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Radio 35 CC Avoids Performance Fees

Italian station plays only music released under ‘copyleft’ or Creative Commons licenses

With the beginning of 2011, Milan, Italy-based webcaster Radio 35 has adjusted its name to Radio 35 CC to reflect its new focus on music released under a Creative Commons copyright license.

“I have decided not to renew licenses with [Italian music performance-rights organizations] SIAE and SCF,” said Station Manager Roberto Bocchetti, “because they have become too expensive and they have added so many clauses to the contract, that I consider to be too limiting for Web radio stations such mine, which are non-commercial and no-profit.”

Instead, Bocchetti decided to offer only music released under Creative Commons and copyleft licenses.

Creative Commons licenses allow content creators to specify specific licensing conditions for use of their content. For example, they may require attribution and may specify that no derivative works may be created from the content, or they may require that it be used only in a non-commercial context. Copyleft is a similar, albeit less formally structured, alternative to traditional copyright licenses.

“It has been difficult for me to get used to the idea, but when I started looking for songs to be added to our playlists, I found so many independent artists with good songs, which are even better of those distributed by the record majors,” Bocchetti said.