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What is Fair Use?

I'm sure the title of this post has all the legal beagles paying attention, but sadly - I'm probably not going to talk about what you think I'm going to talk about.

I think that most people will agree that the entire point of creating a podcast is so that people will listen to it. There's no sense making a show if you don't want it out there on the airwaves, is there?

So what happens when someone uses your show in a way that you didn't intend?

There's a user in the Podcast Pickle forums who is an American (military, I think) posted in Japan. A professor at a Japanese university recently emailed him to let the podcaster know that his podcast was being used to teach direct listening to Japanese english students.

"...for these beginners, we just ask them to arrive at a target number for the week. This number is computed by having them listen to your podcast and counting the number of times you say "You know," plus the number of times you say "like"
divided by the number of times you refer to the listeners as "You guys." It is great fun for them, and gives them practice in directed listening."

This is obviously vaguely insulting to the podcaster, but what can he do about it?

I think situations like this are few and far between, but perhaps it pays to put some real thought into how you are going to license your podcast before you start producing it. If this podcast is licensed under a Share-Alike Creative Commons license, for example (it isn't), then there's probably nothing the podcaster can do about this type of use. However, if it is licensed more rigidly (it is), then maybe the podcaster does have a recourse.

Perhaps this is an area where a little forethought might be in order.

Tags: fair use, podcast legal issues

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