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In recent years, podcasting has exploded in popularity. More and more people are tuning in to listen to their favorite shows, and the number of podcast options continues to grow. For many podcasters, legal counsel is a necessary part of running a successful show. Lawyers can help with everything from choosing the right name for your podcast to drafting release forms for guests. In addition, lawyers can offer guidance on copyright law and trademark law, ensuring that your podcast does not infringe on the rights of others. With the help of a lawyer, you can navigate the legal landscape of podcasting and focus on creating a successful show.
This blog will focus on the best tips I can give to young persons out in the internet world who seek to make a name for themselves by podcasting. This form of media can be fun, fun, fun as long as you keep your eye on a few legal topics that may arise. As a firm that has helped many entertainers, athletes, and technology startups, this page should give you some general information to think about.
Here is a list of Attorney Steve's top 10 tips for running your own podcast, from a legal perspective.
- Know who your audience is going to be. Focus on either a niche market (ex. software audit attorney discusses money damages) or make it broader more for the masses (top lawsuits in the entertainment industry).
- Once you know who your target audience is going to be, pick a name for your show that may appeal to them. For example, if you go with the more geeky software audit niche for your show, you may pick a name like “The Pirate Report” or “Copyright Watchdog” (dealing with copyright infringement, SIIA or BSA software audits, and Bittorrent Defense law for example - but don't use this one, this is my trademark). If you go with the more broad “legal side of entertainment, possibly you cloud choose a name like “Divas on the Docket” or something along that line, or “Hollywood Legal Report” where you can analyze the entertainment legal news that's coming out of Los Angles and Hollywood.
- When choosing a good name for your podcast, try to find a great name that (a) everyone can easily spell and remember, (b) look it up to make sure no one else in a similar field is using that name, and (c) make sure you can get a nice domain name that likewise does not make you a cybersquatter and which helps you easily brand and market your show.
- On air, keep the cussing to a minimum, and try to run a clean show. In most cases, a clean show may make it easier for you to syndicate your show and build fans and followers.
- Use a nice podcast, one that is short and also creative. You might want to consider seeking copyright protection for the video.
- You might want to seek federal trademark protection for any slogs or sayings you use to identify your show such as “The show that hits all-time lows” or whatever. These slogans if used over and over to your fan's delight should consider getting trademark protection.
- If you have guests on your shows, and you do interviews (ex. Q and A's) have them sign a simple release form that allows you to use their name, image, and likeness on all forms of media known and to be created in the future, perpetually and without any limits. This would be known as clearing or obtaining the right of publicity.
- The same is true if your podcast relies on any movie clips, sound clips, jingles, or other intellectual property rights owned by any other third party. Make sure you own the right to do what you are doing.
- Promote yourself on the web using youtube (you can turn your podcast into a movie), Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. There are others, these are the ones I like to focus on.
- Hold some promotions on your shows, and give something away that will make the show memorable. Do something crazy now and then to get social media attention. Also, make sure to run your podcast at the same time each day, and for the approximate same duration. In short, get people hooked. They want information and they want to have fun and hear things you will not hear on mainstream, airwaves including TV, film, and radio.
Podcast law legal services
If you're a podcaster, then you know that there are a lot of legal issues to consider. From copyright to fair use to guest release agreements, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. That's why many podcasters choose to hire a podcast lawyer. A podcast lawyer can help you with all of the legal issues related to your podcast, and make sure that you stay within the bounds of the law. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 reasons to hire a podcast lawyer!
We can help you with the following types of services
- Contract – draft, review and revise
- Talent & model release forms (all your guests should sign release forms)
- Choosing great podcast names that won't infringe trademarks (and basically waste your marketing efforts)
- Free speech issues that may arise
- Defamation (libel and slander issues)
- Contests and giveaways, promotions
- Syndicating your show
- Copyright protection for final show episodes
- Licensing copyrighted content to media or other end users
- Reporter's shield law legal counsel
- Rights of privacy issues
Why do the guests on your show need to sign a legal release?
There are many good reasons, for example:
- You want to own all the intellectual property rights to each show
- You do not want a guest getting disgruntled and then threatening a right of publicity lawsuit later
- You don't want a guest claiming they are a contributor to the show and thus a co-owner of the copyright
- You want to make sure there is no dispute that you get to edit the podcast as you see fit
- You want the legal right to do what you want with the show content in the future (ex. post it to YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitch
These are the main reasons. We can draft a custom affordable agreement for you.
Contact a Podcast entertainment attorney
We have helped many creative entrepreneurs in identifying, protecting, enforcing, and promoting their podcasts. We can help with legal agreements, release forms, counseling, and arbitration/litigation if it arises.
Since 2004, we offer flexible and affordable legal fees.
Call us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-584 or fill out the contact form.