Grab Audio Legally

Can you legally grab audio from another source and use it in your podcast? Find out the dos and don’ts of copy and paste podcasting journalism.

In the text blogosphere, you copy and paste text from one source and comment on it in your own blogs. Can you do the same with audio? To understand the implications, you need to understand the issue of copyrights, and the Creative Commons license [Hack #68] , which is often used to supplement copyrights. This hack applies to U.S. copyright code. Check the legal statutes for your country before using copyrighted or licensed material.

Caveat Emptor

Do not use the material in this hack as a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation. We did our research and what we are presenting is a good basis of understanding the law. But the law is applied on a case-by-case basis. So, getting good legal advice that is specific to your situation is critical to avoiding legal troubles and big damage bills.


When a person creates a unique work of art—a podcast, a book, a movie, something tangible—he can protect that work with a copyright. A copyright owner has certain rights, and so do people that consume the copyrighted material. Sections 106 and 107 of the U.S. copyright code ( cover the rights of the owner and the consumer, respectively. If you are curious, section 102 covers what material can by copyrighted. This is all plain English stuff and is well worth the read.

The copyright ...

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