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You can create a podcast about any topic and share it with the world. Podcasts are a great way to show off your knowledge or opinion about something you are interested in. However, since your podcast is under copyright protection as an original work, you should be aware of how to enforce your rights. Understanding copyright will also allow you to avoid copyright issues like copyright infringement. This article will set out some essential tips about copyright and your podcast. 

Understand Copyright Basics 

Copyright is an intellectual property tool which covers original works. This includes work that you create but have not published. For example, a design that has yet to be made into a finished product will still be covered by copyright. 

 Copyright protection will automatically cover your podcast, meaning that you do not have to register it. However, if you want to indicate to others that your podcast is copyrighted, you can use the © symbol. 

Podcasts will likely fall under the sound recordings and communication categories of protected copyright work. 

Copyright protection means that you will have the right to copy, use and profit from your work. It also means that you can decide if anyone else can copy, use and profit from your work. Further, copyright gives you certain legal protections. Therefore, there are legal actions you can take if you think someone has infringed your copyright. 

Copyright duration will depend on the kind of work your copyright applies to. For sound recordings, copyright applies from the point you create it or make it available to the public (whichever is later) until 50 years after that date. 

Identify and Change Copyright Ownership

Usually, the creator of the copyrighted material is the copyright owner. However, if you are employed to create the copyrighted work, your employer will own the copyright. So, if you are employed to be creating any part of the podcast, your employer will likely have copyright ownership. 

There are additional ways that others could end up owning or using your copyrighted material. These will usually include a licence agreement or assignment

Licence Agreement

A licence agreement is a contract between the copyright owner and a potential user. The agreement grants permission from the owner to use the material. You can change a licence agreement to suit your circumstances. It can specify details such as the time and length of the material that the potential user will use.

If you have created a podcast and someone else would like to use part or all of it for any purpose, you should consider a licence agreement. This is because the clearer you are about your intellectual property, the less likely you are to have conflicts in the future. Further, if you run into copyright issues, you will be better positioned to protect yourself.

You may also wish to consider a licence agreement if you use someone else’s copyrighted material for your podcast. For example, you can get permission through a licence agreement if you wish to use a song as your theme song or as background music. This will allow you to set out that you will only use the music at specific times and for specific purposes.


An assignment is a contract that transfers the copyrighted material and rights over to another person. An assignment is binding, and once complete, you will no longer have ownership rights. 

Know the Copyright Exceptions 

There are circumstances where others can copy and use your copyrighted work without your say. These can fall under one of four categories, including:

  • research;
  • private study;
  • criticism or review; and
  • reporting current events.

Depending on what your podcast is about, you may find that others can use it for these reasons. However, any dealing must be considered fair. Fair use depends on the nature of how people use the copyrighted work. depends on the nature of how people use the copyrighted work.

This might leave you wondering how listeners can download your podcast under copyright law. Perhaps you are unsure if this counts as copyright infringement. It is common for people to download podcasts on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music to listen to them later. This is another exception under copyright law. Copyright law permits the act of format shifting. This is when someone copies a sound recording on their device for their own listening. Format shifting is often necessary for listeners to hear your podcast on their devices because different devices require different formats. 

Key Takeaways

Podcasts are copyrighted material, and being aware of these three copyright tips will help you better protect your work. Of course, copyright ownership can depend on whether you are under employment or using a licence agreement or assignment to transfer your copyright. However, you should keep in mind that sometimes, others can use your podcast without needing permission. If you would like further assistance with your intellectual property, contact LegalVision’s IP lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who determines fair use?

Under permitted circumstances, the person who is using copyrighted work is trusted to do so fairly.

How can I use the © symbol on a podcast?

You could use it on your logo or even add a disclaimer that the podcast is copyrighted. 

Does it cost to have copyright protection?

No, copyright protection is free.

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