Hope you’re having a great week! Did you know that there are over 2 million podcasts? It may seem like the industry is oversaturated, but when you consider how many IG accounts there are and how engaged podcast audiences are as compared to the aimless scroll on a lot of social media platforms, it can be a great way to build an audience. But as with all things in business, it’s important to protect yourself, your content, and your business overall:
🎙 PODCASTING LEGAL TIPS
1. Choose a “clear” name for your show.
Did you know that podcast names-just like a brand or a course, etc.-can be trademarked, so if you use the same name or anything similar, you’re infringing? Before you publish your podcast and/or promote it on social media, it’s essential that you check to make sure your name isn’t infringing on anyone else’s trademark rights (reply back if you need assistance with this. My free trademark guide here is a good starting point. If you want my help with clearing a name to be completely safe, especially if you may want to trademark the name yourself in the future, I can help. Reach out via the Contact link in my footer).
2. Lawyer-drafted contracts for your podcast manager and anyone working on your podcast.
Anyone working in your business should be under a lawyer-drafted Independent Contractor Agreement where you know you’re protected (ideal). Think about how much access a podcast manager, for example, would have to your content, your unique business methods, etc. Crucial to protect yourself. If the contractor has their own contract they want you to sign instead, have a lawyer review it first.
3. Use only royalty-free, unrestricted music.
Want a music intro for your podcast? Make sure you have the right to use whatever you’re considering. Any music you use for your podcast must be free for commercial use. Same goes for any photos/graphics you use to promote your podcast.
4. Have all guests sign a Podcast Release.
Did you know that without a Release, guests have copyright rights in their episodes? Their interview is their original content. It’s essential that whenever you have someone appear on your podcast, you have them sign a Podcast Release. This allows you to, among other things, publish the episode and audiograms on multiple platforms (e.g. YouTube, IG, etc.) without asking them each time. It allows you to use their photo, their business name, their bio. It allows you to publish episodes without getting your guest’s edit approval. What if you get sponsorships/ad revenue? A Release ensures your guest can’t seek royalties, etc.
- My new Release is up, it’s $129, and you can knock it out in less than 5 mins.
5. Have a podcast partner? You need a Partnership Agreement.
If you and another business owner are co-producing and/or co-own a podcast, a lawyer-drafted Partnership Agreement is critical. How are profits/losses/expenses allocated? What happens if you have a falling out-who owns the rights to the podcast? Can they continue publishing without you? What should they say/are they permitted to say about you? What if you decide you don’t want to publish anymore-what’s the winding down process? Who owns the content? What happens to the podcast?
Any time 2 or more business owners create original content together (like a joint podcast) their creation is considered a joint work under copyright law. With joint works, each collaborator has equal copyright rights in how the work is published, marketed, sold, licensed, distributed, when and how it’s dissolved, etc. V. v. important to have all of this clearly outlined to protect you and your podcast at the outset. Email me back if you need a Partnership Agreement. This will likely need to be done custom.
6. Disclose affiliates and sponsorships.
By law, you must disclose any affiliate relationships or sponsorships if you promote either on your podcast (or in your show notes).
NEW CONTRACTS ALERT!
For those of you who need custom contracts, legal masterclasses, etc., I put together an overview of my custom services. Working with me 1:1 is an important investment, and this page will give you details about the process, when you might need custom work, and some ballpark pricing.
You can now purchase all of our contracts over $349 with a payment plan! Just choose “Purchase with Partial.ly” after you’ve clicked on a contract or bundle. We haven’t yet figured out how to use discount codes with Partia.ly (sorry!) but you can spread payments over 2 months. Hopefully that makes things easier. Here are a few new templates:
- Collaboration Agreement: when collaborating with another business owner to produce a course, program, workshop, etc.
- Affiliate Agreement: for creating an online Affiliate Program (like mine) where affiliates can sign up on a dashboard and make commission on purchases through their affiliate links
- Podcast Release: see above!
And a few you may not have seen:
- Masterclass/Paid Webinar/Workshop: protect your content, your boundaries, and your payments! See the contract description for more details.
- VIP Day/Paid Intensive: Protect your payments and level set expectations. Very important with a shorter engagement!
- Referral Agreement: offering referral payments when other business owners refer you clients? Use this Agreement to ensure all terms are clear and you’re protected against have to pay commissions if prospects don’t convert (or default!)
- COMING SOON: Guest Speaker Release. Make sure you’re on my email list to be notified as soon as it lands.
Business and Life Updates:
Back Pocket Legal
Back Pocket Legal has been revamped. It’s available evergreen and instead of the 3 live group Q&A sessions as previously offered, BPL members will get a 1:1 session with me to schedule within 3 months of enrolling. I think it’s a huge value-add because you’ll get direct access to me at a convenient time vs. trying to make a live session in a different time zone. And we all say we’re going to watch replays and…do we actually? 😅
Affiliates: I love you, even though I neglect you with updates 🙈 If you have any issues with your affiliate URLs, please let me know. You should have received a link to the Affiliate Toolkit with swipe file and captions when you signed up. If you need access, please let me know. We’ll be updating it over the next 2 weeks.
If you have clients or friends who need Back Pocket Legal, please go ahead and share your link. We’re working on connecting the tech so that your affiliate URL will link to BPL. In the mean time, just let me know if someone came from you and we’ll make sure you get commission. We’ll be adding a lot more affiliate resources to help you promote BPL. Stay tuned for updates!
If you haven’t yet signed up to be an Affiliate, but want to, check it out here.
I’m restructuring my entire business, more on this in the weeks to come. I won’t be taking on any new trademark clients after September 20, and will be focused solely on contract templates, custom contracts, and Back Pocket Legal, as I get my (mostly non-legal) podcast off the ground and explore other exciting non-legal business ventures.
Headed off on an epic road trip later this week, before I move abroad again long term in November. Head to my IG stories to follow along!
Questions? As always, feel free to reach out!