Limited NatRad service may yet go live online

Some form of live internet broadcast of National Radio may yet be possible, according to the keeper of the existing service, which ends on Saturday. But it could be as little as 30% of airtime.

Some form of live internet broadcast of National Radio may yet be possible, according to the keeper of the existing service, which ends on Saturday.

Michael Sutton of the Wellington company AWACS has been told by Radio New Zealand that the streaming service he has run since 1997 must cease. RNZ has already begun operating an alternative service via Xtra, which offers no live programme but archives various features.

Some National Radio staff, who receive regular email feedback from distant listeners, are among those unhappy at the prospect of AWACS' subscriber service ceasing.

Among the reasons cited by RNZ (see RNZ cans live stream, takes up with Xtra) that the live service could not continue was that it involved the use of copyright material owned by others, such as music and programming from the BBC.

Sutton, who claims the broadcaster has dealt with him in bad faith (see RNZ execs cut me out, says Sutton)says he yesterday received a letter from RNZ outlining specific instances of National Radio and Radio International which can be broadcast - mainly interviews and news bulletins but not music, amounting to only 30% of total airtime.

Sutton has asked several hundred people on a mailing list of interested people whether it is "worthwhile to make the restricted live content offered available".

"It may be possible to register a non-profit charitable trust and globally broadcast from a URL assigned to the trust, solely New Zealand Music as continuity between permitted segments, in order to avoid 'dead air'," says Sutton.

He suggests this would optimise APRA music copyright charges as well as comply with the conditions laid down by RNZ.

Meanwhile, Sutton says he has received various letters from, RNZ copies of correspondence RNZ sent him last year, but which he had never seen before.

A new letter from the broadcaster asked him to "outline the commercial terms and conditions under which I should wish to use the available audio."

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