Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Podcast Release

Dear Rich: I have a podcast series where I interview comic book artists, cartoonists, and graphic novelists. Do I need to get a written release from people I interview? Can they consent over the phone? Do I have to make a token payment? Yesterday, we announced that this was Audiobook Week. Then we looked into our grab bag of questions and realized we had to stretch the meaning of "audiobooks,"  -- hence this question about podcasts. Ennnyway, the short answer to your question is that if all you're doing is a typical podcast series -- for example, posting at the iTunes Store -- then recording a low-key permission request over the phone is fine (and be sure to save the resulting consent). Simply ask your interview subject, "Are you okay with me taping this interview and posting the result on the Internet as a podcast?" (Also, you don't need to pay for the release -- consideration will be presumed, as they say in the legal world.) 
When More is Needed ...
If you want more than the ability to post the podcast -- for example, the ability to transcribe and post the written version, you should ask for that, as well. If you're looking for extensive rights -- for example, you want to publish a book that compiles all your transcribed interviews, or you want to sell your interviews to a news website, then you should consider a written podcast release like the one we posted at Scribd (speaking of which we wish they'd stop posting our books illegally). The Dear Rich Staff believes this release will work for most purposes and it heads off any problems should an interview subject complain about your editing, as well.
And Speaking of Audiobooks
Okay, now it's time to talk audiobooks. Here are five narrators who never let us down: Edward HerrmannCampbell ScottRobert ForsterWill Patton, and Grover Gardner.