Fair Use, Explained: Sound Advice from The Podcast Lawyer


PodMov Daily: Monday, March 8

Episode 385: Your Monday Mix

Fair Use, Explained: Sound Advice from The Podcast Lawyer

Known as The Podcast Lawyer, entertainment attorney Gordon Firemark is full of answers you can't find anywhere else. In conversation with documentary podcaster Doug Fraser (What We Do), Firemark digs into tricky legal pitfalls, the unreliability of ‘fair use,’ and the truth behind the Bernie inauguration meme.

“I think podcasting is a tremendously powerful medium. It's exciting, even though it has its trouble spots, its wrinkles that we need to be aware of,” Firemark says. If there’s one misconception he wants to clear up, it’s that podcast interviews are a completely different animal from those on the radio.

Firemark advises creators that “it doesn't have to be colossally expensive” to talk to a legal expert. Proactive protection of one’s brand is a smart move: “If you're serious about podcasting, whether you intend to make money or not, you need to start thinking professionally about it and treating it as a business.”

Tips for Navigating the Podcast-to-TV Pipeline

“How do podcasters who aren’t hooked up with Wondery or have an in at Apple TV+ get started bringing a podcast to a new medium?” asks Melissa Locker for Timber.fm. Experts including Homecoming creator Eli Horowitz and Lore creator Aaron Mahnke offer tips on the path from podcast to TV adaptation.

First and foremost, a high-quality show that stands on its own is the only ticket that leads to a deal. “If you’re trying to make a podcast that will be adapted to a TV show, you probably won’t make a very good podcast,” says Horowitz, whose scripted thriller expanded from Gimlet to Amazon Prime Video in 2018.

Aaron Mahnke began the Lore adaptation process back in 2015, and it hasn’t pulled him away. “I have a number of projects going and in various stages, and I want to continue making things [in the TV world], but there’s something pure and beautifully simple in podcasting…I’m not walking away from podcasting.”

Today’s recommended reading: Podcast adtech commentary from Twila Dang, Founder & CEO of Matriarch Digital Media. 

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What's important is the action.

Here's what else is going on:

  • New flame: Fireside, Mark Cuban’s “next-gen podcast platform,” is now in beta on iOS. Ashley Carman of The Verge takes a first look at the app’s functionality, interface, and testing group. “Broadly, the app is best described as a hybrid between Spotify’s Anchor software and Clubhouse.”
  • Good answer: On Wednesday at 9:00 am PT, the Editors Collective will host an information session for Edit Mode: Story Editor Training for Narrative Audio. Potential applicants can learn more about the paid intensive program, ask questions, and meet instructors. Registration required.
  • Accent wall: Penguin Random House Audio has introduced Ahab, a casting platform for voiceover talent.  Content creators and agents use it to find actors for audiobooks, podcasts, video games, ad spots, animation, and documentaries. Talent profiles and educational resources are free.
  • Fast forward: Digital accessibility will largely define the future of podcasting, writes Jonathan Gill, founder and CEO of Backtracks. The podcast analytics platform built its player app with keyboard-only navigation, support for screen readers, and time-synchronized transcript capability.

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