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Comments on: Music podcast legalities help

Comments on Ask MetaFilter post Music podcast legalities help

Published: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 14:12:38 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 14:12:38 -0800


Question: Music podcast legalities help

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:56:15 -0800

I have, over the past several years, become the individual that lots of people come to for music suggestions and to talk about music (most metal, but some other stuff). Much like the fine folks at Pandora. So I had the great thought of starting a podcast. However: Mayhaps I'm missing something, but I can't find anything online that spells out how to start a music podcast legally. (More after the jump)

I'd like to start a metal-based podcast, specifically highlighting songs that are different or kinda out there. However, nowhere can I find a simple list of what to do to start one up and not get sued into oblivion. There are several (hundred) podcasts online that focus music, and though I'm sure many of them just go and hope they don't get shut down. There has to be, however, some who have threaded the legalities, but apparently I can't find any how-to's or articles (even after much google and ask.mefi searching). Everything I find seems to focus on people talking, talking, talking. I wanna rock the f*** out.

By: azlondon

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 14:12:38 -0800

Try contacting Brian Ibbott at - licensing info discussion is here

By: pb

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 15:58:02 -0800

Check out the Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide. Especially the bit about Using Music.

By: pzarquon

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 16:23:16 -0800

I'm a big fan of Brian, and give him much credit for blazing trails and doing what he can to play the game right. Even so, he's only doing the best he can to minimize his liability... but still can't state outright that he's in the clear. Lots of the people with hands in the pot either have no clear stance on podcasting or ban it outright simply for being "an Internet thing." Of course, if I were a bored RIAA lawyer, I'd more likely go for the blatant copyright violator than the guy who paid for various (but perhaps insufficient) licenses.

There are all kinds of myths out there about podcasting commercial music (i.e. "the 30 second sample" rule). Again, not playing entire songs, talking over intros and outros, and using a low sampling rates are all great ways to minimize the chances of getting in trouble... but you never know when a law firm will get a wild hair.

But if you want to highlight stuff that's "different or kinda out there," you could create a fantastic show and avoid commercial tangles at the same time by featuring independent artists and drawing from "podsafe" music sources. Lots of metal bands want exposure and new listeners more than they want licensing fees, and some of the stuff you can get through the Podsafe Music Network (one of several repositories) would give any big-name, big-label band a run for their money.

By: plaidrabbit

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 22:12:53 -0800

IAN(Yet)AL, and IAN your L.

The best way to do this is just as everyone has said - find people who want you to push their work, like the Creative Common's licenses. Contact bands you think are great and get their permission - often times you can get bands who are up and coming, looking for press, to sign on to let you play their music. You don't necessarily have to get it in writing, officially - a good reliable record of emails stating your intent and getting permission from people who can give you those rights (artists or whoever own the licensing rights) should be dependable enough to show, at least, an implied contract.

You're not going to get someone who's signed to a largeish (Nuclear Blast comes to mind) botique metal label to sign onto this if you've got any type of other revenue stream, such as ad placement, etc because they're going to want a cut. You're using their name to get income, so of course that's where it's going to follow. Even though MTV is (in essence) one big set of commericals for music (at least when they played videos), they still have to pay the royalties.

Lastly, you might want to consider if you really have something inciteful to say before going down this road. It's glutted, and it's going to take a lot of work to make this something people will really want to listen to. However, if you do think you can add something to the scene, and that this is something you really want to do, then best of luck - seriously. Music is in a tumultous time right now, and you could really make a mark if you do it right. (See: Oh Word and Pitchfork) Those guys are very infulential in the music world these days, with tons of readers. They too started with someone just wanting to talk about music and rock the f*ck out. :)

By: Handcoding

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 22:47:52 -0800

Lastly, you might want to consider if you really have something inciteful to say before going down this road. It's glutted, and it's going to take a lot of work to make this something people will really want to listen to.

Are you saying there's a glut of metal-related podcasts, or a glut of music-related podcasts in general? In the case of the former, I'd be very interested in hearing any recommendations -- I dig metal but haven't found much in the way of metal-related podcasts. (Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places?)

By: plaidrabbit

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 23:11:23 -0800

I would love to point you in the direction, but what I ment (and should state here ) is that much like all things that involve someone's opinion, there are way too many people who want to talk and not nearly enough people who have something to say.

I was (poorly) trying to state that there's quite a few music podcasts/websites/etc, and by far 95% of them are absolute shite - and I'm not saying this a someone who maybe just doesn't like the music they talk about, but by objective standards of writing quality, incite, timelyness, and the feeling that someone there isn't just an asshat with an internet connection.

Being above that (see links) is what makes people listen and/or read. And, unless you don't care (which obviously the poster does, or he wouldn't have the good sense to ask about copyrights - most often the last thing in people's minds when they do this), you want to be good, which is usually denoted by having people who follow you.

So, short answer: No, I have nowhere to point you. But best of luck - perhaps your question is proof that the poster really needs to get out and do this! :)

By: plaidrabbit

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 23:14:53 -0800

Also, to further bloat this thread - I just noticed you're in Tampa, FL. Of course you should do this - you're in one of the most metal reigons on the planet, save Sweden!