Podcasting Q&A

Do you need to use a Guest Release Form for your podcast?

February 15, 2021 Buzzsprout
Podcasting Q&A
Do you need to use a Guest Release Form for your podcast?
Chapters
0:00
Intro
0:16
"Do I need a guest release form?"
1:01
Thoughts from Gordon Firemark
4:21
The more laid back approach
Podcasting Q&A
Do you need to use a Guest Release Form for your podcast?
Feb 15, 2021
Buzzsprout

Paul from Are You Ready to Roll? asks, "How prudent should I be about getting guest release forms for my podcast?"

TL;DR
Guest release forms are one of those things that you'll hear a lot about in the podcasting industry, but you won't necessarily find a consensus answer regarding whether you need one or not.

So in this episode, we'll share two perspectives and help you decide which one's going to be the best for your particular podcast.

Gordon's Guest Release Forms


Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Paul from Are You Ready to Roll? asks, "How prudent should I be about getting guest release forms for my podcast?"

TL;DR
Guest release forms are one of those things that you'll hear a lot about in the podcasting industry, but you won't necessarily find a consensus answer regarding whether you need one or not.

So in this episode, we'll share two perspectives and help you decide which one's going to be the best for your particular podcast.

Gordon's Guest Release Forms


Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Travis:

In today's episode, you'll learn if you should send your guests a release form before you start recording your interview. Welcome to Podcasting Q&A, where you learn the best tips and strategies to launch, grow and monetize your show. This week's question comes from Paul.

Paul:

Hello, my name is Paul Merrick and my question is simply how important and prudent should we be with having guests sign releases before they're on our show? Thank you.

Travis:

Thanks for your question. Paul, gets released forums are one of those things that you'll hear a lot about in the podcasting industry. But you won't necessarily find a consensus answer, there are those that subscribe to the idea that you absolutely should have your guests sign a release form before you record the interview. And then on the other side, you'll have those that say, they're not really necessary. So in this episode, we'll share two perspectives, and help you decide which one's going to be the best for your particular podcast. And to help me with this episode, I reached out to our good friend Gordon at the podcast live.com. To hear his perspective on whether or not you should use a release form for your podcast. What a release form is, is it's a document that takes care of a couple of things. One is the consent to record. Now, a lot of people think, well, I'm

Gordon:

in a one party state, and there's all this talk about one party in two party states. You know, that's a wiretap statute that makes it a crime to record people without their consent, that wiretap statute is not going to help you much if somebody Sue's you for violating their privacy or, or for fraud and lying to them about what you're doing, or those kinds of things. The other thing that it does, it gives you permission to use that recording in any way you want, forever and ever throughout the world, the universe in perpetuity, which, you know, that's the fancy legal language. And it also gives you a little bit of more flexibility to sort of embellish and edit and those kinds of things. Basically, the person is saying, I understand you're going to use it, you're going to cut it, and you're going to do these things. And I'm not going to sue you. So it's a promise not to sue and the consent to record and use. And I think it's very important, the natural pushback that that I hear from podcasters that are like that

Travis:

sounds like you're worrying about something that isn't really a problem. I've never had a problem with the guests. Why is that something that I should worry about?

Gordon:

I'll tell you a little story about one of my clients that sort of fell into a problem with this, she, she had a podcast around the parenting space, and in particular around new babies and mothering new children. And she had an expert on her show several times, actually. And this was one of these true believer, diehard it has to be breast milk, there can be no formula, that kind of thing. And that's fine. She presented presented a perspective. And my client was a trained journalist, actually. And so she presented the perspective had the episode up and a year or two later, she has some other subject matter on the show that talks about formula. Well, this lactation expert says that's it, we're done. Take all my episode down, take everything down, not a single reference to me on your podcast website at all. Well, the journalist in my client said, well, that's not cool. She presented her side and we should present the other side. So she said, Well, great, you write something for me to put up in its place explaining why you've had me take this down, I'll be happy to do it. The guest says no way and filed a lawsuit, that lawsuit cost my client, many 10s of 1000s of dollars, and she ended up taking it down, you know, which wouldn't have had to happen if this release had been signed.

Travis:

So what you're saying is best case scenario, you'll it'll never be a problem. When you have these guest release forms, you'll never have to use them again, you can file them away in a deep folder on your computer hard drive somewhere. Worst case scenario, you have it as a safety net to make sure that you are protected from you know, some of these outlier cases that you may think may never have happened to you until they do and then you're wishing you would just had them sign this little piece of paper.

Gordon:

Exactly right. And you know, the other thing is you don't have to abide by your own rule that you're going to keep it up forever. If somebody comes to you and says, You know, I really need you to take that down. Because I said something embarrassing. My wife doesn't like what I said about her, you know, something like that, you know, discretion is better part of our but it's your choice to make not the not the guests?

Travis:

Where do I get my hands on a form like that? And is it going to be a 17 page PDF document written in legalese that neither I nor my guests can understand? Well, the one that I

Gordon:

like, of course, is the one that I wrote, and I offered available for free and go to podcast release.com. And if you're doing video and other stuff. I have one for that, too. It's called guest released.com. It's a little bit legalese. I mean, it has to be but that's also part of the professional image that you need to project.

Travis:

So the first approach is to send your guests a legal document that they signed giving you permission to use the interview and whatever way you see fit. But if you don't want to go through the process of sending them a document, having them sign it, return it to you saving it somewhere to use sometime in the future, there is another way to essentially accomplish the same goal and that is, when you start recording your podcast interview, you simply go down the list of things that you're going to do with the podcast episode you're about to record and get their verbal approval. We actually talked about this recently on an episode of Buzzcast and Alban shared what he does whenever he reaches out to guests to record interviews for Buzzsprout podcasts. All right,

Alban:

so I'll jump on this one. As our resident lawyer. Yeah, I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer, and I'm not giving you legal advice. But let me give you my take on it. What we've actually done Travis and I did a video interview that will probably come out on the YouTube channel. After we start recording. That's when I say, so we're recording this video, here's how we're going to use it. Here's how we will incorporate your answers into future videos. Is that okay? And then they say yes. And we cover all the bases with just a very simple, normal human person question of, Hey, this is what I plan to do. Are you okay with that? And then when they say yes, that there's no confusion. And so now we've gotten on the same page,

Travis:

so which approach is going to be best for you? Well, if you want to cross all your T's, dot all your I's, and never have to lose sleep ever again, that a guest is going to come back weeks, months or years later and say I want you to take down that podcast episode because I don't like what you did with it. Send them a guest release form a legal document that they sign that you then can say, Hey, sorry, you gave me the ability to use this however I wanted to. But if you're willing to take a more laid back approach, where you give your guests the ability to provide their input on the editing of the podcast episodes, and it's more of a give and take process with your guests, then you can absolutely just do the verbal agreement at the beginning of your podcast episode, and you should be totally fine. Thanks for your question, Paul. Now if you have a question you want us to answer on a future episode of the show. Just go to speakpipe. om/Buzzsprout or click the lin in the show notes and leave u a brief audio message. Podcast ng Q&A is available both as a vi eo and a podcast. So if you lik watching videos, make sure yo subscribe to the Buzzspr ut YouTube channel. If you pre er audio, you can find Podcast ng Q&A and your favorite podcast listening app. Well that's t for today. Thanks for listeni g and as always, keep podcast ng

Intro
"Do I need a guest release form?"
Thoughts from Gordon Firemark
The more laid back approach