Category Archives: Law

Is your Podcast subject to COPPA?

COPPA

Recently, many YouTube creators have struggled with/complained loudly about the platform’s new rules for designating content directed at children. This, of course has led podcasters, too to become concerned and to wonder whether COPPA applies to them.

COPPA, which stands for Child Online Privacy Protection Act, was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1998 and has undergone some revision, most recently in 2013. The law can be found at Title 15 U.S. Code § 6506

On September 4, 2019, the FTC issued a fine of $170 million to YouTube for COPPA violations, including tracking viewing history of minors in order to facilitate targeted advertising. As a result, YouTube announced that as part of the settlement, in 2020 it would require channel operators to mark videos that are “child-oriented” as such, and would use machine learning to automatically mark those as clearly “child-oriented” if not marked already. In the settlement terms, channel operators that failed to mark videos as “child-oriented” could be fined by the FTC for up to $42,000 per video, which has raised criticism towards the settlement terms. (I have my doubts about whether this passing-of-the-buck can or will actually be enforced, but it’s got YouTubers in a bit of a panic).

But how might this law apply to podcasters?

Well, in a nutshell, here’s what the law requires:

Organizations that (1) operate a website or online service that is “directed to children” under 13 and that collects “personal information” from users or (2) knowingly collects personal information from persons under 13 through a website or online service.

Those website operators must:

  • Post a clear and comprehensive online privacy policy describing their information practices for personal information collected online from persons under age 13;
  • Make reasonable efforts (taking into account available technology) to provide direct notice to parents of the operator's practices with regard to the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information from persons under 13, including notice of any material change to such practices to which the parents has previously consented;
  • Obtain verifiable parental consent, with limited exceptions, prior to any collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from persons under age 13;
  • Provide a reasonable means for a parent to review the personal information collected from their child and to refuse to permit its further use or maintenance;
  • Establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the personal information collected from children under age 13, including by taking reasonable steps to disclose/release such personal information only to parties capable of maintaining its confidentiality and security; and
  • Retain personal information collected online from a child for only as long as is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected and delete the information using reasonable measures to protect against its unauthorized access or use.
  • Operators are prohibited from conditioning a child's participation in an online activity on the child providing more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in that activity.

An operator is considered as having actual knowledge of a user's age if the site or service asks for – and receives – information from the user that allows it to determine the person's age.  

So, for most podcasters, COPPA shouldn't be a big concern UNLESS your show is directed at (or reasonably likely to attract) an audience of kids, AND you are collecting data about them. (Such as through use of a mailing list subscription tool, or the like). Of course if your podcast is also published on a YouTube channel, you’ll need to comply with YouTube’s new rules about correctly marking your channel and/or episodes. (Youtube's explainer video)

And, if you DO collect subscriber email or other data, it’s probably wise to include a restriction indicating that subscriptions are limited to persons over the age of 13. You should also make sure your website's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use are up to date

Note: Podcast platforms may collect data about your subscribers that you aren't even aware of. Those platforms WILL need to comply with COPPA, and, like YouTube, could end up passing their responsibilities off to their customers. So, be sure to review any changes to Terms of Service, Privacy Policies or User Agreements carefully.

Shiver me Timbers

Shiver me Timbers

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at www.entertainmentlawupdate.com/115

  • CONSENT DECREES SET TO EXPIRE
  • CASE ACT PASSES HOUSE FLOOR
  • FOLLOW-UP LIGHTNING ROUND
  • JOHNNY DEPP SETTLES-A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR LAWYERS
  • TAYLOR SWIFT SHAKE IT OFF LAWSUIT CONTINUES AFTER APPELLATE REVIVAL
  • FOLLOW-UP: MARC JACOBS CANT’ DODGE NIRVANA’S LAWSUIT
  • FOLLOW-UP: REDBOX GIVES UP AGAINST DISNEY DOWNLOAD CODES 
  • FOLLOW-UP: NETFLIX WINS NARCOS CASE AGAINST JOURNALIST 
  • 2020: THE YEAR OF THE DEFAMATION CASE
  • COVINGTON TEEN’S DEFAMATION LAWSUIT CONTINUES
  • JOY REED WINS HER MAGA DEFAMATION LAWSUIT
  • CNN, ROLLING STONE AND HUFFINGTON POST-JOE ARPAIO(NOT A FELON, BUT SAYING HE WAS ISN’T DEFAMATION)
  • PSA: UNCLAIMED ROYALTIES SYMPOSIUM  (FOR DC AREA COLLEAGUES)
  • PSA: USPTO WARNS LAWYERS TO  SAFEGUARD AGAINST IMPROPER USE OF IDENTITY
  • PSA: ARBITRATORS HAVE TO DISCLOSE PRIOR RELATIONSHIPS (ENERGY DRINK LAWSUIT HAS IMPACT ON ENTERTAINMENT ARBITRATION)
  • UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
  • MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT THREATENS FLO AND EDDIE LAWSUIT AGAINST PANDORA.
  • REMINDER: THE PUBLIC DOMAIN CASES HAVE BEEN GRANTED CERT(GEORGIA PUBLIC RESOURCE.ORG)
  • QUEEN ANNE’S REVENGE 
  • NCAA CLEARS WAY FOR ATHLETES TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF NAME AND LIKENESS
  • INFLUENCER GUIDELINES UPDATED (TIE INTO NCAA) 

I have a new podcast for showbiz professionals!

A few weeks ago, I quietly began releasing episodes of a new podcast, called More, Better, Faster! Success Strategies for Show Business Professionals.
Today, I released the 11th episode, featuring conversation with Financial expert, Cortlon Cofield, in which we discussed some common financial mistakes creative folks make, and some tips to get set up for success… Check it out, and subscribe.

Oldies and Goodies

Oldies and Goodies

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at www.entertainmentlawupdate.com/114 California Governor signs two controversial bills affecting entertainment and sports BILLIONS LAWSUIT BEATEN BY SHOWTIME  ORAL ARGUMENTS HELD in LED ZEPPELIN STAIRWAY… Continue Reading

It’s Criminal, I Tell Ya!

It’s Criminal, I Tell Ya!

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at www.entertainmentlawupdate.com/113 Yamashita v. Scholastic Inc., No. 17-1957 (2d Cir. 2019) Illegal Streaming Services Prompt Multiple Indictments (Conspiracy -– Criminal Copyright)  Barack Obama’s Production Company Runs… Continue Reading

Dark Horses, Study Guides & Supertitles

Dark Horses, Study Guides & Supertitles

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at www.entertainmentlawupdate.com/112 Here’s what we talked about.. KATY PERRY LOSES DARK HORSE CASE  Gigi Hadid beats Instagram copyright lawsuit  Narkiewicz-Laine v. Doyle (Stored Artwork… Continue Reading

Gordon Firemark named among the Best Lawyers in America

For the fourth year in a row, Gordon Firemark has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Entertainment Law – Theater. “I’m grateful for this recognition. It really validates what I’ve been doing” says Gordon who describes his mission as Helping Entertainment Professionals Realize Their Dreams. Gordon Firemark’s… Continue Reading

The Trouble with Tunes – approaches to using music in podcasts (Podcast Movement 2019)

Thursday afternoon, I’ll be presenting my talk at Podcast Movement in Orlando. I’ll be outlining the various ways in which music can be used by podcasters, where the music may come from, and the complex web of copyright and licensing issues that have historically made using commercial music both difficult and costly. Then, I’ll sound… Continue Reading

States’ Liability for copyright infringement

States’ Liability for copyright infringement

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at http://entertainmentlawupdate.com/111 Here’s what we talked about.. VIDANGEL POSTMORTEM TRUMP CAN’T BLOCK ON TWITTER TEXAS APPEAL COURT: COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT BUT SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY. (TIE TO… Continue Reading

Special Episode: Iancu v. Brunetti (USSC deals with FUCT trademark)

Special Episode: Iancu v. Brunetti (USSC deals with FUCT trademark)

The Latest episode of my Entertainment Law podcast, Entertainment Law Update, is now available for your enjoyment. Listen here, or subscribe and download in your favorite podcast listening app.  Show notes are located at http://entertainmentlawupdate.com/FUCT Here’s what we talked about.. Iancau v. Brunetti-SCOTUS Continue Reading

Find us on Google+