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Maybe You Can Just Let Go

Ignoring the whole rights issue has a certain elegant simplicity, and for podcasts to which no financial value is assigned, this simplicity makes a world of sense. You’re not going to sue anyone over your podcast anyway, and there are no symbols or phrases attached to the podcast that might frighten people from reproducing and sharing your podcast, or from using your podcast in some sort of mashup that takes on its own life. The best part of this approach is that you have to do absolutely nothing to take advantage of its non-existent protections. Create your podcast, send it out into the world, and enjoy the fact that you’ve contributed to the intellectual life of the planet.

If you want to formalize the “letting go,” you can place your podcast in the public domain. When you place something in the public domain, you’re making a statement renouncing all private rights to it. That means others can copy or use it, because it belongs to everyone—and no one. The nice thing is that you can place something in the public domain through a simple declaration, with no special forms, complicated licenses, or government agencies involved. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s a one-way street; once you place something in the public domain, you can’t go back and re-assert your rights later. If you want to keep some control over the podcast (even if it’s just making sure that you’re acknowledged as the author), then there are other possibilities you should explore.


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