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  1. #1
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    Legal? Mp3 streams on websites

    I am wondering if is 100% legal to post mp3 songs on websites as streams (not mp3 downloads) like on myspace (those flash players) and like other sites - mp3.com, pandora.com, jukeboxalive.com and thousand others.
    If yes, I can post as many mp3s as I want on my site so users can listen to them via a flash player without paying any copiryght fees or something?

    This could be really interesting to know.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    You can only do that with the artists' permission. Otherwise it's a no-no.

  3. #3
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    It is definitely, definitely illegal in the UK without a broadcast license from the PRS or, like stymiee says, permission from the artist (assuming the artist can grant that permission, which signed artists cannot because the record company owns the recording, not them). I assume there are similar organisations to the PRS in nearly every country in the world, which will run similar schemes for licensing. You would need to obtain a license local to you, which should cover you for global Internet broadcast rights.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    You can only do that with the artists' permission. Otherwise it's a no-no.
    So all the sites that offer this service on the Internet are illegal? Or they paid thousands of dollars to stream so many mp3s for free to users? If so where do they get the profit from?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    It is definitely, definitely illegal in the UK without a broadcast license from the PRS or, like stymiee says, permission from the artist (assuming the artist can grant that permission, which signed artists cannot because the record company owns the recording, not them). I assume there are similar organisations to the PRS in nearly every country in the world, which will run similar schemes for licensing. You would need to obtain a license local to you, which should cover you for global Internet broadcast rights.
    Yeah, same as allofmp3.com
    Anyway, it's weird to see thousands of huge sites that offer free music streams for users. There must be a catch or something...

  6. #6
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MihaiM
    So all the sites that offer this service on the Internet are illegal? Or they paid thousands of dollars to stream so many mp3s for free to users? If so where do they get the profit from?
    The sites like Pandora have agreements with the RIAA.

    What their business model is I am not exactly sure. You can ask them for more details.

  7. #7
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    It's sure to be advertising revenue - I don't know how much the license costs, but it must be cheap enough to make the money back and some on advertising. Otherwise no one would be doing it. They can't be breaking the law like that - not these days and not based in the US!

    Allofmp3.com appear to be Russian though, so they could simply be not paying any rights and getting away with it. The record companies need local government to be interested before they can prosecute, and I don't think the Russian government could care less!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    The sites like Pandora have agreements with the RIAA.

    What their business model is I am not exactly sure. You can ask them for more details.
    Yes. It's better to be 100% legal.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    It's sure to be advertising revenue - I don't know how much the license costs, but it must be cheap enough to make the money back and some on advertising. Otherwise no one would be doing it. They can't be breaking the law like that - not these days and not based in the US!

    Allofmp3.com appear to be Russian though, so they could simply be not paying any rights and getting away with it. The record companies need local government to be interested before they can prosecute, and I don't think the Russian government could care less!
    Yea, they got legal rights to sell music on-line they don't have't pay too much for them.
    Anyway, it could have been great to offer free mp3 streams.

  10. #10
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    So last.fm is a legal service, too?

  11. #11
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar, but they seem to be sharing Internet radio? In which case, probably, because (and I'm totally guessing here!) people pay a few dollars a month to have their own Internet radio station, thus paying for the license via the people who charge them to host it who will be licensed, thus they don't seem to have any liability, if I'm right here. Looks to me like they just aggregate legitimate online radio stations/podcasts and provide a means for users to search them. Which should be fine.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    I'm not familiar, but they seem to be sharing Internet radio? In which case, probably, because (and I'm totally guessing here!) people pay a few dollars a month to have their own Internet radio station, thus paying for the license via the people who charge them to host it who will be licensed, thus they don't seem to have any liability, if I'm right here. Looks to me like they just aggregate legitimate online radio stations/podcasts and provide a means for users to search them. Which should be fine.
    I am not sure I understand, but they seem to earn lots of money and users listen to any music they want without paying anything.

  13. #13
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MihaiM
    I am not sure I understand, but they seem to earn lots of money and users listen to any music they want without paying anything.
    Who says they're earning lots of money?

    Lots of users does not equal earning lots of money, quite often it means losing large amounts of money (YouTube being the perfect example).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709
    Who says they're earning lots of money?

    Lots of users does not equal earning lots of money, quite often it means losing large amounts of money (YouTube being the perfect example).
    YouTube is a money-making machine: read here
    I don not think that there is a site so big that would not make profit.

  15. #15
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    tke71709 is right, but clearly YouTube is a bad example to cite...

    I wonder if YouTube will get in trouble, Napster-style? They are playing host to TV content from all over the world and could be sued in the same way (e.g. I download all the Top Gear clips I missed on YouTube!)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MihaiM
    YouTube is a money-making machine: read here
    I don not think that there is a site so big that would not make profit.
    Perhaps you should actually take the time to read the article in question rather than just posting it here.

    Nowhere in the article does it state that Youtube is making money.

    From another article that seems more in line with what I've heard about YouTube (http://www.valleywag.com/tech/youtub...die-189535.php)

    It's a money-sucker.

    YouTube's bandwidth cost was estimated at a million bucks a month earlier this year. As the site grows, that cost must rise too, meaning that YouTube has to raise over $12 million a year for bandwidth alone. Add a few million for costs like offices and staff, and YouTube must be eating up a cool $20 mil annually just to stand its group, much less to grow. How long until that cash runs out?

    The money's not rolling in. A YouTube insider says that YouTube's ad revenue goals for July and August are $1 million. In June, the direct sales team brought in $0. The VP of sales is pulling projection numbers out of breathtakingly thin air.
    Or perhaps (http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3382)

    YouTube clearly isn't profitable, but the young company is generating revenue and developing a new ad platform and building out a sales team, Hurley said.

    YouTube may become profitable in the future, but they certainly aren't a "money making machine" at the moment, nor will they be in the near future.

  17. #17
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey

    I wonder if YouTube will get in trouble, Napster-style? They are playing host to TV content from all over the world and could be sued in the same way (e.g. I download all the Top Gear clips I missed on YouTube!)
    Apparently they are extremely quick to remove copyrighted material when they are asked to. So long as they do that they are protected legally.

  18. #18
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709
    Apparently they are extremely quick to remove copyrighted material when they are asked to. So long as they do that they are protected legally.
    Interesting. Obviously the BBC haven't made a complaint. Good!

    BTW, I think the founders of YouTube will be alright, as even if they're struggling to break even at the moment, the big boys seem very interested in grabbing/buying a piece of their market. If I were a betting man, I'd lay odds on the founders being retired in a year or two and YouTube belonging to some corporation or other...


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