I don’t need to disclaim my lack of a law degree when I state the fact that yes, it is legal to play copyrighted music on a podcast so long as the rights to the song have been cleared or the podcaster is following the fair use doctrine.
It’s also a fact that podcasters can and do use copyrighted music in their podcasts every single day under the fair use doctrine. According to Professors of Law Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, the fair use doctrine applies to commercial music in podcasts.
But what happens when someone takes a different opinion on your assumed fair use? If you’re lucky, you’ll be forced to removing the music from your episodes. If you’re unlucky, you fight it out in court.
A potentially more likely risk: It might get your podcast booted from directories like Spotify, YouTube, and more. And good luck getting in touch with a human at those big tech firms to plead your case.
So… is it worth it? You’ll have to answer that for yourself?
Will it ever be easy to use commercial music in a podcast? Maybe.
I think the excellent work done by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other copyleft organizations will, eventually, pay off. Now, whether or not that happens soon enough for you to play commercial music in your podcast without fear of de-platforming or court summonses remains to be seen. We’re not getting any younger!
• Advancing Podcasting - http://advancingpodcasting.xyz
• Palle Bo on Twitter - http://twitter.com/radiovagabond
• The Radio Vagabond podcast - https://www.theradiovagabond.com
• Fair use and music for your podcast - https://podnews.net/article/fair-use-for-podcasters
• Professor of Law Patricia Aufderheide - https://www.american.edu/soc/faculty/paufder.cfm
• Professor of Law Peter Jaszi - https://www.wcl.american.edu/community/faculty/profile/jaszi/bio
• Section 230 - https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230
• Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) - https://www.eff.org/issues/dmca
• Reclaiming Fair Use (book) - https://amzn.to/3iWOYtO
• Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - https://www.eff.org
• Copyleft.org - https://copyleft.org
• Support Evo on Buy Me A Coffee - https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra
A written-to-be-read article and a full transcript of the audio of this episode can be found at https://podcastpontifications.com/episode/using-music-in-your-podcast-fair-use-or-wise-choice.
Visit https://twitter.com/evoterra for more podcasting insights from Evo Terra as they come.
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