DCUFM Update – They Shut Us Down

I’ve been really involved with radio again and I love it! I’ve been really lucky and have done about 45 live shows since September between DCUFM and Hot Country.
DCUFM is great, it has given me the opportunity to try out an idea and prove that it would work, as I did with Culture Cafe.

On Monday of last week, our stream was stopped by Redbrick, the society in DCU that stream our station.  To stream an online station here in Ireland, you must pay a licence fee every year. DCUFM’s licence was in the process of being renewed and IMRO, The Irish music Rights people had allowed us to continue as the licence was being reissued.

On Wednesday night, a voiceover by a former DCUFMer, was put on a loop by Redbrick stating “Due to non payment of an IMRO licence, Redbrick has been forced to discontinue the streaming of DCUFM until further notice.”  This implies that we didn’t pay our licence and that we were infact breaking the law. This isn’t true.

DCUFM has had to remove a listen live link from DCUFM.com and because we don’t have an FM licence, would be broadcasting to the room if programming were still going ‘out’.

This Defamation of character, really hurts. Since before the academic year started station management, Denis McEvoy and Alan Regan  along with News Director Steve Conlon have been toiling away to make something of DCUFM. The quality of the programming is high and everyone involved in the station is taking this really seriously.

DCU seems to be full of red tape, almost too much to cut through sometimes so DCUFM will have to look for an alternative server/stream provider to get up and running again. Seeing as its now Week 12 and we’re off for Christmas on Friday it looks like DCUFM wont be on again til 2010.

Hopefully we will be back stronger and more determined to make DCUFM the best possible college radio we can.

I just can’t believe that one College society would do this on another. It’s just childish, selfish behaviour.

…nessy out!

Comments

comments

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  • nessy

    I have asked management and they gave you copies of emails from IMRO, while everything was in the process of being, well processed DCUFM were covered.

    Ye didn’t ask for anything else!

    Again merry christmas!

  • nessy

    Hold on til I ask them…

  • cian

    nessy :
    Again guys, thanks for bringing the traffic to my blog.
    So I decided this morning to find out exactly what was going on with IMRO, their representative told me that at no time were DCUFM streaming illegally. The application for renewal was for payment for royalities, as you know we dont have an FM licence so that doesn’t come into it. IMRO received this application within the grace period that you guys say lapsed. Their rep told me that this was received and approved when it was received.
    At no point was there any streaming that was illegal so really if you want to get your facts straight talk to DCUFM … otherwise Happy Christmas Mwah!

    If this is true, then the fact that your management haven’t got some proof of this to Redbrick is criminally incompetent, and you should be screaming for their resignations.

  • nessy

    Again guys, thanks for bringing the traffic to my blog.

    So I decided this morning to find out exactly what was going on with IMRO, their representative told me that at no time were DCUFM streaming illegally. The application for renewal was for payment for royalities, as you know we dont have an FM licence so that doesn’t come into it. IMRO received this application within the grace period that you guys say lapsed. Their rep told me that this was received and approved when it was received.

    At no point was there any streaming that was illegal so really if you want to get your facts straight talk to DCUFM … otherwise Happy Christmas Mwah!

  • Conor

    nessy :
    Wow! So Redbrick are now making more of this than DCUFM.. anyway, I believe what the station management told us, I trust these guys. The week before DCUFM was taken off, management were told they would be taken off if it wasn’t sorted. It was sorted. They did not get any notive that the stream was coming down.
    I didn’t mention it before, I actually spoke to someone from IMRO, I know them from outside DCU, who mentioned that everything was cool and that it was great that everything being in order made life easier for them.
    Again, happy Christmas smiles all round

    Well, I’m pretty sure DCUFM would make a lot of it if another society started setting up hate campaigns against them on facebook and generally dragging their name through the muck for doing something that they were legally obliged to do. How dare they demand written proof that they won’t be sued for streaming a radio station.

    Now if you could get that person from IMRO to write down what they told you and give it to redbrick, then maybe the station would be back online.

    I’m not on redbrick committee, nor have I ever been and I have a lot of friends involved in DCUFM but this childish inability to take responsibility for their own mistakes has really put me off the station.

  • cian

    nessy :
    Hi Guys,
    Wow! So Redbrick are now making more of this than DCUFM.. anyway, I believe what the station management told us, I trust these guys. The week before DCUFM was taken off, management were told they would be taken off if it wasn’t sorted. It was sorted. They did not get any notive that the stream was coming down.
    Thanks again for bringing so much traffic to my blog, pity you had to duplicate a few comments between here and boards
    I didn’t mention it before, I actually spoke to someone from IMRO, I know them from outside DCU, who mentioned that everything was cool and that it was great that everything being in order made life easier for them.
    Finally If you read my disclaimer, if you don’t like what you read you don’t have to visit!
    I also want to add that I even allowed the ProRedbrick comments because I do believe in the Freedom of Speech.
    Again, happy Christmas smiles all round

    As has been said a dozen times, in a dozen different fora. If IMRO don’t mind, pop up with a letter, and you’ll be back up within half an hour. And if they’re telling you they got no notice that the stream was coming down, they’re talking bollocks. They were told on several occasions that if they didn’t have a letter from IMRO by the last date they were allowed broadcast by (according to the last email we’ve seen) they’d be taken off the air. ‘Sorted’ doesn’t mean ‘we have an interm nudge wink arrangement in place’. Sorted means you’re able to show us *proof* that you’ve got your licensing sorted.

    As for Redbrick making more of this than DCU FM? Bollocks. We’re not the ones starting blog posts about how much DCU FM suck, nor facebook groups about the same thing.

    Seriously. Redbrick go out of their way to run this stream for you. If DCU FM had any cop on, they’d be apologising for their behaviour, and taking down the numerous slights on Redbrick’s reputation. Because DCU FM wouldn’t be in a position to broadcast at all without a bollocks load of work by the people ye are giving out about.

  • nessy

    Hi Guys,

    Wow! So Redbrick are now making more of this than DCUFM.. anyway, I believe what the station management told us, I trust these guys. The week before DCUFM was taken off, management were told they would be taken off if it wasn’t sorted. It was sorted. They did not get any notive that the stream was coming down.

    Thanks again for bringing so much traffic to my blog, pity you had to duplicate a few comments between here and boards 🙂

    I didn’t mention it before, I actually spoke to someone from IMRO, I know them from outside DCU, who mentioned that everything was cool and that it was great that everything being in order made life easier for them.

    Finally If you read my disclaimer, if you don’t like what you read you don’t have to visit!

    I also want to add that I even allowed the ProRedbrick comments because I do believe in the Freedom of Speech.

    Again, happy Christmas smiles all round 🙂

  • Diarmaid

    “The big problem I personally have is that NO notice was given”

    Notice *was* given, as was a grace period – up until the 4th of December, DCUfm had been allowed broadcast and sort out their license. They did not. If the manager did not pass notice onto the DCUfm staff – that is hardly the fault of redbrick. The manager would have been aware of the impeding deadline, and the manager did not act upon it.

    “how Redbrick could stream that when there was no need to stream anything.”

    They were providing a service allowing people to know *why* DCUfm was inaccessable – ie, because the managment had not sorted out a license. If DCUfm had just dropped off the air with no explanation, would that honestly have been better?

    The management would have had no scapegoat that way ;P

  • Andrew

    If you want someone to blame for ‘making presenters look like prats’ then you don’t need to look as far as RedBrick, just as far as the station management, as this whole situation stinks of bad management.

    First off, it’s the responsibility of the station management to ensure that all the correct licensing is in place and current, and that paperwork of such is available to any service provider or other persons who need it. Since you don’t have an FM licence to worry about this should be pretty simple. Management failed to make themselves aware of the licensing requirements well enough in advance to ensure that it was renewed and kept up to date. Strike One.

    Failing that, when the need for a licence renewal became apparent, this should have been processed as quickly as possible (it can’t possibly take this many weeks to pay a bill), and any paperwork needed to keep your service provider covered in the interim should have been secured. Strike two.

    Even if all this failed, hope need not have been lost. As I understand it, you need an IMRO licence to broadcast music, anybody can record themselves taking onto the internet. If an agreement had been reached with RedBrick rather than resorting to name calling then at least some of the programming could have continued. Strike three.

    Look for other hosting providers all you want, but it’ll cost you money, and when they find out you don’t have your licences in order and the paperwork to back that up, you’ll be paying for a service that’s been disabled.

    If I was in MPS, or still a student, or even really cared that much, I’d be shouting for the managers resignation at least as loudly as I was ranting about RedBrick.

  • ComputerMan

    You don’t have an IMRO license, yet you have the funding to get one, why hasn’t it been done yet? Pull the finger out from the proverbial [expletive deleted]

    DCU FM dropped the ball, you didn’t have a license and Redbrick wasn’t going to allow you to broadcast for a single second longer without a license, so they shut you down immediately to cover themselves due to your negligence and failure to renew your license.

    Get your act together, this is no one but DCU FM’s fault. Grow up.

    Regards.

  • Conor

    I hold a non-commercial broadcast license, and to broadcast without a license is asking for trouble. Whoever is in charge of obtaining the license should simply show it to a committee member of Redbrick. I can assure you that the administrators there are very helpful, and will likely get the stream running again within a couple of hours.

    Redbrick are right to stop the stream. To allow it would put Redbrick, MPS and ISS/CSD in a nasty legal position. By not allowing it, Redbrick are ensuring the future and hassle-free success of DCUfm.

  • cian

    nessy :
    Thanks for posting guys..
    All I want as i have said is to get back broadcasting. The big problem I personally have is that NO notice was given, making us presenters look like prats to our potential listeners and guests.
    I also dont understand how an ex DCUFMer could record that voiceover and how Redbrick could stream that when there was no need to stream anything. That loop seems to have done more damage than anything.
    Thanks for your comments everyone Happy Christmas… Tune into ChristmasFM!

    I wasn’t the person organising this on the RedBrick side, they claim to have said on multiple occasions that DCU FM were being taken off air if they didn’t get written proof of a license. And yes, they probably should have got someone in DCU FM to record the voice over, but given that DCU FM seemed

    nessy :
    Hello Majoy!
    I dont know who you are or indeed if you are currently attending or lecturing in DCU, you seem to know a lot about the place.
    “Other societies have gotten in trouble before over licensing over the many years they’ve ran in DCU so I’d personally always be exact over these things than vague” Were you involved in DCUFM at some stage?
    IMRO were processing the resissuing of the licence.
    If the other society cannot take DCUFM’s word for that, so be it, they were told it was ok to stream online. If they really wanted they could have called IMRO themselves.
    As you probably know then it doesnt have an FM licence – anyone can get an online licence – heck they only cost a couple of hundred euro.
    What I find really annoying is that the stream was stopped without any notification to the DCUFM management and who recorded the voiceover for the loop. It seems that if someone isn’t democratically reelected and then this appears online, its all just bad grapes.
    It’s pettiness to the nth degree but yet again office politics rules. As a presenter and producer of a show with a steady listenership and I have had some amazing guests since September all I want to do is get back broadcasting.

    Aisling :
    I agree with Eoin. For all the students who put so much work into the shows they were involved with, to have this stream out there tarnishing their reputation is terrible. If IMRO agreed that DCU could still air while the licence was being renewed, why does one person decide that’s not good enough and destroy the whole station?
    It’s awful that a society could do this to to such a huge part of DCU life, the radio station does well and the amount of bands and solo artists that are wanting to come out is amazing. It’s clear that there’s more to the story than “non-payment of an IMRO licence”, and this needs to be sorted. Just because someone has beef with the radio doesn’t mean they can damage the great reputation the radio has. Whatever is is, they need to build a bridge and get over it. DCUFM is a platform for so many up and coming artists, not to mention a huge part of life for the people involved. I, for one, had a small part in DCUFM. I miss it.
    Get over yourselves Redbrick

    If Redbrick had a beef with DCU FM,it wouldn’t have started broadcasting it in the first place. The issue is that during the setup, there was an awful lot of confusion over what licenses were necessary, and several people involved with DCU FM claimed they didn’t need licenses that they did need. Once you do that once, you’re going to have difficulty in getting redbrick to trust you (as an organisation) without written proof.

    As for giving notice, certainly from talking to the person involved on Redbrick’s side, he’d claim to have contacted the station manager on several occasions, and told him they’d be taken off air if Redbrick wasn’t given written proof of a license. And yes, the voice over probably could have been handled better, but I know when we tried to organise meetings to sort it out, no one on the Radio committee was bothered turning up.

    So yeah. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But at the end of the day, Redbrick went out of their way to set this up for you (and getting all the software running for it was an almighty pita), and in the time they’ve done it, they’ve got nothing but grief over it. You should think about that before you spend your time bitching about them.

  • nessy

    Thanks for posting guys..

    All I want as i have said is to get back broadcasting. The big problem I personally have is that NO notice was given, making us presenters look like prats to our potential listeners and guests.

    I also dont understand how an ex DCUFMer could record that voiceover and how Redbrick could stream that when there was no need to stream anything. That loop seems to have done more damage than anything.

    Thanks for your comments everyone Happy Christmas… Tune into ChristmasFM!

  • Andrew

    This situation has been blown completely out of proportion. The problem was clear form the beginning – that DCUFM had not, at any point, offered Redbrick written proof that they had a right to broadcast. The reason the stream is down is because as someone else mentioned, societies have gotten in huge trouble for licensing issues before. Filmsoc, as I understand it, got sued a few years back over film licensing issues. Redbrick has also been taken completely offline for weeks at a time in the past because of things our members (DCUFM would fall under this category) have done, and they’re in no rush to have that happen again.

    If you want DCU FM to be back online *today* and you do have a right to broadcast as you claim, then someone hop on a bus, head to the IMRO office, have them print you out and sign a letter on headed paper saying you’re allowed to broadcast until whatever date, and hand it to someone from Redbrick. There is nothing stopping you from doing this, there never has been. If you don’t want to do this, then stop complaining.

    Redbrick is not out to get anyone, and never has been. They just don’t want to get kicked off the internet by ISS/DCU/HEAnet/IMRO/IRMA/the other ten or so organisations who could do so at a whim.

  • I must say I fully agree with what redbrick have done, you guys have no proof that you had a license, why should they ring IMRO? Its not their job to run after DCUfm in anyway, why not get written proof for them. From what I understand redbrick host the stream for you? They are not obliged to do this, just like they don’t need to host clubs and Societies websites. Actually on that point, if redbrick where shut down due to illegal broadcasting of a stream, not only would redbrick and DCUfm be damaged, but so would ever other society and club that use there hosting and mail lists.

    “As for the ‘Non payment of an IMRO licence’, this is a potentially dangerous slur against the characters of everyone who was in anyway involved with DCUFM that could haunt some of us down the line.
    This may be a very simplistic view but unless Redbrick are willing to grow up and start acting more maturely, DCUFM should look for somewhere else to host their stream.”

    Redbrick needs to grow up? Yes saying its all their fault makes the world better, seriously why did you guys just not give them written proof? Or put someone on the phone to redbrick?

    People are saying “why wont you think of my show, I was put out, this is not fair”, the person in charge of organizing the license should have thought of this.

    I don’t think redbrick are totally not to blame, they should have told you guys that you where being turned off, just a little notice would have the right thing to do.

    All in all, this whole thing seems as if it could have been sorted with one person bothering to get proof of license or handing a phone to the person that does the DCUfm stuff on the redbrick side. Seems very simple, yet instead of doing this people are creating blog posts, twitter and face-book profiles. If only this much effort had been put into the dam license..

    By the way, the only reason I have bothered to post is because I seriously think that energy is being put into the wrong place, just sort out your soc, and you wont need to spend so much time bitching about other societies.

    Are redbrick going to bother to host you guys again after all this? I wouldn’t blame them if they don’t as I am sure they have enough to do. Would you guys be able to ask CSD to help you out?

  • nessy

    Hi Guys,

    To know there are other likeminded DCUers out there is great, I think the most important thing now is we get behind management to get us back on as soon as possible.

    Ive had an amazing reaction by text and Twitter from some bands and people I’ve interviewed over the past while, showing their support. I’ve even had a band say they will do a gig to help us out.

    We now need to get the word out that we will be back and nothing or no one will stop us : )

    nessy

  • Jack

    I co-presented a show once a week on a topic that I am particularly passionate about. I was told on the day that we were going to put on a show that we had planned for weeks in advance that the station was down. This was my one chance to remember this event (a 5th anniversary of the untimely death of a guitarist) on a radio show and I could not do this. My show has steady listeners from Dublin and beyond and they had to be told that the stream was down and for no reason other than sour grapes, infighting and pettiness on the part of Redbrick.

    As for the ‘Non payment of an IMRO licence’, this is a potentially dangerous slur against the characters of everyone who was in anyway involved with DCUFM that could haunt some of us down the line.
    This may be a very simplistic view but unless Redbrick are willing to grow up and start acting more maturely, DCUFM should look for somewhere else to host their stream.

    I for one am not happy with this loop or anyone involved in it.

  • Aisling

    I agree with Eoin. For all the students who put so much work into the shows they were involved with, to have this stream out there tarnishing their reputation is terrible. If IMRO agreed that DCU could still air while the licence was being renewed, why does one person decide that’s not good enough and destroy the whole station?
    It’s awful that a society could do this to to such a huge part of DCU life, the radio station does well and the amount of bands and solo artists that are wanting to come out is amazing. It’s clear that there’s more to the story than “non-payment of an IMRO licence”, and this needs to be sorted. Just because someone has beef with the radio doesn’t mean they can damage the great reputation the radio has. Whatever is is, they need to build a bridge and get over it. DCUFM is a platform for so many up and coming artists, not to mention a huge part of life for the people involved. I, for one, had a small part in DCUFM. I miss it.
    Get over yourselves Redbrick

  • eoin

    i too had a show on dcufm (i say had because currently my show is on stand by till redbrick decide to drop the block) which has been unfortunately affected by this unjust and damaging occurrence. we were all set to have a show that would have given publicity to a variety of bands and singers from around Dublin ( and beyond) who aren’t that well heard of. the show which was set to be broadcast last friday never happened thanks to redbricks rude interference with the stream and looks set not to happen again this week as the block still hasn’t been removed. think how much effort we, the normal students, who are not involved with organizing licences and arraigning agreements with other societies, have been putting into our 1 or 2 hours a week only to be told a few days before the show is set to be aired, that no, you are not allowed go on the radio because we do not have any proof of payment.saying that the station hasn’t paid it’s fees not only affects the station, it also affects the students involved in the station. it tarnishes their reputation because they have been involved with an “apparently” un-lawful” company.
    the cherry of the cake however is that the same man who claims to have spent the whole of last year “getting” licences and “organizing” the station and dishing out promises of an FM broadcasting by the start of last years second semester (which was actually a huge impossibility due to safety codes and other regulations etc)has now turned his back on us and became the voice of redbrick that stained dcufms good reputation. way to go Brutus.

  • nessy

    Hello Majoy!

    I dont know who you are or indeed if you are currently attending or lecturing in DCU, you seem to know a lot about the place.

    “Other societies have gotten in trouble before over licensing over the many years they’ve ran in DCU so I’d personally always be exact over these things than vague” Were you involved in DCUFM at some stage?
    IMRO were processing the resissuing of the licence.

    If the other society cannot take DCUFM’s word for that, so be it, they were told it was ok to stream online. If they really wanted they could have called IMRO themselves.

    As you probably know then it doesnt have an FM licence – anyone can get an online licence – heck they only cost a couple of hundred euro.
    What I find really annoying is that the stream was stopped without any notification to the DCUFM management and who recorded the voiceover for the loop. It seems that if someone isn’t democratically reelected and then this appears online, its all just bad grapes.

    It’s pettiness to the nth degree but yet again office politics rules. As a presenter and producer of a show with a steady listenership and I have had some amazing guests since September all I want to do is get back broadcasting.

  • Majoy

    Even if you were organising and was being in the process of being renewed surely the license was still expired unless otherwise stated? Or am I missing something? I’m sure if you have proof of “The Irish music Rights people had allowed us to continue as the licence was being reissued”, then show them that instead. Other societies have gotten in trouble before over licensing over the many years they’ve ran in DCU so I’d personally always be exact over these things than vague and always making sure to renew a month ahead as these things can take time to get renewed anyway.

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