Episode 13

Published on:

3rd Sep 2020

Protecting Yourself as a Podcast Editor with Gordon Firemark, The Podcast Lawyer™ –PEM013

“... 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.com | @TopTierAudio

Daniel Abendoth: https://rothmedia.audio | @rothmedia_audio

Carrie Caulfield-Arick: https://yayapodcasting.com | @carriearick

Yeti of the Chat

Jennifer Longworth: https://bourbonbarrelpodcasting.com | @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:

OP3 - https://op3.dev/privacy
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About the Podcast

Podcast Editors Mastermind
The Good, The Bad, and The Yeti
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About your hosts

Jennifer Longworth

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Bourbon Barrel Podcasting was founded in 2019 when Jennifer Longworth, with 14 years of audio editing experience, decided to get serious about editing podcasts for Central Kentuckians. Jennifer edits podcasts for established podcasters and helps new podcasters get started with the basics.

Carrie Caulfield Arick

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Carrie Caulfield Arick is a nerd for sound, stories, and listening. She’s learned from and worked with the industry’s best producers in her role as writer, editor and sound designer. Carrie is a co-founder of the femxle podcast post-production community, Just Busters and co-host of Podcast Editors Mastermind. Oh, and she likes cats… a lot.

Daniel Abendroth

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Hi, I’m Daniel and my podcast editing services will make your podcasts sound smooth and professional, while saving you time and money.

Bryan Entzminger

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Bryan Entzminger is the owner of Top Tier Audio, a podcast production company. He's the host of Hiring a Podcast Editor and cohost of the Podcast Gauntlet and the Podcast Editors Mastermind. He's also the founder of the Hindy Users (Unofficial) group for Hindenburg users on Facebook. He loves sharing the lessons he’s learned from his struggles and others he's met along the way so that you can have a podcast that you’re proud of without letting podcast production take over your life.