Licensing FAQ

We take the headache out of broadcasting.

Many licensing questions are answered here. However, if you need further clarification or have a special request, please contact our friendly support department (support@sonixcast.com) and they will gladly help you.

Let’s start by going over what we do for you…

On paper, SoniXCast is the legal owner of all internet radio stations hosted within our broadcast network in Canada which falls under the jurisdiction of the collection society SOCAN. We submit all the reports to SOCAN and make sure that they stay warm and fuzzy. This saves you the headache of dealing with the ever changing legal climate, ensures your station is properly registered and licensed at all times and essentially eliminates radio pirating. In other words: You worry about broadcasting and we help keep you legal.

But there are some limitations and restrictions…

Our umbrella license with SOCAN, like any other license, is limited to the music streamed from our broadcast network only. It doesn’t protect you if you use a third party streaming service or share music files with others. We do not allow stream relaying for this reason.

Each country has its own laws when it comes to file sharing and they apply to wherever you currently prop your feet. The same applies to what is spoken during your broadcast. Local liability laws apply, meaning you could find yourself in front of a angry pitchfork touting mob if you go off on a offensive rant or broadcast music that is blacklisted or considered offensive in your country.

Your Radio is legally Canadian.

Station Operators should make this fact abundantly clear. Otherwise your local royalty collection society might feel slighted and come knocking, looking for a handout. They can get real nasty and don’t ever think they won’t. We don’t require that you say your radio is Canadian, but it would be a safe bet if anyone asks.

Play what you want…

If you can find it on iTunes, then you can probably broadcast it! SOCAN has affiliate agreements with almost every collection society worldwide which covers the royalty collection of just about every song ever recorded. Read the full list of affiliate partnership agreements.

Creative Commons/Open Source licensing is also supported and we have a waiver system in place for unregistered titles. Perfect for those who would like to syndicate their Live broadcasts or Musicians who wish to showcase their, yet, unregistered works.

Is SoniXCast legal everywhere?

Yup! Since we own the radio station and it is located in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the collection agency SOCAN which has affiliate agreements with collection agencies in every country. This essentially eliminates the quandary of radio pirating.

There are no Canadian laws to restrict in which country our broadcast can be heard and we know of no country currently blocking our broadcasts, so your radio station can be heard around the world!

SOCAN is pretty good with their record keeping too and they put out regular annual reports. Want to see if the collection society in your country is a partner? Check it out here: http://www.socanannualreport.ca/overview/

Can I advertise my Radio?

Yup! Pretty much. We retain ownership of the technical aspects of the radio only (streaming service, networking, registration). Everything else like your radio branding, logo, marketing and so on is yours. We highly recommend that you make it understood that your radio is hosted in Canada. And it wouldn’t hurt to put the SOCAN logo on your website, just to let everyone know you are properly licensed.

Are there any song restrictions?

Nope. Some countries have music blacklists (Germany for example), but that doesn’t apply to us. We generally don’t care what you play as long as you understand that if you anger the local citizens, you could be held liable. There are no song repetition restrictions either. If you want to setup a stream repeating the word “Duh” all day long, you can do that. Perfect for Musicians who want to showcase their music non-stop.

Can I make money with my radio?

Yup! Knock yourself out. We are only concerned with the music you play. But keep in mind that some local collection societies may require you pay additional fees or that you register if you make radio your business. And you have to pay your local taxes on any income that you make. Best is to contact our support department before you go hog wild.

What about Live Venues?

That’s where you have to be informed. Our license covers digitally streamed content only and in some countries, additional licensing may be required in order broadcast to the public. Normally (like in the US) additional licensing is required by the promoter or business owner. Not the station operator (you), but in this instance it pays to be informed and contact support beforehand.

What is AnyCastIP™?

AnyCastIP is our patented global network infrastructure which ensures that your broadcast is heard with the same audio/video quality regardless of where a listener is located.

Developed in conjunction with Sony in 2006, AnyCastIP uses a variety of compression and routing technologies to propagate stream data optimized for delivery to cell phones, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles… essentially anything that connects to the internet and can playback media streams.

Do I need a Dial-up Stream?

Absolutely not. What a waste. Essentially AnyCastIP™ ensures your stream sounds the same regardless of where one is in the world or what one listens with. So, no Dial-up stream needed.

What is SoniXFM™?

SoniXFM is a radio station directory service and popularization platform (much like shoutcast.com or xiph.org) white labeled by Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. Other aggregation service providers like Roku, iTunes and Amazon.com also use SoniXFM™ to provide quality radio content to their customers.

SoniXCast customers, regardless of which control panel they use, are automatically listed on SoniXFM™ and pushed out to our partners who then provide content to their listeners. At the time of writing, the last theoretical count of potential listeners for SoniXCast Radio Stations was at about 147 million (based upon reported music consumers provided by individual providers and platforms).

What is BoomBox™?

BoomBox is our radio automation and service control panel for professional and terrestrial radio stations. Check out the BoomBox™ relevant articles on this site for more information.

What is CentovaCast?

CentovaCast is a Radio Automation Control Panel by Centova Technologies Inc. (also Canadian eh?) developed for Hobbyists, Webcasters and Small Radio Stations and is offered as a low cost alternative to BoomBox. Read more about CentovaCast here: http://www.centova.com/en/cast

How is SoniXCast better?

‘Better’ is subjective. And it is not in our mantra to comment on other businesses. However, SoniXCast is not just a stream hoster and we offer technologies, products and services found nowhere else.

For Professionals: You benefit from years of experience (founded in 2006) in the branch, a rock solid, highly available global broadcast network, comprehensive licensing, an ever growing network of content aggregators and consumers, cutting edge developer tools and a responsive, highly trained, support team.

For Webcasters and Hobbyists: You inherently benefit from many of the services and technologies provided to professionals. Many stream hosting providers do not offer comprehensive broadcast licensing whatsoever nor do they offer built-in popularization of your Radio Content. Your true listener counts will go up, because your radio is more available and much more popular.

Have more questions? Check out our user forum on the subject licensing or contact us at support@sonixcast.com