Who Owns Your Content?
The last thing I wanna close up with today, this gets into legalese, which I know is the most exciting thing to put off til the very end. But, I do wanna cover a few things because legal terms tend to come up a lot when you are creating and publishing content on the internet. One question that I hear a lot that I've see more and more in forums, and Reddit, and Facebook, is this whole like who owns my content? And really that whole question has arisen from kind of the world of social networks that we live in today. Much like social networks, if you're not paying for a product, you and your content are likely the product. So, when you hear somebody say, yeah, but who owns that content? Well, you gotta, let's look at Facebook for example. You can upload a video to Facebook. Facebook can use that video in any way they please. They can put it into an ad. They can promote it to whoever they want. It's your content, yes, but let's think YouTube. You host for free, but their ads run over your ...
content to pay the bills. So, what you need to figure out as a creator is what makes sense for you. You still own your content. You published your show. It is yours. But, what you do wanna be careful, and I guess less careful and more mindful of is, you know, what are you giving away? So, let's say if you wanna use a free platform. Are they running ads in your stuff? So, really just kind of assessing that before you get on. But, we could spend three hours on legal alone. And instead we're gonna do it in about three more minutes. But this is a very popular question. And this is what it means when people say, who owns my content. And in doing so, like I just mentioned, find a transparent, trusted host, and the whole adage if something seems too goo to be true, it probably is. So then, the most other common questions about protecting your content that you are creating. You are making something. You are putting it out there in the world. Your shows name, that is one thing you should always research. Make sure that in the world there is not a show named the exact same thing as yours. You can easily go to the patent and trademark office, and you can do a word search and just find out. Maybe your show is called Microphone, and you will be able to go through the individual trademarks for the word microphone, and you're gonna see if there's one in the audio, or in the podcasting space. So, it's just a good thing to do early one because the last thing you wanna do is have a show and grow a show, and have 20,000 listeners, and then have to tell them we've gotta change the name of our show. Trademark it if the name is not taken, trademark it. Trademark it as an audio show's name. You can do it. There are services out there. Go to Legalzoom, and a couple hundred dollars, and a few months of waiting, you can trademark your own name. Be sure to protect it if you can. Again, here we're making sure nobody's using it, but with trademarking it you're making sure that nobody else is going to come out with a show in your name in two years. So again, all these things are very basic, but I've seen them come up a lot with podcasters. Commission to music, that is a big one. Be careful, one just don't pull music off Spotify and throw in there. But, if you do commission somebody to write music for the opening to your show, you need a contract. You need basically a contract that says they are giving you rights to that music. They created it for you. And the reason being you don't wanna have a breakout show, be in the apply podcast top 20, and have that person that did the music for you coming back asking for royalties. That is another thing to keep an eye out for. Confirm royalty free and Creative Commons. If you are using artwork, and say, remember we talked about chapters and how they offer different artwork now. If you're using any image that is not your own, really try to confirm that that is royalty free artwork, and/or it falls under a Creative Commons License, which will let you share it literally anywhere. Just wanna be careful of those things. Typically when a show is small you don't have to worry about these, these points. And the reason I wanted to bring up this oh so exciting legalese is because as your show grows you do not wanna be running into any of these problems down the road. And then the last one, co-hosts. And I have seen this come up several times. If you have a co-host you might as well look at yourselves as business partners. I have seen individuals decide to part ways and one show host leave, and the other stay on, and run into the debate of who owns the show. Jane was on this episode and so was Jim. So, what happens there. So the best thing to do is if you have a co-host treat it like a business partnership. Figure out a basic legal term early on of like how you work together. Because, it's just not your show. It's your show, the two of you, the three of you, the four of you. The other thing that I wanted to elude to, most legal templates are cheap or free. If you need to do a contract with a person that wrote the opening music for you, you can go to the internet and for a few dollars, or likely free, find a contract that's going to allow you to do that. Services like Legalzoom also make it dirt cheap to be able to go through and do that. And what may be a small headache now, and me talking about this exciting, exciting thing at the end can really save you a big headache down the road. Kind of taking those steps to think more about your show as it grows. And speaking of headaches, I am wrapping up. So, we've looked at the demand of on-demand audio. We did a oh so exciting history lesson on the beginning of the iPod and podcasting. We went through the engine powering a show, the elements of a strong show, growing your audience, and so forth. There are easily day long classes that I would love to do into each of these. But, today the goal was to kind of take it from the very beginning to what it means to launch you show, where you launch your show, what a host means, and then some basic steps to kind of grow your audience and grow your show. And if I could close this out with anything, I would just wanna say of set your benchmarks realistic. Like I said, we're not aiming everybody be in the iTunes top 50, you know, within your first six months. Set realistic goals. Don't be, don't be let down when you miss those goals. And don't be that statistic that can't publish more than 10 episodes. And I think if you can stay with it and really focus on engaging your audience that you've got a good show on your hands.