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Fair use of music in a fandom podcast

HI, I'm new here *waves* And of course, I have a question.

Me and several other lovely fans are considering putting out a podcast for a certain pairing in the HP fandom and were wondering about fair use of music were we to have a segment for music, similar to the fan mixes you can find various places (I know the House Fandom in particular is profuse with fan music collections. . .) around fandom. Specifically:

How much of a song would one be able to use?
As a non-profit cast, what are our options as far as getting use?

Obviously, if there is anyone who also knows a thing or two about the Music industry and how they work, that would be fabulous as well.


SONGS, SONGS, SONGS. I have, uh, 64 patented H/D fanmix songs in my iTunes library and probably more if I start really thinking about it. I am also all for hosting our featured songs out and about in the LJ/Blog that we eventually pull together. One song per podcast could be a fun little feature that wouldn't take too much space away from the FIC READINGS (=DDD) and they could even be fic-specific songs, if we wanted to go that far.


Re: songs -- using music owned by recording companies could
theoretically land us in hot water; afaik Slashcast only uses
royalty-free/public domain tunes for that reason. Though they did use
a Stars song last time, so IDK. I'll look into it.

Weily Lang:

Then how about we have a disclaimer about how the RIAA mandates that any copyrighted music should be deleted within 24 hours of downloading and that whatever listeners do with their downloads is their reponsibility? Or we could somehow incorporate 30-second clips into the segments -- those are legal, methinks.


If we only did song segments (as in, during the meta discussion portion if someone mentions how such and such is a really good song, cue a 30 second clip), I think that would get around the copyright issues.


Doesn't the fair use act apply to copyrighted media too though? If it does we could make the case that the songs are being used for commentary / critique. *crickets chirkp* well, it was a thought anyway. The 30-second segment thing could also work.

. . . And I love the idea of H/D fanmixes (I've already compiled an H/D sountrack here) http://mtranc3.livejournal.com/10004.html and it'd be great of people could send songs or request songs and then play them on the cast (and I agree about the 30 secs sample, just to be on the safe side). . .

I had a look on the RIAA site:

Whether you upload or download a sound recording for 24 hours, 24 minutes or less has nothing to do with whether or not you are violating copyright law.

So that answers the 24 hour delete period, but (!):

The Fair Use Doctrine allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the copyright holder, but the limitations are significant. Whether the court allows you to reproduce, distribute, adapt, display and/or perform copyrighted works under this doctrine depends on many circumstances and includes the following determinants:

• the nature of the use (i.e., was it for commercial purposes or not);
**** • the length of the excerpt (i.e., how much of the whole work; does the excerpt use the most distinctive part);****
• how creative the work is (and sound recordings are always creative); and
• how the use will impact the market for the original work.

So it'd be safer to go with the 30 secs...?


Maybe I'm misunderstanding the whole issue of copyright (and after I just went to that plagiarism panel at PR where they explained it to us!) but I am not seeing a reason why we couldn't use all of the song,depending on what the context of the use was.

• the nature of the use (i.e., was it for commercial purposes or not); *definitely not commercial
• how the use will impact the market for the original work. *I don't think including one song by a single artist in a 40-minute podcast would impact the market for the original work at all

I don't know, I feel like - this would almost be like a free radio show in the context we'd be using it, right? I don't think my local community radio station has to get permission from the RIAA every time they play some eclectic song by Neutrall Milk Hotel or something, because they're a not-for-profit. Wouldn't the same standards apply?


Oh no, your'e not misunderstanding, actually I did *facepalm*, for some reason I thought the songs would be availiable for download, but since we're doing a *podcast* *shakes head*. Yep, there's nothing there opposed to it, the way I see it, so we could probably play the whole song.

Thank you!!!



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Fair use for fanfiction writing is a totally different beast than the draconian rules around online music and the distribution of copyrighted music as it's currently enforced. Artists are dealing, for example, with court interpretations of the law that make using even *three notes* of a song in a sample an offense. Sure, most podcasters have not gotten in trouble over using non-podsafe music in their podcasts, but it is a risk.

I would advise only using public domain or alternatively-licensed music, and not risk drawing RIAA attention. There is a whole genre of "podsafe" music that's sprung up just for this sort of thing.

Check out for info:

Check out for music:
May. 29th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
Oi! Thank you so very much!!! :)

May. 30th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
I realize I should also note that I'm not an actual lawyer or anything, I just spend a lot of time immersed in these debates.
May. 30th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yep, you can use less than 30 seconds of a song if you want to, but other than that it's not fair use. There ARE however, a lot of "podsafe" music out there. Just google "podsafe music" and you'll find a ton. And most of it is very good.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
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