Intellectual Property

Who actually owns your podcast content???

Wait, what? I own my own stuff, surely?

Well, yes and in some cases, no.

This is where, surprisingly, terms and conditions matter. The terms and conditions offered by your podcast host for instance. It is well established now that when Anchor started they owned everything you put on their platform as, it would appear, does everyone else on that platform. So you could publish there and discover, five, ten years or two minutes later that either Anchor or someone they had a contract with or another podcast producer on Anchor can legally start publishing your content as theirs! Imagine that. And this occurred, more often than anyone expected or even wanted. It turned out free didn’t quite mean free after all.

A good podcast host will vest the intellectual property in the podcast producer. This is the case with most reputable hosts, well, all reputable hosts. As I discussed back in the Episode “Which Host & Why?”, a good host provides many advantages, time wise and in getting your audio file to your listener’s ears or more likely ear. They will allow you to download your files from their servers and will put in a 301 redirect for some period of time if you change hosts. The good ones replicate the collaborative attitude I was discussing in the last episode: Competition? Collaboration? 

Other good practices to protect your Intellectual Property include: saving your audio files both the edited mp3 and the raw .wav originals and having a blog where you publish your transcripts or at least, your show notes. 

The first practice ensures you are covered if anyone complains about how they were presented on your show. You either do a re-edit or produce the originals to show you did not misrepresent them. The price of storage is continually falling. A quick check on Amazon revealed a Terabyte, that’s 1000 gigabytes, is not that popular a product. 2 terabytes though can be had for as little as $70. This is very cheap insurance.

The blog idea with show notes or a transcript has more advantages than just IP protection. Whilst Google is trying to set up an audio bot to crawl podcasts for search queries, they are definitely crawling written word media. That’s basically what they do and have done from the beginning. By having your show in a written form and this can be an onerous step in the workflow, you gain SEO benefits. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, where you try to convince Google to put your site on page one of google searches for particular search terms by the way you configure your content.

There is a time coming, as I see it, where a transcript will be mandatory to meet legislative requirements in some countries. This is under disability access laws. The hearing impaired are denied access to your show whilst it is only available in audio. Even in video, lip reading is difficult. Reading is more universally accessible. So to the question of transcripts. The pods I produce, at present, are all single person monologues. I write the script, read it, record, edit and publish with the wordpress transcript hitting the interwebs within minutes of the audio being published to my host.

For interview, free form, dot point type shows, producing a transcript is time consuming. I’ve tried playing the audio into a mic attached to a second laptop setup for voice to text typing on google docs. That didn’t work. I tried free transcription services with a time limit per month and the results, with my Australian accent, were, well, unreadable. Probably a great way to create modern poetry but not that helpful for accurate transcription. Paid services are available with prices varying from 0.69c a minute upto $3 and $4 a minute. So a twenty minute episode would cost between $13.80 and $80. The quality would want to be pretty good for $80 an episode. Equally that might not be an excessive fee to avoid falling foul of disability accessibility legal requirements. Either way you are increasing the reach of your show by publishing a transcript and adding a layer of IP protection evidence.

So, pick a great host that vests IP in the podcast producer, publish show notes and transcripts to further cover your organisation and to reach more people.



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Which Host & Why?

Competition? Collaboration?