(Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney. I’m not giving legal advice, just pointing readers to helpful resources.)
One of my more frustrating responsibilites as a newspaper web editor is trying to understand and apply copyright law and fair use as it pertains to digital media. We frequently produce podcasts where someone wants to include copyrighted material, typically a snippet of a song or audio from a movie or TV show.
Unforutnately, copyright law is vague. Staying legal and producing the content we want is a balancing act. Fortunately, there are several good resources available for those needing to go down this path. One of the better ones is the Podcasting Legal Guide, published last year by Creative Commons. Written by attorney Colette Vogele and Mia Garlick of Creative Commons, it provides a reader-friendly overview of copyright law and podcasting and real-life examples of good and bad copyright behavior. Stanford University Libraries also has a wealth of information on Fair Use.