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A Fair Use Policy for Metadata and Content

Nick Piggott 6th September 2016

What constitutes fair use of a broadcaster’s metadata and content?

RadioDNS’ technical standards allow broadcasters to provide large amounts of metadata and content to manufacturers, so that they can create a better experience of broadcast radio. It’s a very valuable set of data to be able to add into a receiver.

At our Automotive and Broadcaster Workshop, we discussed the implications of making this data widely available, and agreed that a Fair Use Policy would help create a common understanding on acceptable use. As we’ve got over 80% of radio stations in some European countries providing this data under Project Logo , and more stations launching all the time, now is the time to have the discussion.

We’ve published the first draft version today, and we want you to give us your thoughts – either in this discussion thread or by emailing the project office directly.

Why have a Fair Use Policy?

The fair use policy helps everyone agree a common vision on how metadata and content should be used to improve radio, and also make it easier to agree what misuse looks like.

This isn’t a universal licence or contract document. Broadcasters will still own the rights to their content, and can licence it how they choose. What we hope is that that broadcasters will offer free licences that will work with our Fair Use Policy, and that manufacturers who stick to the Fair Use Policy will be confident that they can get licences from all broadcasters.

The issuing and enforcement of licences won’t be something that RadioDNS gets involved with, but we may play a role in making the licensing process easier for manufacturers.

An Example of Fair Use

Under Project Logo (which the Fair Use Policy encompasses), broadcasters provide 5 logos for each radio station. Radio station logos change, probably more often than some manufacturers realise.

The broadcaster can say how long the device may cache the logos for (we’re recommending a week). Once the cache time has ended, the device must either update the logos or delete them. It mustn’t show out of date logos.

That means that it’s OK for a manufacturer to put logo functionality onto a device if it can be updated, but it’s NOT OK to put them on a device that can’t be updated. Any the logos must always be deleted once the cache time specified by the broadcaster has expired.

We hope to publish the first version of our Fair Use Policy by November, so please have a look through it and comment soon.

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