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Protecting Yourself as a Podcast Editor with Gordon Firemark, The Podcast Lawyer™ –PEM013
Episode 133rd September 2020 • Podcast Editors Mastermind • Bryan Entzminger, Carrie Caulfield, Daniel Abendroth, Jennifer Longworth
00:00:00 00:43:51

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“... if they come and ask you, ‘Hey, do you think I can use this stuff?’ I think you got to say, ‘Hey, I'm not a lawyer’.” - Gordon P. Firemark

What are my legal rights as a podcast editor? What are my legal responsibilities? How do I protect myself? How much do I need to protect myself? Is it common for things to go wrong? Who can I turn to if I get sued?... The legal ramifications of a disgruntled client or a contract gone wrong are almost enough to make any podcast editor quit before ever starting! 

But don’t give up your editing dreams too quickly. Hit pause on that panic button and take a deep breath. Now hit play on this podcast with Gordon P. Firemark, The Podcast Lawyer™ for some practical advice and peace of mind.

Gordon Firemark, Lawyer for Theatre, Film, Television and New Media, is more than just a lawyer. He’s also the producer and host of the podcast Entertainment Law Update, so he knows firsthand about podcasting. Within his law practice, he helps professionals and artists across the entertainment industries with intellectual property and business/corporate matters. Beyond that, he represents and helps protect clients working within the vast disciplines housed under the terms cyberspace and new media. 

Sharing his expertise in an easy to comprehend, nuts and bolts fashion, Gordon is also the author of The Podcast, Blog and New Media Producer's Legal Survival Guide. He’s created forms and templates needed by podcasters, editors, and production companies alike.

Gordon may be a lawyer and duty-bound to censor what he shares but he’s also a giver and we weren’t shy to be the recipients of his generosity. In this episode, he answers several general questions and even addresses some issues and scenarios you likely didn’t think could come up in your editing business. You won’t want to miss a minute!


  • I know I need signed contracts as a podcast editor but how detailed should they be? 
  • How can I protect myself against a client submitting work to me that infringes on the rights of others or defames someone or causes a similar bad situation? 
  • How much editing is too much? Can I be held liable for over-editing? How can I make sure I’m held legally harmless for the edits requested by a client?
  • What do I do if a client refuses to pay? Who owns the rights to a project a client refused to pay me for?
  • When might I need a trademark or service mark for my business?
  • Do I need to register as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or am I okay as a sole proprietor? 
  • Who do I talk to if I’m thinking an LLC is right for me and my business?
  • What types of documents do I need to prepare to become an LLC?
  • How do I make sure I’m covered for situations where I have clients (or my clients have guests on their show) that are overseas? What about the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?
  • Should I be concerned as an editor about things like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)?
  • What about sound effects and music I use in my editing process or my client uses in their show? Can I rely on “Fair Use” to protect me?
  • Errors and Omissions Insurance? What’s that?
  • How do I cover ensuring show guests have given their consent to be recorded and edited?
  • Where can I get Gordon’s podcast release form, his eBook and other resources?


The Podcast Editors Mastermind and it's guests make no warranty for the information in this episode. All legal needs you have should be addressed with an licensed attorney in your area. (in plain words- don't take our word for it because we aren't YOUR lawyer)

This episode of Podcast Editors Mastermind was edited by Micheal Safwat of YaYa Podcasting. If you'd like work with Michael, check out his UpWork profile.

Are you a podcast engineer, producer, marketer or similar? Interested in being a guest on Podcast Editors Mastermind? We’d love to consider you. Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch to see if you’re a good fit.

Appearing in this episode:

Bryan Entzminger: | @TopTierAudio

Daniel Abendoth: | @rothmedia_audio

Carrie Caulfield-Arick: | @carriearick

Yeti of the Chat

Jennifer Longworth: | @KYPodcasting

Yeah, this episode was late. We had some technical issues. Then some life issues. It happens. ~Carrie

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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