Podcasts: everyone’s been listening to them and everyone’s thinking about starting one. As with many creative projects, there are legal issues that you need to be aware of as a content creator. Not sure what I’m referring to? Here are 4 legal aspects of having a podcast you need to think about.
Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions about the legal aspects of having a podcast, send me an email at email@example.com.
Of course, one of the main ways you can monetize your podcast is through sponsorships. It is extremely important for you and your sponsors to be on the same page about what you can (and will) offer them and how you are going to be compensated for that. The best way to do so? Putting everything into writing. Having a sponsorship agreement will allow you to clarify all the terms of your business relationship with your sponsors.
#2 Disclosure requirements
You have sponsors. Great! Make sure to disclosure them during your podcast. Canadian Ad Standards require you to disclose all material relationships with a company. You plan on mentioning your sponsor’s product at the beginning of your next episode? Make sure your listeners understand your episode is being sponsored. Are you inviting your listeners to click an affiliate link? Tell them you will be getting a small cut if they make a purchase. Want to give your sponsor a shout out in your next Instagram post promoting your latest episode? Using clear hashtags (you can go check out my post on disclosure requirements here). The key word here is transparency.
#3 Third-party content
Unfortunately, that new song you heard on the radio (yes, the one that would be great for your intro) cannot be used without the copyright holder’s permission. Make sure any content you use, whether in your podcast (music for instance) or in your marketing (images, for instance) can be used with no restrictions. The best and easiest way to do so is to use royalty-free content, which you can now get from a variety of providers. Don’t want to use royalty-free content? Never assume you can use someone’s content without asking them first.
#4 Employees and contractors
As your podcast grows, you will most likely need people to help you keep the business running. Whether you hire employees or contractors to do some work for you, make sure to always put that business relationship into writing.
When it comes to copyright, remember that anything your contractor creates for you belongs to them. You therefore need to make sure (in writing) that you can use the material they create for you and modify it as needed.
If you need legal advice regarding podcasts or if you need help with drafting/reviewing documents, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can click the link below to schedule a consultation.