Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, including for business owners who are looking to generate new leads, establish their expertise and grow their community.
As with other aspects of business, there are some legal issues to be considered. Here are my top 5 legal tips:
#1 - The content of your podcast is protected by copyright law and owned by the host.
This copyright protection, which is worldwide, is automatic upon creation. The creator of the podcast (the host) has the exclusive right to use this content unless permission (i.e. a license) is given. You can assert your rights through a copyright notice - i.e. (c) Legal Essentials Inc. 2021. All Rights Reserved. Advanced tip - if you have co-hosts for your podcast, you should agree on who owns what upfront (like a prenup) in case you decide to part ways.
#2 - If you have a separate podcast producer from the host, you should have a legal agreement with them.
This agreement should cover deliverables, timing and of course payment. The producer may be given a license to distribute the podcast in a podcast network or on other platforms. Make sure to address what happens with the content if either the host or producer wants to end the relationship (i.e. Can the producer replace the host? Will the host be given all of the digital files?).
#3 - Get your podcast guests to sign a content release.
You are going to be using the guest's likeness (words, photo, video) in your content and you want to get their permission to do so. You want full permission to repurpose content, use clips or videos in the promotion of an episode without any further consent or payment.
#4 - Have your sponsors sign an agreement.
One of the common ways to monetize a podcast is to get sponsors for one or more episodes. As with any business arrangement, you want to make it clear what is being exchanged (a 15-second intro spot versus a 30-second mid-roll spot) for how much money and on what terms. Don't want the sponsor to have any right to review the episode content in advance? Put it in the agreement.
#5 - Make sure you get the proper rights to any music in the podcast.
If you are using music that is not your original composition in the podcast (intro, outro and breaks), make sure that you obtain proper permission. Don't just grab a clip from the internet somewhere or play a song your iPhone in the background. If you choose a clip from a stock content library, make sure to read the license terms to be sure that your proposed use is included in the type of license (single versus multiple-use, personal versus commercial).
And if you are now thinking, that you want to get your legal ducks in a row, check out my Podcast Legal Template Pack.
Ok podcasters, you can now go forth with your Blue Yeti mics and record away! Need a guest, feel free to hit me up.