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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 39045
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Entertainment Law Hi! Dear Attorney, My business company

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Entertainment Law:

Hi! Dear Attorney,

My business company name is "TuneFind", an Online information service company based in California. It is a 501(c)(3) public service company, and it has just implemented audio streaming server on the Company's web site recently. The streaming server works at 24/7, 24 hours 7days, so I can make it into a tiny Web radio station. What is the most cautious thing on which I should pay attention. First of all, my company should ask permission of the streaming contents if they are copyrighted materials, of course. I guess, the answers will be all different, depend on the copyright owners. Some may ask royalty fee, some may ask courteous citation of acknowledgment, or some may ask just go ahead. These answers are from my company's previous experience with graphics or texts under copyrighted. Do I understand correctly?

Sincerely, Customer (username here)
There are two dangers, in my view.

1. Streaming defamatory material. Congress originally passed legislation that prevented internet service providers from being sued for republishing defamatory material on the web (47 U.S.C. Sec. 230(c)) . For example, if a user comes on your website and posts a false statement that someone else committed a crime, under traditional law, the ISP could be held liable for defamation. However, federal law prohibits this outcome, unless the ISP actively participates in authoring the defamatory statements.

When this legislation was passed, no one was thinking about streaming websites. So, now the question is whether or not a website that streams content and inadvertantly publishes false statements by doing so, is liable for defamation. The reason why it's up in the air is because you are not posting on your website anymore -- you're transmitting the information horizontally across te internet.

Until someone is sued and a court decides -- or Congress modifies the law, you are at some risk of being liable for defamantion if someone manages to provide you with content that defames someone else, and you do not use due care to ensure that your stream is free of this defamatory content.

2. Third-party copyright infringement. Streaming content produced by a party with whom you have a license, does not protect you against that party's use of copyrigh protected material from some third-party that did not license content to the party from whom you licensed content.

The normal "takedown" process contemplated by the Digital MIllenium Copyright Act did not consider one-time internet broadcasts. And, while a website like can make use of takedown procedures, because the video remains unchanged, it's pretty near impossible for a person to demand that you stop broadcasting something wher you do not maintain a searchable link to the content, and you only broadcast the stream one time. So, this too, can lead to an unexpected problem, for which the only real protection may be general liability insurance...which, of course, also means spending considerable money on premiums.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi! I have two simple questions for now.

What does a jargon "takedown" means? May I have alternative explanation of "takedown" in some plain words or additional example?

Should I better read some part of "the Digital MIllenium Copyright Act". If yes, where should I pay attention, for example section number etc.?

Thanks so much.

Here is a link to the copyright notice procedure (aka "takedown"). It is an excellent model of how a content provider can avoid liability for inadvertant copyright violuations. The actual law is found at 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512(c) and a discussion can be found in this discussion, on page 11 (Limitations on Information...).

Let me know if you need further clarification.
socrateaser and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I see,

Thank you very much. You are an expert attorney, making me aware of the most essential things. Thanks. Customer