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The Legal Way to Podcast

The Legal Way to Podcast

As an online business owner, there are LOTS of ways to show up and market your business and recently, podcasting is becoming a popular channel for sharing knowledge, entertaining your audience, and building a true community. 

I for one love all of the podcasts out there as it gives you the ability to connect with creators that goes beyond just words on a screen, so you can better understand their personality and learn from them in a new way. 

But like anything in the online business world, behind the engaging conversations and captivating content lies a legal landscape that podcasters must navigate to ensure their endeavors are both compliant and protected.

While it’s true that anyone can start a podcast these days, it’s important that you do so legally and understand all of the ins and outs that often go overlooked when it comes to the podcast world. 

As your cool lawyer for navigating online business, I’m here to help you do just that! In this blog specifically, you’ll learn the legal way to podcast so that you feel empowered to embark on your podcasting journey confidently and legally sound.

From copyright concerns to privacy regulations, let's dive into The Legal Way To Podcast. 🎙️⬇️

4 Things To Do BEFORE Starting a Podcast To Ensure You Do So Legally

Understand Legal Requirements

Before hitting the record button, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for podcasting specifically. While podcasting may seem like a casual endeavor, it's essential to treat it as a business from a legal standpoint.

This includes selecting the appropriate business structure, obtaining necessary permits or licenses as needed, and understanding tax obligations. Additionally, podcasters must be aware of defamation laws, which prohibit making false statements that may harm someone's reputation. 

Additionally, staying compliant with privacy laws, especially when collecting personal information from guests or listeners is a non-negotiable. This is very similar to how you would navigate a Privacy Policy on your website!

It’s important that you also understand certain data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) if you're targeting audiences in regions covered by these laws.

Lastly, as a podcaster, you also want to understand and familiarize yourself with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its implications for podcasting. This often involves making podcast transcriptions and closed captioning available where appropriate for ADA compliance.


Secure Guest Agreements

If you’ll be featuring guests on your podcast, it’s not as simple as inviting them onto your show and having a casual conversation. Unfortunately, many podcasters don’t realize this, but again as your legal bestie, I’m here to make sure that you understand what’s required of you from a legal standpoint!

When or if you decide to have guest interviews on your podcast, it’s important that you secure clear guest agreements every single time so that you can avoid potential legal complications down the road.

A guest agreement should outline the terms of the interview, including consent for recording, distribution rights, and any compensation arrangements. Your podcast guest agreement should include clauses addressing intellectual property rights, ensuring that you have the necessary permissions to use the guest's name, likeness, and any copyrighted materials they may provide during the interview.

By obtaining written consent from your guests and clarifying the terms of the interview beforehand, you can mitigate the risk of disputes and safeguard your podcast against potential legal issues.

Like many legal agreements, it can feel overwhelming to create this on your own, which is why I’ve done the hard work for you. 👋

THIS Podcast Guest Agreement template includes everything you need to legally secure guests for your show, including General Purpose, Scope of Guest Appearance, Recording Logistics, Usage Rights, and more.


Follow All Content Usage and Copyright Laws

Following copyright and content usage laws is vital for any part of business, but especially when it comes to podcasting!  When producing a podcast, it can be easy to disregard content usage and copyright without even fully recognizing that you’re doing it.

For example, many people feature music or various audio clips in their podcast, which is totally fine, WHEN you obtain proper permissions and licenses. 

When selecting background music or sound effects for your podcast, opt for royalty-free or licensed tracks to ensure compliance with copyright laws. Additionally, if you're quoting from books, articles, or other podcasts, always attribute the source and obtain permission if necessary.

Another thing you want to be cautious of as a podcaster when using trademarks is to avoid any potential trademark infringement claims. It’s important that you refrain from using trademarks in a manner that could confuse or mislead listeners about the source of the content.

And when in doubt? Leave it out! If you’re unsure about the legality, it’s better NOT to use it!


Implement Advertising and Sponsorship Agreements

Monetizing your podcast through advertising and sponsorships can be lucrative, but it also introduces additional legal considerations. When entering into agreements with advertisers or sponsors, it’s important that you clearly outline the terms and conditions governing the partnership.

My best advice here is to NEVERRRR enter into a sponsorship without legal backing in written form. It’s best that your agreements address payment terms, deliverables, exclusivity clauses, and any representations or warranties made by either party. 

Additionally, when advertising on your show, it’s vital that you maintain transparency with your audience by clearly disclosing any paid endorsements or sponsored content in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines.

Failing to disclose sponsored content can not only damage your credibility, but also result in legal repercussions. It’s no different than if you were to post a sponsored ad on Instagram or on your blog – it has to have a disclaimer!

For a deeper dive into disclosing sponsored content, CLICK HERE!

Overall, podcasting can be an amazing creative outlet and serve as a great addition to your content marketing efforts, but like anything in the business world, it’s important to navigate it legally.

By following this checklist when starting your podcast, you can reduce legal risks and safeguard your podcasting business right from the start! 


If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hey I’m Amber – not a regular lawyer, but a cool lawyer that helps online business owners sell without getting sued. 

If you like what you just read and want more cool lawyer things in your life, here’s a few ways to stay connected:

Let’s be pen pals! Subscribe to my email list to receive all of my best biz tips and behind the scenes goodies to keep your business bringing in sales (legally of course).

Binge the blog to get all of the legal information you need about running a business in a way that actually makes sense to your non-legal brain.

Come hang with me on the ‘gram! I often do AMA’s on stories, so you can submit your specific questions when they come up.

And if you’re in need of legal resources that you can ACTUALLY understand? Here’s a few ways I can help:

Step into TBL’s free library of legal resources for creative entrepreneurs where we throw open the doors and spill the tea on what works and what doesn't when it comes to legal protection, systems and sales.  

Browse the contract shop to find what’s missing in your biz and easily implement it with a plug and play template!

Join the collaborative legal membership that teaches you how to grow your business into a protected brand.

Need something else? Send me a DM! Always happy to lend a legal hand when I can.