Monthly Archives: October 2016

Is Facebook Live the end of the DJ Mix Tape? Part 2

By Tony Fernandez:

Let’s begin by stating that there is currently NO definitive answer on whether streaming your DJ set is considered fair use. The only way to have a clear answer to that question is to have this matter resolved in federal court; and even there, where a judge has a great deal of freedom when making a fair-use determination, the answer is likely to remain fluid.

Until then, what’s a DJ to do?

What If You Acknowledge the Source Material?

It is commonly believed that the unauthorized use of a work (or portion of it) is permitted if an acknowledgment is made. Not true. Acknowledgment of the source material may be a consideration in a fair-use determination, but it will not protect against a claim of infringement.

Does It Help to Use a Disclaimer?

A disclaimer is a statement that “disassociates” your work from the work that you have borrowed. Generally a disclaimer itself will not help; material and original works used without licensing is an infringement of copyright, ergo, not fair use.

Ultimately this means that Fair Use cannot be applied to DJ mixes.

As of this writing, Facebook Live does not have any streaming audio licenses with PROs. As DJs have discovered, Facebook, SoundCloud, etc., have programs that search uploads to determine if any music with a copyright has been uploaded. If so, the “offending” file is removed, a decision that has not been well received by the DJ community, as evidenced by these real posts from real DJs…

“We as DJs promote the music through our mixes for the artist on live mixes.”

 “….why should we be punished?”

 “DJs have been an important cog in the wheel of music since the invention of radio and then the turntables. We showcase the works of artists so that people can go and buy their music. Without us, much music would go unheard. This is about greed, nothing else. Artists should be grateful that their music is being showcased as many other outlets on the internet tend NOT to showcase some genres and acts and only focus on the famous and hyped.”

As a DJ, while I agree with most if not all of the above sentiments, it all come down to the world we now live in: SoundCloud, Facebook and the other hosting services aren’t the bad guy in this story. The Copyright Act is the law of the land. These hosting companies are limiting their liability and exposure.

The facts are, as the Copyright Act is being applied, that a DJ’s ability to stream and share Mix tapes is severely limited if he or she chooses to operate within the legal confines of the law.

So don’t hate on Facebook. Write your congressman and get the laws changed. Or develop a system where DJs and copyright holders have a vehicle where DJs can showcase their talents and the material / music being used is done in a forum and manor that’s mutually beneficial to the DJs and copyright holder(s).

It’s a brave new world out there.   At least you know why your mix is getting yanked down.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email

Is Facebook Live the end of the DJ Mix Tape? Part 1

By Tony Fernandez

Mix tapes and DJs go together like peanut butter and jelly. The mix tape is a DJ’s calling card. A DJ’s sonic resume. Personally, I come from a point in time when you actually used tape to do a mix tape. But we’ve all made mix CDs… for our girlfriends, boyfriends, travel tunes, business cards, promotional showcases — the uses are endless.

Fast forward to our current state of affairs: SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Facebook, Facebook Live are all great vehicles that allow DJs to share their talent with the world. However, there is conflict in the air. The waters are churning. There is strife between the DJ world and the digital world. The same vehicle(s) that have allowed DJs to share their vision and skills with the world are now clamping down on the sharing and showcasing of those skills.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I did have the following facts checked by a lawyer (who is also a DJ, producer, and copyright holder), so as to simply and correctly explain why mix tapes and the streaming of those mixes are being removed.

Let’s dig in….

DJs need to realize that the music they mix, play, use, and purchase is not “your” music. It’s natural to draw the conclusion that because you have purchased a song you’re allowed to play it publicly in a DJ set. Well, according to U.S. copyright law, this is incorrect.

There are several types of rights copyright owners must obtain under the law to distribute musical works, all of which are exclusive, including:

  • Public Performance (transmitting or performing the work in public)
  • Reproduction (copying/duplicating)
  • Digital Performance (internet streaming)

With that information in hand, we can move forward and explain why DJs aren’t allowed to post, stream, or share their mixes.

When a DJ spins at a nightclub, it’s incumbent on the venue to make sure they have a license for public performance. This license is acquired from the PROs (performance rights organizations). When the venue has a public performance license, it means that DJs can play recorded music registered with the PRO.

Radio stations pretty much work the same way. The difference is the radio stations license is for broadcast. Their license authorizes the radio station to play music on public airwaves.

Streaming services do not have a clear relationship with PROs. When a DJ creates a live stream and starts broadcasting music on the internet, that DJ becomes, in effect, a radio station. As such, he or she needs to have the appropriate licenses.

No licenses, no stream.

This is, unfortunately, where we find ourselves today – at the crossroads of artistic expression and the rights of copyright holders.

It’s apparent that copyright laws are falling behind: DJ sets are not a protected form of free speech. Our sets don’t generally fall under “fair use”.

As such, copyright takedowns happen.

What can you do about it?

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email

5 Must-Have Apps That Have Made Me More Money

By Brian Buonassissi:

As a small business owner, I’m all about finding the best way to maximize my time and my revenue. Thanks to ever-evolving technology, I’ve come across a few things that have allowed me to both gain some “time back,” without having to hire someone, and make more money along the way.

In no particular order:


This is an app that syncs with Google Calendar. Google’s calendar app is not user-friendly so I prefer this app instead. I have all of our employees on it and we share our calendars with one another so when we need to schedule meetings, etc., we can manage it all very easily without having to e‐mail, call or text repeatedly. It also keeps me personally organized. With everything being stored online, I never have to worry about losing a paper calendar, journal, etc. I use the free version and it suits my needs perfectly. They have a pro version that you can get if you need it.


This free app is amazing! It’s a to-do list. You can have as many to-do’s as you want and since I have 30 or so employees, I can easily assign tasks, etc. You can also use this online from a computer rather than your phone, if need be. I have multiple lists going and it is a perfect complement to Tiny Calendar.


I wanted to find a communication tool that allowed my team and I to communicate easily without having to do so through e‐mail on everything. Enter Slack. I use the free version and it was a game changer for my business. The standalone app is fantastic but also has a desktop app for those who stare at a computer screen all day. If you are a multi‐op, this is a MUST for you and my #1 recommendation.


Wanna be a social media ninja without having to stay online all day? This will manage all of your social media content and will allow you to pre‐schedule posts on all the major social networks. I usually schedule all of mine for a week prior. If something needs to be added last minute, I can jump in and post via the social network of choice. I use the free plan with this as well. To date, this has saved me from having to find a social media person and makes it appear as if I post regularly.


This is one the paid service I use. This is a stand‐alone app and works with just about every website type out there. It’s a sales tool and you can capture leads immediately. If you aren’t using this, you need to start. You can turn it on/off at any time. I’ve booked too many shows to count with this service.

These are my Top 5. What about you? Are you using something not on this list?


Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful internationally traveling private event DJ/MC. He runs a multicity mobile DJ/event business with offices in Orange County, Calif, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check him out at or