There's finally a new update on how things are going, however it isn't a pleasant one.
While everything is working well on the technical front, there are serious problems on the judicial side. Free Metal Radio is based in Germany, where the rights of musicians are (supposedly) managed by an organization called GEMA. GEMA collect royalty fees from everyone who's publically playing or broadcasting the music of their "clients", usually artists signed with major labels, so pretty much every band or musician you'll usually listen to.
Free Metal Radio's concept is to play music that isn't managed in such a way, so the music is actually free for everyone to play, download, spread and broadcast as they wish. GEMA can't prohibit that, however, the so-called "GEMA Vermutung" has been established, that requires those who play, broadcast or generally share music publicly to prove that they do not need to pay fees for said music (if they don't already do so). Yes, it's actually "in dubio pro reo" ("when in doubt, for the accused") reversed: Those who are accused of infringing copyrights of artists or their respective labels have to proof that they did not in fact do that.
So as we plan to run a radio station that actually plays music, however not managed by GEMA, we constantly have to be able to prove beyond doubt that we're not infringing copyrights. Sadly, it isn't as simple as jotting down every single song played into a great log.
Until either the GEMA Vermutung is revoked or we figure out a waterproof way of accounting for every second of air time, there's no way Free Metal Radio can be opened to the public - our first big goal.
If we can figure this out, however, there is another problem that needs to be solved. Up until now, we looked for music in a sort of naive fashion, writing emails to bands and artists that appeared to be unsigned and made awesome music (of which there are a lot!), asking them if we could play their music on our radio. Most of them were really excited about the opportunity and fully agreed.
Imagine, however, that one of these bands rises to be a great commercial success; such a thing might result in them revoking their permission without notifying us. In case claims are made against us in such a case, we'd only have a written aproval via email, which could easily have been faked. There is also always the possibility that someone claims someone else's music as their own; their permission to play the music would be entirely worthless.
This means that before Free Metal Radio is ready to go, we also need to consult with a lawyer and have him or her create a model contract that protects us from such claims (without of course generally prohibiting the withdrawal of an artists permission for us to play their music).
So the way ahead is a long one and we might never reach its end. But believe us, we're trying.
Thanks for your support!
Daniel // Free Metal Radio