Thursday, August 11, 2005

Time for answers

Well, I've had enough. Today, I've sent a letter to the Canadian Recording Industry Association to ask a simple question.

I'd like to ask a question regarding podcasts.

I would very much like to create a podcast showcasing music that rarely if ever gets played on radio for the benefit of the readers of my personal blog. You see, I often mention the names of artists that my readers might like to check out. The problem is, there's really no way for them to "audition" the artists in question. These artists are typically not on commercial radio. Music stores typically do not stock their music on their shelves. They are typically not seen on Much Music.

Here's my problem. I've been told by various sources that it is illegal for me to create podcasts containing even portions of copyrighted works. This seems counterproductive to me. I'm offering my potential listeners a chance to hear short samples of music I'd like to promote for free, with my voice over the music, explaining how I stumbled across the artists, etc. These voiceovers would essentially make the music unusable for the purposes of trading, copying or collecting. I would in no way be making any money from this endeavor. The point is simple - help promote artists that get no mass commercial promotional outlet. This would seem to me to fall under the category of "fair use". But yet almost every legal expert I can find on the issue suggests it's a very tricky situation and I would be foolish to even try.

Well, that just seems ridiculous to me, so I ask you: would publishing a podcast like the one I describe be illegal? If so, can you please explain why, in plain English.
Let's wait and see what their answer is. If it's favourable, you can look forward to podcast versions of my music recommendations in the near future.

8 comments:

Jon said...

I posted a response to this...where did it go?

Anonymous said...

You go boy.....

Just a thought, have you tried looking at http://www.allmusic.com/ as a way to point people to samples of the tunes? This site is HUGE with tons of samples.

Jeff

Karl Plesz said...

I know 30 second samples exist on certain web sites already. Have you heard some of those samples? They don't always do a great job of representing the song. That's not the point. I should be allowed to do it myself.

Anonymous said...

I agree, low bitrate = bad sound.

But hey if you could do some podcasting, yours would probably be the only one I would subscribe to.

Cheers!
Jeff

Anonymous said...

Just do it.

What are they going to do? Send the gestapo after you?

On second thought......

Karl Plesz said...

Actually, the site that would be hosting the podcasts make you agree to a bunch of legalese, including an agreement that what you're posting doesn't infringe. So it's a double-whammy.

Anonymous said...

All the answers are here.

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/cp/copy_gd_protect-e.html

Simple, you dind't write it, you don't own it, you can't broadcast it without permission.

There is even a good tidbit about fair use.

What you want to do is a nice idea, for you, but it does infringe on the rights of those who actually spent time producing songs.

Here we go, now it is in the right box.

Karl Plesz said...

Thanks for the tip. The section on fair use almost helps me make my point, as "reviews" are considered fair use. Anyway - now it's up to the CRIA to give me the straight goods. Antique laws designed for outdated technology and society need to be challenged