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Distribution, licensing, and legal concerns - XML

There are various forms of web syndication available to web site owners. The syndicated distribution of media is known as Podcasting. In this article we will focus on delivering different audio and video (sometimes called Vodcasting) media to your subscribers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. How to Set Up Podcasting and Vodcasting
  2. Preparing your media files
  3. Publishing your Podcast
  4. Distribution, licensing, and legal concerns
By: Nilpo/Developer Shed Staff Writer
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 19
March 12, 2007

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There are several ways to distribute your Podcast or Vodcast.  You can provide a direct URL on your website, in emails and newsletters, or on printed material.  There are several online listing services available as well.

Before distributing your Podcast there are a couple of things that you need to take into legal consideration.  Any media that you provide in a Podcast or Vodcast falls under copyright laws.

If you are distributing your own original works, you have little to worry about because you inherently own the copyright, but if you are redistributing others’ works or works based on someone else’s work then you should be careful that you are not violating any applicable laws.

Copyright laws are far beyond the scope of this article.  Stay safe by making sure that you have written permission to redistribute any material that is not your own original work.  For a more detailed explanation of how copyright laws affect podcasting, take a look at the Podcasting Legal Guide or consult a professional.

If you would like to research this further on your own, take a look at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and International Copyright Laws.  The University of Washington’s “Copyright Connection” website is an excellent resource and a great place to start.

It’s also important that you provide your subscribers with a usage license.  Most commonly Podcasts and Vodcasts are released to the public under a Creative Commons license.  There are a couple of CC licenses to choose from based on what you wish to allow your subscribers to do with your content.  For more information visit the Creative Commons website.

The final thing you should take into consideration before releasing yourself to the public is your content.  Make sure that you target only your intended audience.  You should also take care that your feed is not available to those who shouldn’t see it—especially if it contains explicit material.

While there is no content ratings system in place for Podcasts at the time of this writing, there is an initiative to start one.  You can take part in the beta Content Self-Ratings System for Podcasts being developed by Podtrac to help establish guidelines for a ratings system similar to those of the MPAA for movies and the ESRB for video games.



 
 
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