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Podcasts - Creating

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What is a podcast?

A “podcast” is a digital media file that is made available on the Internet or an intranet. It usually comprises visual and aural copyright material, including film, sound recordings and pictures. Podcasts that include audiovisual material are sometimes called "vodcasts ".

Podcasts can be downloaded to computers and MP3/MP4 players such as Apple iPods or even mobile phones. Once downloaded, users can view/listen to a podcast wherever and whenever they choose.

This fact sheet covers the creation of podcasts in schools. For more information on using publicly available podcasts in schools, see the Using Podcasts – What Am I Allowed to Do? 

Teacher and student created podcasts

Teachers and students might create podcasts as part of classroom activities, for homework or for general school activities (eg updating parents on school events).

Teachers might create podcasts to:

  • provide foreign language lessons to students;
  • set out revision and homework tasks;
  • facilitate self-paced and distance learning;
  • assist students with reading difficulties or other disabilities.

Students might create podcasts to:

  • deliver assignments;
  • present news and interviews;
  • perform music;
  • write scripts or tell stories.

Schools should always obtain the written consent of students (or their parents/guardians for students under the age of 18) and other persons (eg performers or interviewees) appearing in a podcast.

Teacher created podcasts

Teacher-created podcasts may include copyright material owned by the school or relevant Educational Body (Education Department, Association or Diocese), as well as copyright material that is owned by third parties.
If material in a podcast is created by a teacher, the copyright in the podcast will generally be owned by the school or relevant Educational Body.

If the copyright in material to be included in a podcast is owned by the school or relevant Educational Body, the teacher/school can make any use of that material that it wishes.

As mentioned, podcasts may also include copyright material that is owned by third parties. Teachers may still be able to include this material in a podcast depending on whether:

  • the copyright owner has given permission;
  • a statutory exception applies, such as for fair dealing, flexible dealing or another statutory exception; or
  • the statutory licence for text and artistic works (Part VB) applies (ie when you are including a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work in your podcast).
  • the statutory licence for television and radio broadcasts (Part VA) applies (ie when you are including part of a television or radio broadcast in your podcast)

If a teacher is making a teacher-created podcast available on the Internet or intranet and that podcast includes copyright material that is owned by third parties, the podcast should only be able to be accessed by staff and students.

Student created podcasts

Student created podcasts may include copyright material owned by the student, school or relevant Educational Body, as well as copyright material that is owned by third parties.

If material in a podcast is created by a student then the copyright in that material will be owned by the student. The student can make any use of that material they wish. However, if the school wants to use that material, it must obtain the permission of the student.

As mentioned, podcasts may also include copyright material that is owned by third parties. A student may still be able to include this material in their podcast depending on whether:

  • the copyright owner has given permission; or
  • a fair dealing exception applies.

Remember, if a student-created podcast will be made available on the Internet or intranet and that podcast includes copyright material that is owned by third parties, the podcast should only be able to be accessed by staff and students.

A sample letter to seek permission from a copyright owner to use their material in a podcast is provided below ( Appendix A ).

Has the copyright owner given permission?

The owner of the copyright in material you want to include in a podcast may give their permission differently, depending on where you are sourcing the material from, ie from the Internet, a CD-Rom, CD, DVD, Television or Radio (or another source).

Importantly, if the source material is protected by an access control technological protection measure (eg, on a commercial DVD or CD), then you cannot use that material.

If the material is available from the Internet, there are three situations where you will have permission to use the material:

  • where the website says that educational use is permitted (eg a notice states the material is:
    • able to be used freely;
    • free for school or education use;
    • able to be used 'in your organisation').
  • where the website has the NEALS logo, or is otherwise stated to be NEALS content, which means that schools can always use the material for free.
  • where the teacher has received permission from the copyright owner to use the podcast (eg you may be able to get permission by asking the person or organization listed at the 'Contact Us' section on the website).

If the material is from another source, then you may use the material if you obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Teachers should become familiar with websites that allow free educational use. They include:

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