View Full Version : How to use Music in a Podcast (Copyright and licensing)

Oct 4th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Hey guys,

I saw a need for a paper on what sort of licenses are needed for podcasting material that is under copyright. There are lots of confusing opinions out there which don't actually tell anyone anything concrete. After hours of research and calls to numerous PRO's and licensing organizations I have completed my research. I want to see everyone podcasting legally and not getting slapped with a court order from some large company. On my website I have posted an article that outlines what liceneses are needed, where to get them etc, I hope it can help some of you out.

Yes it is a messy business but if you believe in the product your are putting out it can be negotiated.

Let me know if you have any questions (I'm not working for some giant company, I'm just a trombone player who wants to give a little back)

www.bradrollans.com (click on Podcasting article to open up a new window) Acrobat reader is required.

All the best,

Oct 4th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Nice job on providing a clear explanation of the copyright issues facing podcasters.

Oct 5th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Hooray! Now when someone asks this question for the twenty seventh time in a month, we have a definitive link to give them. Very nice job.

Now we need the same thing for the “How many people are downloading my show?” question.

Oct 20th, 2005, 01:02 PM
Brad, this is a great paper! Though I am certainly not a lawyer, I have been in and around the music industry for a long time, and your facts are well researched and on par with my understanding of these issues.

I just sprung for the BMI license yesterday; because I wanted to use copyrighted music in my Podcast that was not licensed in the creative commons or deemed "podsafe", I chose to start with BMI; if I can justify the license fee down the line I may branch out into ASCAP music as well.

I am brand new to podcasting, but I have already approached several record labels about use of their music within my podcast; quite a few have been very receptive, and have provided me with access to all or a portion of their catalog to use as both clips and featured tracks within my Podcast. Many of the smaller independent guys are flattered at the opportunity for promotion; by paying BMI and obtaining written permission from the label, I am making sure to cover my bases, not rip off the recording artists, and keep the RIAA out of my hair down the line.

Nov 2nd, 2005, 03:39 PM

Thanks for the kind words and it is always nice to see someone covering their butt. Better safe than sorry...
In general the smaller record labels and independant artists will let you use their music, you just need to make sure the artist has the right to grant you permission to use that recording (many times the record company owns the actual sound recording, not the artist)!


Jan 1st, 2006, 09:02 AM
So here's a question...If I have a musician on my podcast and they want to perform a 'cover' tune...that is..a song that is copywritten...will I have a problem putting that on my podcast?
Thanks by the way...This forum ROCKS!

Jan 1st, 2006, 09:09 AM
I sometimes do like a name that tune/band or artist. Is there a limit to how much of a song I can play..is it like 10 seconds?
I thought someone said somethong like that on TechTV a while back...is this the same as Television?

Jan 2nd, 2006, 04:05 PM
Brad -- nice job with the PDF - thanks for sharing...

was just curious if you've heard of Creative Commons and their disclaimers that podcasters can use as a reference for restricted licenses or rights reserved?

Their website =