5 Legal Steps Podcasters Need to Know
A podcaster is a person who puts together and frequently releases podcasts. He or she may be the podcast owner but does not need to be. Podcasters can talk about anything they want; however, they often regularly discuss their own original content such as music, TV shows, video games, and movies.
How Do People Listen to Podcasters?
Podcasts are listened to in many ways: while commuting via public transport, while working out at the gym, during lunchtime, or simply while relaxing at home. Since iPhones were introduced, it has been easier than ever before to access and download podcasts through iTunes and other app stores. Android users can access podcasts through Google Play and other app stores.
What Podcasters Need To Know About Copyrights?
As a podcaster, you must be aware of the different types of copyright and how they can affect your content. There are three types of copyright:
1) Copyright protection is automatic the moment an original work is created in a fixed form. No registration is necessary.
2) Copyright owners have the exclusive right to publicly reproduce, distribute, perform, and display their copyrighted works.
3) Copyright owners may license others to use their copyrighted material for a variety of purposes.
How Does This Affect Podcasters?
When creating a podcast, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Fair Use Doctrine. This doctrine allows for limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the copyright owner, provided that the use is for the purpose of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.
Below are five important steps podcasters need to know about copyrights:
1) Always get permission from the copyright owner before using their material.
2) If you are unsure if you need permission, it is best to err on the side of caution and get it anyways.
3) When using someone else’s copyrighted material, be sure to give credit to the original author.
4) Only use a limited amount of copyrighted material and do not reproduce it in its entirety.
5) Be aware that violating copyright law can result in civil and criminal penalties.
5 Legal Steps Podcasters
1) Determine if you need a license.
The first step is to determine whether you need a podcast license. In the United States, copyright law governs the use of copyrighted material, and podcasters need to be aware of what materials they can and cannot use without permission from the copyright holder. The short answer is that most materials require permission for use, but there are some limited exceptions. This is called “fair use.” Podcasters’ work may be eligible for fair use, but exemptions are limited to specific circumstances, so it’s important to check before you proceed.
2) Obtain necessary permissions.
If you determine that you need permission to use a copyrighted work in your podcast, the next step is to obtain those permissions. This can be a time-consuming process, as you will need to track down the copyright holder and negotiate terms for use. It’s important to note that simply clicking “OK” on a permission request is not sufficient. You need to have an express agreement with the copyright holder authorizing the use of the materials, and you should ensure that the terms are clear regarding the length of use, territory covered, form or medium, etc.
3) Deposit royalties.
Once you obtain rights to use copyrighted work in your podcast, it’s important to remember that you are now responsible for paying royalties on those works. The Copyright Act requires broadcasters to pay royalty “in accordance with prescribed rules.” 17 USC § 114(g). This means that podcasters need to keep track of all musical works used in their podcasts and periodically send statements of usage to publishers and record labels for the collection of royalties.
4) Deal with compulsory licenses.
In many countries outside of the United States, a license is not necessary to use copyrighted materials in your podcast. The US, however, requires users to obtain a compulsory license from the Copyright Royalty Board if they want to use musical compositions in their podcasts without obtaining permission from publishers or record labels. 17 USC § 114(d)-(f). Podcasters should seek legal counsel before proceeding with a podcast that uses works subject to this compulsory licensing regime because requirements vary depending on factors like whether you are using an interactive or non-interactive streaming service and how popular your show becomes. Failure to comply can result in liability for copyright infringement and hefty fines.
5) Protect your work with a copyright.
Finally, if you want to ensure that no one can unlawfully use your podcast content, it’s important to register your work with the US Copyright Office. This will give you the strongest legal protection against unauthorized use and infringement. For more information on registering copyright, visit the Copyright Office website.
Podcasting is a great way to share your creative work with the world, but it’s important to be aware of the copyright laws that govern its use. By taking a few simple steps, you can protect yourself and your work from infringement. So, these are some basic things that podcasters need to keep in mind while producing their content.
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