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Royalties

While you might decide not to register the copyright of your podcast, commercial record producers do register their copyrights, and they expect (and are entitled to) royalties for the recording and public performance of their music. A podcast is, to a great extent, both, and therein lies a problem for the podcaster who wants to include copyrighted music in his or her podcast.

There are royalty structures in place for virtually every type of music recording or performance, with the fees, permissions, and payment methods well defined and understood by those on both ends of the process. Podcasting is so new, and its combination of streaming and recording, storage and transmission, is so filled with possibilities for listening, that the recording industry, government, and the traditional payers of royalties (broadcasting companies and performance producers) haven’t yet come to anything like an agreement on how royalties are to be assessed. At the time of this writing, the royalties suggested by the recording industry are a combination of the most expensive licenses available, when they’re willing to seriously consider licenses for podcasting music at all. The result is that, if you’re looking for a legal way to build a podcast filled with today’s popular music, you’re out of luck. Unless you are backed by the largest sort of corporation with the deepest sort of pockets, at this writing there simply is no way to license the music that you’re likely to hear on popular radio.


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