This article doesn't really explain anything about why it vanished. Sorry.
Music licensing for podcasts recognises speed of change
A brief glance at even the most traditional media channels reveals that the podcast has exploded. For lawyers, it was only a matter of time before they turned down the volume on their MP3 players and addressed the legal aspects of the format.
This is reflected by the recent publication by music licensing body the MCPS-PRS Alliance of its licensÂ¬ing solution for podcasts featuring music. The main requirements on a podcaster under the Alliance scheme revolve around the content of a podÂ¬cast not being exclusively music: it must contain an element of speech and be at least 15 minutes long. The podcaster must obscure a minimum often seconds at the beginning and end of each track with either speech or station identification, ensure that music doesn't constitute more than 80 % of the total length of any podcast, and deliver podcasts in their entirety.
In addition, a podcaster must ensure that the podcast isn't capable of being ripped and that data isn't used to download from unauthorÂ¬ised sites. Other restrictions apply to the type of music included in the podcast. For example, there are limits on the number of tracks by one artist or the repetition of tracks. The fees for the Alliance licence are based on a flat quarterly advance of Â£100 plus a royalty. The royalty is the greater of 12 % of the gross reveÂ¬nue or the minimum fee per track downloaded as part of the podcast.
The apparently interim nature of the licensing scheme being offered, until March next year, reflects the rapid development of the podcast market. While the terms of the current scheme may be suitable in the short term, it's inevitable that technological change and preÂ¬dictable questions over the extent of the new licence and its interaction with other schemes will require regular review over time.
Looking at pod casts in a more general sense, other legal issues arise that are starting to be addressed by podcasters, and their lawyers, in earnest. In particular, there has been a realisation by creators and content owners that podcasts can be: a valid revenue stream.
So we're starting to see formal licences for podcasts, as we had done for text content in the past. These may include elements of exclusivity and revenue sharing arrangements. From a legal perspective, the old rules apply to creators and content owners. Don't license what you haven't got and be clear about the money. If you're taking a licence of a podcast, as with all forms of intellectual property, make sure you obtain appropriate warranty and indemnity protection to give you enough comfort that a licensor is 'standing behind' its content.
In addition, there's an increased suspicion, particularly in relation to
"WHILE THE TERMS OF THE CURRENT SCHEME MAY BE SUITABLE IN THE SHORT TERM, IT'S INEVITABLE THAT TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE WILL REQUIRE REGULAR REVIEW OVER TIME"
business-to-consumer podcasts, that individuals may seek to rely on the content and that some form of liabiÂ¬lity for it may arise. This is an interÂ¬esting question and depends heavily on the content of the podcast and its intended audience. We're skeptical of any claims that there's signifiÂ¬cant legal risk in this respect. HowÂ¬ever, the first estate agent podcast disclaimer does allegedly now exist.
What about the future? Looking at the current and predicted capaÂ¬bilities of devices like mobile phones, PDAs and iPods it can only be a matter of time before video blogging becomes widespread. In short, we'll all be broadcasters very soon, and the legal issues will only get more interesting.
Richard Chapman is a partner in the business and technology services group at Berwin Leighton Paisner; richard.