Podcasters usually retain the right to publish an episode, but it appears Marc Maron does not operate that way – and he is offering an illustration of why the last word should be with the host, not the guest. Marson said in a recent episode of his WTF podcast that movie director David Fincher is preventing him from publishing a show he recorded.
“I did a two-and-a-half-hour conversation with him, and he didn’t think it was right. He wouldn’t let us release it,” said Maron. “So I’m sitting on this two-and-a-half-hour conversation with David Fincher. He’s like, I don’t know, let’s hold off on it, because I think I could do more.” The revelation came during an interview with actress Jodie Foster. It was first reported by the entertainment news site MovieMaker.
Attorney David Oxenford has recommended podcasters get releases from interview subjects that clearly give the rights to use an interview in a podcast to avoid facing right-to-privacy lawsuits filed by a guest who is unhappy with how an interview went. “Getting a release from the subject of an interview waiving any such rights, and otherwise giving the producer the rights to exploit the recordings that are made, can help to reduce the risk that these laws may otherwise pose,” he said in a blog post.
On an episode his Entertainment Law Asked and Answered podcast, attorney Gordon Firemark agreed, saying releases could prevent a guest from trying to get an episode taken down once it is published or heavily edited.He said he worked on a situation where a guest filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, unfair competition, invasion of privacy, tortious fraud and “all kinds of crazy stuff” against a podcast to get an episode pulled. “It ended up costing this podcaster a lot of time and energy and money and grief not to mention a bunch of sleepless nights, he said. “And all of that could have been resolved, if the podcaster had just used a simple release form that the guest could have signed.”
Firemark also suggests that rather than use services like HelloSign or PandaDoc, that producers get a piece of paper that is printed, signed, and returned to you by the guest. “That's really the right way to do it,” he said. “I think that signing a piece of paper still carries a lot of formality and importance.”
He has posted a release form that shows can download and use. See it HERE.