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Apr 25, 2019

As Luminary fights off a flood of takedown requests, podcasters have to ask themselves how they feel about having their content automatically added to new products and services. More importantly, podcasters need to take action to ensure that their rights -- their copyrights -- are explicitly stated*.

Since I'm not a lawyer, I asked one. Ruth Carter is an IP attorney and personal friend. It was from my conversation with Ruth that I give the following advice:

Go add this to the <copyright> tag in your RSS feed right now: © 2019** by [Rights Holder Name]. All rights reserved.

No, this isn't a guaranteed fix to keep Bad Actors from grabbing your feed and adding it to their own directory service. It's incumbent upon services/directories to respect copyright. (Sadly, I don't think most do today. But with all this brouhaha, future services may start.)

No, this doesn't stop you from submitting your show to new services/directories as they come about. The fact that you, the rights holder, go through the submission process on that new service/directory acts as a license you are granting to that service (though Ruth recommends you read the click-wrap agreement, which is just what you'd expect an attorney to say.)

While I recommend taking this action -- I just did it for my shows and all of my firm's clients' shows -- there will be a business impact. Namely, if precedence is set so apps/services/directories decide it is in their best interest to secure licenses with each rights holder... that's going to slow things down. Big time.

And that's a topic worthy of future discussion, don't you think?

* Ruth reminds me that, at least in the US, copyright applies even if the rights-holder doesn't expressly state them. Still, stating them is good practice, so do it.

** If you're looking at this in the future, adjust the year accordingly. And yes, you need to change the year on Jan 1 of every year. Dumb, I know.