldn't afford to pay the royalties of performing something else. I went ahead and extracted the audio as an mp3 and aired it on my station, but I wasn't actually sure if was legal to so since it came from a CBS broadcast. But based on the information contained in this thread, it appears it is legal to air.. Is that correct? Here's the video I'm taking about: https://youtu.be/bW0E_sncNic

Rich Powers Part15, Take 2..

That was too funny.

That was too funny.

Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.  

The performance would be

The performance would be copyrighted, so you couldn't stream it, but you could certainly broadcast it over the air ( in the U.S. anyway).

Can public domain music be podcasted?

You said that public domain music is good to go "over the air", and streaming costs money (too rich for my blood), but what about played via podcast. The music will still be played on the internet, just not streamed. I'm kinda going backwards from digital to analog...started podcasting in 2011, now I've added Part 15 AM (started testing the ol' Talking House II yesterday)

It's the performance that is

It's the performance that is the problem - there are no performances in the public domain in the U.S.  A specific exemption allows you to broadcast a performance over the radio with no licensing fees, but I doubt that it would be OK in a podcast, unless you received permission from the rights holders (but I'm not a lawyer).

And the licensing bodies are attempting to change that over-the-air performance exemption, with their 'Fair Pay for Fair Play' campaign and bill.

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