Streaming online radio in videogame

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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mnghz37
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Streaming online radio in videogame

Post by mnghz37 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:09 am

Hello,

I would like to ask for your advice in regards to licensing of online radio streams.

There is a following situation:

My company makes a video game and we would like to implement access to online radio station in it so players can launch it during gameplay.

We have contacted an internet radio station that we're interested in and they have no problem with us implementing access to their service. They also advised that licenses are covered by PRS and PPL.

The question is:

Does it fully resolve any copyright issues? Shouldn't our company pay additional license for making it available to play during gameplay? Basically our role here involves only providing access to the online stream, it is not an official soundtrack.

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AndyJ
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Re: Streaming online radio in videogame

Post by AndyJ » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:02 am

Hi mnghz37

I'm not clear about why you want to do this, but that probably doesn't matter too much. If you are merely providing a link to the online radio service which then streams directly to your user's device without any hosting or caching on your server(s) which is/are running any part of the game, then you shouldn't need any extra licences because you are not providing the stream, and the radio service is already licensed to do that. This is, in essence, what the Court of Justice of the European Union has said in several recent decisons, the most recent being GS Media.

If you do host or cache any of the stream, that introduces a different dynamic, since you would effectively become a broadcaster and would need to be licensed. I won't go into that now a) because it is very complicated, and b) because from your question, it doesn't sound like that is what you propose to do.

However whenever the music industry are involved in issues over the use of their product, you can expect a certain amount of complaint if the major record labels feel they are missing out on another revenue stream! You may get some pushback. So you might want to confirm my opinion with your own lawyer to whom you can provide full details about your methodology.
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

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