Online radio copyright query

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
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sarah_h
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Online radio copyright query

Post by sarah_h » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:15 am

A local DJ did a number of interviews with musicians during the early 1990s. He arranged the interviews and broadcast them on a local radio station although he actually recorded the shows himself and his recordings were the ONLY recordings of these interviews.

The radio station that the interviews were played out on was a charitable concern that had a temporary RSL 28 day licence to play music and help raise money for charity. The radio station still does a yearly 28 day broadcast.

The DJ who arranged, carried out and recorded these interviews has asked me first to digitise these recordings for him and has given explicit permission to use the recordings in whatever way I want and has also given me explicit permission to replay the interviews on my online radio station so it can be heard by as many people as possible.

There is no copyright notice or anything referring to that within the recordings themselves.

The nature of the radio station is that it is never likely to want to revive these interviews and furthermore they have no idea they ever existed.

My question is ...... bearing in mind the radio station the interviews where played out on is not a commercial company or concern does the radio station have any claim to copyright on these recordings if I played them out on another online radio station? I would edit all references out to the original radio station when replayed (such as jingles and station IDs).

Thank you in anticipation. Sarah

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:20 pm

Hi Sarah,
There are two separate forms of copyright at play here. Copyright in a sound recording is owned by the producer (section 9(3)(aa) CDPA), and the producer is defined as (section 178) "producer, in relation to a sound recording or a film, means the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the sound recording or film are undertaken". The second form of copyright is in the broadcast itself, where the copyright belongs to the broadcaster (section 9(3)(b) - see earlier link to section 9). The copyright in the sound recording lasts for 70 years from the year in which it was made or if its is published or made available to the public during that period, then 70 years from that later event. Broadcasts are only protected for 50 years from first transmission.
On the basis of what you have told us, the DJ owns the copyright in these interview recordings (less jingles or station idents included in the original broadcast) and he may authorise you* to use them in whatever way he wishes. Your re-broadcasting of these interviews will not infringe the copyright in the earlier broadcast because yours will contain none of the technical attributes of the first broadcast (ie you will not have recorded off-air and then re-transmitted it). You will then own the broadcast copyright in your transmission.


*I suggest it would be prudent to get his permission in writing. This is termed a licence. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, but it protects you if there should be problems between you and him at a later stage. If the permission is being given without payment in return, this should be stated in the licence document. A producer has several 'rights' in a case like this, including how often and where his recording may be transmitted, and whether you may issue sub-licenses, that is to say allow other people to use these recordings, and if so, for what purposes. Without a written licence you could find it difficult to protect your own broadcast copyright, should it be necessary.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

sarah_h
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Post by sarah_h » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:21 pm

Thank you so much for the detailed reply and that does indeed clarify the situation. One of the interviews for interest is with Roger Daltrey of The Who and many are interested in hearing this since the recording has been sitting in his loft of magnetic tape all those years.
All of the station idents have been cleared from the interview along with any references to the station...as indeed have the adverts.
Fortunately I know the DJ very well and he has given me permission to use this in an email although I think will ask him to sign a more formal declaration of permission.
Again thank you for your reply. :D

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