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Podcast Resources: Music, Podcasting, and Copyright

Why Indie Music?

Ever wonder why you never hear any major-label music on a podcast? Copyright law and corporate interests prevent it.

Here’s why: Music copyright is split into many different rights. The ones that affect podcasts are the right to copy a sound recording (the mechanical right), and separately the right to perform that same song in public (the performance right.) When you podcast, you are exercising both of those rights.

Unfortunately, those two rights are usually owned by different parties. So if you really wanted to do it properly, you’d have to obtain the rights from both of them (music labels for the mechanical rights; song publishers for the performance rights.) And there's no easy or convenient way to find out who they are and to contact them. On top of that, it costs a lot of money. So if you use their music, you are unfortunately infringing their rights.

Indie bands own all of the rights to their own music, including the mechanical right so they can make it “podsafe.” As you know, podsafe music is safe to play on podcasts without worrying about all of this copyright mess.

We want to help you get the music you need for your podcasts. All of our music (which will be over 400 songs at the end of 2007) is available on a podsafe basis. Just write us and we’ll give you podcast-ready songs in high-quality WAV format that don’t have our own audio bumper, so the music in your podcast sounds as clear as possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about copyright and music, see our copyright section in the Indie Band Survival Guide.

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