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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 117369
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement

Customer Question

I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement if I wanted to play music from my favorite artists on a podcast.
JA: What written documentation do you have?
Customer: I have no documentation. I was just wondering how I can avoid copyright infringement.
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: No and no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am wanting to start a podcast where I play music and talk about local and global issues. I would not be using it to promote myself in anyway to make money. Only as a hobby. It would used as a place for people to come and listen and have fun, find hope, or whatever they need.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you are going to be using music of other artists on your podcast, then you need to pay your royalty fee to ASCAP and/or BMI for the play time. They charge fees based on the number of plays of each song, which are really quite low and if you contact them they will arrange a rate. However, if you broadcast the music in any part or portion without securing the permission from ASCAP/BMI/Harry Fox Agency (depending on the song), they can some after you and sue you for playing the song in commerce available to the public, even if you are not charging money or making money off of playing the song. So, just like playing the music in your business, where you may not be making money off of playing the music, the artists are entitled to their royalty rights which really are pennies per play.

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