Licensing

copyright-lawWe take the headache out of broadcasting. Some have questions that we will try to answer here. However, if you need further clarification or have a special request, please contact our friendly support department (support@sonixcast.com) and they will gladly help you.

Let’s start by going over what we do for you…

On paper, SoniXCast is the legal owner of all internet radio stations hosted within our network in Canada which falls under the jurisdiction of the collection society SOCAN. We submit all the reports to SOCAN and make sure that they stay warm and fuzzy. This saves you the headache of dealing with the ever changing legal climate, ensures your station is properly registered and licensed at all times and essentially eliminates radio pirating. In other words: You worry about broadcasting and we help keep you legal.

But there are some limitations and restrictions…

Our umbrella license with SOCAN, like any other license, is limited to the music streamed from our network only. It doesn’t protect you if you use a third party streaming service or share songs with others. We do not allow stream relaying for this reason. Each country has its own laws when it comes to file sharing and they apply to wherever you currently prop your feet. The same applies to what you say during your broadcast. Local liability laws apply, meaning you could find yourself in front of an pitchfork touting angry mob if you go off on a rant or play music that is not allowed or is offensive.

Remember that your radio station is hosted in Canada and that it is legally Canadian. You should state this in any public venue (on your website, in blogs, on social media, at concerts) otherwise your local royalty collection society might feel neglected and come looking for a handout. They can get real nasty, so don’t ever think they won’t. We don’t require that you say your radio is Canadian, but it would be a safe bet if anyone asks. Besides: Canada is a cool multi-lingual country where you can broadcast in any language you like (Space aliens are Welcome!)

Play what you want…

If you can find it on iTunes, then you can usually play it! We, through our partnerships, have affiliate agreements with almost every collection society worldwide which covers the royalty collection of just about every song ever recorded. Creative Commons/Open Source licensing is also supported and we have a waiver system in place for unregistered titles. Perfect for those who would like to syndicate their Live broadcasts. But when in doubt contact our support department for help. Click here to read the full list of affiliate partnership agreements we have with other nations and collection societies.

Is SoniXCast legal everywhere?

Yup! Since SoniXCast owns the radio station and it is located in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the collection agency SOCAN which has affiliate agreements with collection agencies in every country. This essentially eliminates the quandary of radio pirating. There are no Canadian laws to restrict in which country our broadcast can be heard and we know of no country currently blocking our broadcasts, so your radio station can be heard around the world! SOCAN is pretty good with their record keeping and they put out regular annual reports. Want to see if the collection society in your country is a partner? Check it out here: http://www.socanannualreport.ca/overview/

Can I advertise my radio any way I like?

Yup! Pretty much. We retain ownership of the technical aspects of the radio only (streaming service, networking, registration). Everything else like your radio branding, logo, marketing and so on is yours. We recommend that you make it understood that your radio is hosted in Canada. It wouldn’t hurt to put the SOCAN logo on your website, just to let everyone know you are properly licensed and it would make us super happy if you would put our logo on your site :-). You might also want to check into our affiliate program.

Are there any song restrictions?

Nope. Some countries have music blacklists (Germany for example), but that doesn’t apply to us. We generally don’t care what you play as long as you understand that if you anger the local citizens, you could be held liable. There are no song repetition restrictions either. If you want to setup a stream repeating the word “Duh” all day long, you can do that. Perfect for Musicians who want to showcase their music non-stop.

Can I make money with my radio?

Yup! Knock yourself out. We are only concerned with the music you play. But keep in mind that some local collection societies may require you pay additional fees or that you register if you make radio your business. And you have to pay your local taxes on any income that you make. Best is to contact our support department before you go hog wild.

What is AnyCastIP?

AnyCastIP is our patented network which basically sits on top of the Internet and ensures that your broadcast is heard with the same audio/video quality regardless of where the listener is located. Developed in conjunction with Sony in 2006, AnyCastIP uses variable bitrate (vbr), compression and existing media routing technologies to convert media streams for optimized delivery to cell phones, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles…essentially anything that connects to the internet and can playback media streams. In 2011 Samsung, Microsoft, General Motors (Bose), Roku and Rock-Ola began using white label implementations of AnyCastIP, so if you listen to the radio in your car, on your Xbox or Playstation, chances are you’re listening through AnyCastIP.

Do I need a Dial-up Stream?

Absolutely not. What a waste. AnyCastIP compresses and distributes the output of your stream server to 24 globally located network nodes simultaneously at variable bitrates (vbr). Listeners connect to the nearest node and receive audio data optimized for their connection. Variable, read ahead buffering ensures that the stream starts with little or no delay and media optimized routing ensures quick ping backs to your stream queue. Way to technical? Essentially AnyCastIP ensures your stream sounds the same regardless of where you are on the world and regardless of connection speed. So, no Dial-up stream needed.

What is SoniXFM.com?

SoniXFM is a radio directory service developed by request from partners Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. It sports a modern browser interface and has many built-in features for radio broadcasters including seamless social networking integration, integration with 3rd party aggregators like iTunes, Tunein or Dirble, Radio Station profile webpages much like facebook with vanity domain support. And the list goes on… Currently in alpha, a working proof of concept was released in 2014 and we hope to have a beta version completed this year.

What is BoomBox?

BoomBox is our community driven radio automation and service control panel built from the ground up to work on all devices sporting such features as full service configuration management, file management, track and tag editing, playlist configuration, clocks-based program management (coming soon), global playlists, live broadcasting through the browser and much, much more. Check out the BoomBox relevant articles on this site for more information.

How is SoniXCast better than other Stream Hosters?

Well first of all we’re full service. Other stream service providers do not offer broadcast licensing whatsoever, our network is more reliable and faster by using existing and patented technologies to ensure your station sounds as good to everyone else as it does in your headphones. But more importantly, we’re community driven. Every customer has a say about how we build our products, software and platform giving users a direct hand in defining the future of Webcasting.

Have more questions? Check out our user forum on the subject licensing or contact us at support@sonixcast.com

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