[JPL] A DMCA question...

morrison at wduq.org morrison at wduq.org
Wed Jan 5 11:39:04 EST 2011

Chiming in on Tom's request:

- Yes, all the DMCA Performance Complement rules are a pain. This has been going on for many, many years now, so I have no idea why this is an issue now. Maybe because some stations/hosts are just now coming to terms with having to do quarterly playlist/streaming log reports to SoundExchange (via PublicInteractive)? (thankfully, we pubradio folks don't have to do full census 24/7/365 reporting like many webcasters - thank you CPB, NPR and others for fighting for that). Life could be worse. Really.

- These rules apply if your station is streaming broadcasts online. Most stations stream their signals. It is easy to do, and listeners like it. If yours doesn't stream, this doesn't apply to you.

- If your station has it's music royalties for SoundExchange covered by CPB, your station has signed an agreement to adhere to the Performance Complement rules as part of that. It is a legal agreement. CPB is paying money on your behalf. You are not paying that money. Technically, if the rules aren't followed, that is a breach of the agreement and your station could potentially be on the hook to foot it's own music royalties bill.

- ***GOOD NEWS***: there was a bill introduced in the House this Fall to eliminate the Performance Complement. Who knows if/when it will become law, but it's a good start. Keep your fingers crossed. Let your Representatives know about it. http://blog.publicinteractive.com/soundexchange/2010/10/no-more-performance-complement/   There is a link to the Performance Complement text there, too.

- If you are not the station representative who handles quarterly collection/compilation of playlist data for SoundExchange, please don't make life hell for your MD/PD/etc. and complain a lot about restrictions when you are asked to follow them. I promise you that whoever has do to the reports hates dealing with everything much, much more than you. Please don't be mad at them. It's not their fault. Complain to the government. Some of those government-type folks are on your side! (see above link)

The basic DMCA performance Complement airplay restriction rules are below. If you need more explanation, there are many, many pages of documents available online through the SoundExchange and Copyright Office websites. 

If your station doesn't follow things, great for you. There hasn't been much enforcement. Some folks who have ignored the rules have actually received warnings in the past year or so. I don't know if they were on the hook for additional royalties/legal stuff, but it could happen.


DMCA Performance Complement (applies to a THREE HOUR time period)

- no more than 2 songs in a row from a particular cd/album
- no more than 3 songs total from a particular cd/album
- no more than 3 songs in a row from a particular artist
- no more than 4 songs total from a particular artist
- no more than 3 songs in a row from a particular boxed set
- no more than 4 songs total from a particular boxed set

On Jan 4, 2011, at 7:41 PM, TomtheJazzman wrote:

> It may seem useless to you but it says that your prior post of interruption of the regulations is incorrect.  I later posted a comment from Sound Exchange saying that their task was to follow the regulations and not try to figure out how to get around them.
> In general you are not allowed to play more than three selections by an artist during a specified period..I think it is four hours.  Shanna Morrison at WDUQ is the most knowledgeable radio person on this item so maybe she will pitch in.
> This all came about because many stations were FULL TRACKING a complete release so listeners could copy the music and reduce the sales of the music and be a negative to the artist or group.  I never personally thought that was enough of an issue to justify the regulation.
> My way of getting around the regulations, in my mind, is I have sent notes to various labels and promotion people asking them to give me permission to play more than the allowed number of selections to cover myself and our station.  Also if you play something by Dr. Billy Taylor and Marian McPartland I mention it as a Marian track so that I am within the guidelines of three selections.
> You can also do a GOOGLE Search of DCMA to be more knowledgeable of the restrictions and guidelines.
> This is one of the items we regularly visit at the Jazz Summit in Rochester in June which is a good learning experience for radio and artists.
> Hope this helps
> Tom

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