WYBF-FM streams broadcasts online despite legal questions

By Paul Williams
September 12, 2002

Steph Mangold

A bill that was signed in 1998 by Bill Clinton, is affecting radio stations that now try to stream their broadcasts on the Internet. Cabrini’s own 89.1 WYBF-FM “The Burn,” and stations like Philadelphia’s 93.3 WMMR-FM, AOL and Yahoo radio all fall under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998. The act was approved on Feb. 21, 2002; despite protest, the bill is still active.

Web streaming is or was the new way that radio stations across the country could gain new listener-ship or continue to have an old listener listening to the same station, even if they are out of the station’s range. No matter the size or financial status of the station, any station could reach any listener with an Internet connection.

The act was presented after the Recording Industry Association of America discovered that the streaming of radio broadcasts could lead to further file sharing, reducing profit. According to www.rice.edu/cb/sos, the Copy-right Arbitration Royalty Panel filed a report based on the findings of the RIAA. The DMCA demands that radio stations streaming take responsibility. The act, according to Will Robedee, general manager of KTRU-FM at Rice University and webmaster of a website, www.rice.edu/cb/sos, which tracks the legal issues regarding the act, said, “There are three areas that are problematic for web casters. The three are: royalty fees, record keeping requirements and determining the amount of listeners per hour.”


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