The War on Radio

The untimely demise of the US/Canadian Stream Hosting Provider TorontoCast (torontocast.com) at the hands of the US performance rights organization SoundExchange is the latest in a long list of providers who have been forced out of business or marginalized by an industry on a mission to consolidate content.

It takes Work

Many hosting providers (like TorontoCast) often do not consider that relationships and partnerships should be as diversified as their client base and must go beyond just a single license provider. Understanding that foreign performance rights organizations (PRO’s) may prosecute station members (operators, producers, djs) located within their jurisdiction, if they can’t go after the radio station or hosting provider, is key to protecting ones customers.

Hosting providers should understand that it is not enough to simply license through SOCAN. Much more is required. We’ve made it no secret that Sony and SoniXCast have been partners for many years. Sony IS in large part SoundExchange as they are also largely responsible for DRM. We have spent many years forging relationships with similar PRO’s and Record Labels in many of the worlds countries, building a cooperation and reputation that effectively shields our customers from many of the legal woes experienced elsewhere.

Keep an Eye towards the Future

Listener trends have changed. More and more consumers are moving away from the advertisement filled, monolithic concept of Public Radio for personalized playlists and AI targeted content. Producers are tasked with not only building reputation, but maintaining relevance in an oversaturated market.

We recognize that relevance is as important as reputation and we have been working closely with major content providers like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft (available to BoomBox customers only) to provide high quality content to their massive worldwide user base.

Our unique Global Broadcast Network (likewise only available in BoomBox) forms the backbone of providers like Amazon, iTunes and iHeartRadio as well as device manufacturers like Roku, Microsoft and Nintendo.

We, together with our partners, pioneered the internationally recognized station identification (callsigns in BoomBox only) system. Ensuring that our stations are respected and known to be backed by a serious and legally sound provider.

The War Continues…

Centova Technologies Inc has not released a significant update in many years and users of CentovaCast cannot take part in the protections offered by our more innovative BoomBox platform. Therefore, broadcasters on CentovaCast (regardless if hosted with us or elsewhere) and other legacy platforms can be subject the same substantial personal legal jeopardy as with TorontoCast.

Globalization has made it easier for foreign PRO’s to assert jurisdiction in other nations. Radionomy was effectively banned from opening up shop in the US, StreamLicensing.com was stripped of many of its licensing options and more recently TorontoCast was unable to find a remedy for their legal issues.

The legal landscape around internet broadcasting is complex and ever changing. It pays to be on the cutting edge of technology and legal understanding. Of that we are committed as a company and technology provider.

Torontocast infringes on SoniXCast Patents

To be copied is the best form of flattery. Unless of course it is a wholesale ripoff!

Torontocast.com founded by Simon Cechacek and Ronald Anderson decided to simply copy the SoniXCast broadcast license model (USPTO publication number 77898601) and “BoomBox” software platform (USPTO 6577949, USPTO 6778903 and pending publication USPTO 43338776) and simply make it their own.

Both Simon and Ron were part of the trusted Mag7 support group which supports customers here and in the facebook group “SoniXCast Producers”. Ron was granted limited access to the “BoomBox” source code in order to offer more in depth technical support. Both have since left SoniXCast and had their accesses revoked.

The case could be made to longer entrust customers with offering support to others, but we argue that there is no reason to change a successful concept just because of a couple of bad apples and will continue on with community based support.

We have engaged the services of the law firm White & Case (https://www.whitecase.com) who specialize in worldwide intellectual property infringement cases. Torontocast (and it’s members) has been served electronically and per certified mail with cease and desist orders. We hope that Simon and Ron will take the issue seriously and consider licensing SoniXCast intellectual property going forward as we encourage small business, but not at the cost of our own.

Cease and Desist Ronald Anderson

Cease and Desist Simon Cechacek

Radionomy blocks Live Broadcasting. Peppers Stations with Advertisements.

It’s not like Internet Broadcasters in Europe don’t have enough headaches with out of control performance rights organizations, exorbitant fees and geo-blocking, according to sources at Radionomy (wiki), Live broadcasts are now being blocked for producers from Belgium and Germany and automated broadcasts (Auto-DJ) in general are being peppered with advertisements up to four (4) times an hour!

To re-cap, In March 2016, Radionomy was sued by SoniXCast partner Sony for copyright infringement and the resulting action was to block listeners from many countries (geo-blocking) from tuning in to Radionomy radio stations. The exact list of nations blocked has never been revealed, but according to our sources, Italy, Spain and Germany were the hardest hit.

Radionomy (which bought ShoutCast and Winamp from AOL in 2014) reached it’s peak in the wake of the slow but steady demise of Last.fm (wp) which quietly stopped providing radio services sometime in March 2015 leaving radio producers in a lurch and searching for a provider. At that time SoniXCast was still on the WHMSonic platform which offered very limited radio automation features and producers found themselves wanting spurring the development of their own radio automation software.

In typical Radionomy fashion, no announcement was ever made to radio producers that their Live Broadcast’s would be blocked and that heavy advertising and sign-in intro’s would be introduced. According to sources, only after putting a Radionomy representative on the spot, was it admitted that Radionomy made major changes to their system, network and service agreements. Radionomy has not yet made any official statements.

There were also reports that Radionomy was not deferring broadcasting fees to the Belgian PRO SABAM which may have precipitated the lawsuit from Sony, but this has never been officially substantiated.

Unlike Radionomy, SoniXCast (in business since 2006) defers broadcasting fees through SOCAN which has partnership agreements with almost all worldwide performance rights organizations according to their annual report. SoniXCast remains the official legal owner of all radio stations eliminating the quandary of “pirating” altogether.

All this activity has pushed the development of SoniXCast’s radio automation software BoomBox into overdrive in order to meet demand from producers left with little or no option. Remaining service providers offer no licensing and only basic streaming services.  Now in “Extreme Agil” mode, features and patches are pushed out sometime’s hourly and already exceeds Radionomy’s broadcasting tools in many areas.

Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows

Radionomy is currently suffering extreme network issues according to their facebook page.

Ever wonder why Sonixcast customers never experience such problems? In a word AnyCastIP. Never heard of it huh. Well AnyCastIP is Sonixcast’s patented digital content distribution network which serves as a backbone for all Sonixcast services and works diligently behind the scenes ensuring that broadcasts have the same high quality regardless of where in the world one listens in from. Continue reading “Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows”