Welcome To The Podcasting Legal Guide

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Unlike other articles here this guide is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5. A pdf version is available. Please provide feedback at Talk:Podcasting_Legal_Guide (requires registration).

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Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution

The phenomenon of podcasting has been much analyzed, explained and undertaken. Technically, podcasting has been described as “the distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the internet using either RSS or Atom syndication for listening on mobile devices and personal computers.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting) More broadly, podcasting has been heralded as “the medium that promises a future where anyone can make radio, instead of just listen to it.” (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/curry.html)

For those interested and involved in podcasting, this Podcasting Legal Guide has been prepared to provide general information about some of the more common legal questions that get asked in relation to podcasting.

As you may know, the Electronic Frontier Foundation produced a very practical and helpful Legal Guide for Bloggers (http://www.eff.org/bloggers/). This Guide is designed to complement the EFF Guide for Bloggers. Many of the issues that are relevant to bloggers are also relevant to podcasting; for those crossover issues this Guide refers you to relevant sections of the EFF Guide. However, where this Guide tries to carve new ground is in relation to some of the standalone issues that are of primary relevance to podcasters, as opposed to bloggers.

Before using this Guide, there are a couple of things we ask that you keep in mind:

  • This Guide provides general information based on U.S. law. Since podcasts are typically distributed worldwide, legal issues from other jurisdictions are likely to be relevant for you but we are unable to include them at this time.
  • The text of the Guide is licensed to the public under the Creative Common’s Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/). It is our hope that practitioners in other jurisdictions will translate and adapt this Guide for their jurisdictions. Please let us know if you do by emailing podcasting@vogelelaw.com so that we can link to your version of the Guide.
Also, please attribute this Guide as follows: “Podcasting Legal Guide http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide © 2006 Colette Vogele of Vogele & Associates, Mia Garlick of Creative Commons and Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw. This Guide was produced as part of the Non-Residential Fellowship Program of the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School.”
Please also note, that this Guide attempts to provide an overview of how the law is likely to treat many of the issues that arise in relation to podcasting. Some areas, such as in relation to music, are still the subject of debate and so this Guide seeks to layout the key issues and considerations that arise in relation to these unsettled areas of law. At all times, however, you should bear in mind that this Guide does not advocate for how the law should treat podcasting, only what the law is likely to be at this time.

We have included a brief explanation of how best to use this Guide, depending on your level of legal and technical knowledge here: How To Use The Podcasting Legal Guide.

Please post any suggestions or comments you have to the talk page of the Guide’s wiki (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Talk:Podcasting_Legal_Guide). These comments will be reviewed periodically and will help us when preparing future updates to this Guide.


Foreword, by Lawrence Lessig

Podcasting Legal Guide

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