Can I to use AC/DC’s Back in Black as my podcast theme song?

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Hello. I’m Jason Rigden and you are listening to the Podcasting Questions Podcast. This is the show that answers your podcasting questions in under 5 minutes per episode.

Frank from Orlando Florida asks,

Hey Jason, my co-host wants to use AC/DC’s Back in Black as our podcast theme song. He says that as long as we only use 60 seconds it is considered fair use. Is this true?

Thanks for the question Frank. Fair use is probably the most misunderstood concept in copyright law. I’ll tell you one thing for certain though. Using a song as your theme song is absolutely not fair use. Also, there is no fair use exception for only using 15, 30, or 60 seconds of a song. That is a myth.

Now, I’m not a lawyer but I’ll tell you what I’ve seen. Fair use is whatever a judge says it is at the time of the trial. If you are anything like me, you are a huge coward and you don’t ever want to get sued. I can’t afford to get sued. Can you?

If you play any music on your podcast, you must have permission. If you do play music on your show without proper permission, you are violating copyright law and you might get sued.

The music industry is starting to crackdown on podcasts violating copyright laws. Do a google search for the Poker News Podcast. The music industry is suing these guys for millions of dollars because they allegedly played music on their show without proper permission. The music industry is asking for statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyright violation. Just imagine getting that letter.

So, Frank don’t use AC/DC’s Back in Black as your theme song. If you do you are just looking for trouble.

Thank you for listening to the show. If you have a question about podcasting just go to podcastingquestions.com, fill out the little form, and I’ll try to answer it. Once again, I’ve been Jason Rigden and you’ve been listening to the Podcasting Questions Podcast