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4 Legal Concerns for Podcasters

One of the marketing strategies that technology has encouraged is the use of podcasts to reach consumers and develop a solid brand for the company. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment or special skill to develop a podcast, but there are several legal complications that could arise from your endeavor. So, whether you rely on podcasts as a way to share your hobby or you run an online business like smokingthings.com, make sure that you are operating with the law on your side. These are the primary issues podcasters need to be aware of.

The Truth on Music Laws

There is a lot of misinformation about “fair use” laws on music use. Some believe that clips that are less than five seconds long are safe, while others claim you are able to play seven seconds of audio before being required to pay royalties. Any work created after 1978 is granted copyright protection for the life of the author with another 70 years after that. Public domain music can be found using Google, or you could pay a fee for stock music.

The Truth on Image Laws

Just like music, art, photos, books, or scripts have been granted copyright protection for the lifetime of the original creator plus 70 years. You need to check any material you use to make sure it is allowed. Work with artists directly to know what is allowed in terms of use or to guide you to another source where you can find material for your show.

The Truth About Ownership Rights

Your podcast may be your material, but your podcast host may try to change your content or alter its production. When you work with a network, you will probably have a contract outlining the terms and conditions. Make sure that the clauses are clear and that they have limited rights concerning your material. You will want to be compensating for any changes or use to your content, but you also should receive the credit for the material. If your material has been compromised, file a copyright claim to strengthen your hold over your content and keep the network or sponsor in line.

The Truth About Lawsuits

A podcast could open you up to a lawsuit, especially when you start monetizing. Your content or what a guest on your show has said could incite a listener to file suit. Forming an LLC is a way to protect your personal finances and assets, forcing any litigation to be limited in recourse to the assets of the LLC.

Podcasts can be a great way to engage your consumers and grow your business. However, without the right research and protections, you could find yourself facing several legal infractions.