This article first appeared as a guest post on http://howtorecordpodcasts.com, as part of a series called “31 days to a better podcast.”
9 Tips to keep your podcast legal.
As an entertainment and media lawyer, I’m regularly approached by bloggers, podcasters, and new media producers with questions about “how to do it legally”. Fortunately, the rules are pretty clear, and they’ve been around since “new” media meant radio and then television. Here are a few guidelines to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
1. Start with the premise that media is media.
Communications media may change, but the basic rules, and the rights and obligations of those involved don’t. The rules for a podcaster are fundamentally the same as for a radio host, television producer, or newspaper columnist. The difference is, most podcasters are operating on a shoestring budget, and without the benefit of a legal or business-affairs department to keep them out of trouble. If you adopt a professional attitude, and think about the rights and feelings of others, you’ll likely anticipate most of the issues that can arise, and if you follow guideline number 7 below, you’ll probably avoid any problems that could come up.
2. Understand Copyright Law.
Copyright is a “bundle of rights” belonging to the “author” of a work of expression. This bundle includes the rights to copy, distribute, display, perform, and make derivatives works based on the underlying work. Protection exists from the moment the work is created,