I'm the Training Manager at my agency and just found MT. Wow! I'm thrilled with the informal tone and the practical day-to-day knowledge that can be immediately useful.

I want use MT podcasts to provide our managers promote with an ongoing training resource by forwarding an archived podcast once a week to the managers & supervisors, particularly on timely topics like conducting or preparing for performance evaluations. Barring that, my next best solution would be to add the MT link to the intranet training webpage (and hope everyone doesn't try to access it at once), with a weekly e-mail reminder about a pertinent podcast or two. What are the potential problems or issues (like copyright?) with this? Do I need to get permission from you?

I'm trying to catch up on all the archived podcasts. Keep up the good work - Best regards - Zipplink

Mark's picture
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Mike and I have just realized that we may owe you an answer here. We apologize for our delay, and regret our error.

Unfortunately, what you're asking isn't covered by the licensing we've created for our works. Downloaded casts in their normal form are only available for individual use, not for sharing. Sharing them with more than 1-2 friends on a periodic basis at most, is a violation of the terms of use.

The right answer here is to have a discussion about licensing, which we have arranged with other corporations. Or, you can encourage those managers to sign up and get our works from the website as members.

Please let us know how you'd like to proceed.


TomW's picture
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I was wondering if you could clarify that a little:

My understanding is that, to an unlimited number of people, it's OK to share the link to MT podcasts or recommend that people sign up on their own through iTunes.

The problem arises if I send the MP3 file I downloaded to someone else or if I type up any kind of transcript of one of the casts. I can only share the MP3 with a person or two and cannot create any transcript at all.

Is that correct? (Clarification, I'm not planning on doing either, I was more curious. More likely, I tend to use a lot of sources for my in-house training seminars and sooner or later I'm sure I'll refer to a Manager Tools podcast or quote)

bflynn's picture

Disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer. I have had some minimal training in IP law and it is an area of great interest to me, but you should consult your own legal professional. What I think they'll probably say is:

Copyright deals with protecting creative works, in this case the audio performance contained in the mp3 files and documents on the website. Barring specific permission from the copyright owners (which I've never heard given), you cannot share any files with anyone else. The copyright owner has 5 exclusive rights, one of which is the right of distribution.

Transcripts written by you are a fuzzy area. They could be considered an infringment or a new creative work and its tough sometimes to know until after the fact. You'd be best served to ask a lawyer about it. My gut tells me that if you type the transcript yourself, then you own the copyright of that transcript, just as MT would own the copyright on any transcripts they produce. Ideas cannot be copyrighted, so the information contained within the podcasts is fair game. Unfortunately, its tough to find guidance out there on how to deal with this.

Ideas cannot be copyrighted, so if you listened to the podcast, took notes and later gave your own, original, presentation based on those notes, you would not be infringing copyright. This same thing of ideas would also include sending the URL to other people or recommending people sign up on their own.



Mark's picture
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Thanks for your comments folks.

While I don't feel you did it, Tom - AT ALL! NO WORRIES - it sure does seem like every conversation Mike and I have about this stuff is about what loopholes or gray areas there are (can I make my OWN transcript and then sell THAT? Can I just re-play it on my company's overhead?) that allow others to use our work for their benefit.

It is likely that what your lawyer tells you isn't entirely relevant, or at least not as current as you might want it to be if you're looking for legal cover. Our IP lawyer tells us regularly that what we are doing is NOT widely covered by existing rules, and the gray area isn't settled. We pay dearly, by the way, to make SURE that YOUR rights are protected when you use our stuff.

How new is this stuff? The digital rights expert at the US Copyright office was asked by our IP lawyer if he knew what a podcast was, and he said he did NOT. It makes us shudder and laugh. :wink:

But let's not make this about the lawyers. The spirit of Manager Tools is, "please use our FREE content to become a better manager yourself. You needn't ever pay us in any way, and the world will be a better place." Those who think of contacting their lawyer about what they can or can't do have already stepped away from the spirit of manager tools. If our trust begins to be abused, we probably won't sue. We'll just close up shop, charge clients for our ideas, and get richer while working less. And a few selfish people will have contributed to the demise of the neatest thing we've ever done.


Diogo Garrido's picture

Hello Mark, Hello Mike!

I’ve been a MT fan for a long time, and even though I’ve been a little disconnected from the forum and recent podcasts (the last one I heard was the SWOT – part 1), my appreciation for your work is always growing.

I study at the Faculty of Economics in Oporto, Portugal, and I’ve been asked to make a 10 minute presentation for my Advanced Marketing class on internet marketing by Friday, 13th April. I’m going to use the MT example of how a simple idea, with little human and material resources, can have such an awesome impact in so many people through the use of modern technology and new media instruments.

I would just like to ask your for a little information. Do you have an updated idea of how many people are listening to the podcast these days?

I won’t bother you with the details of my presentation, but here are just the major points I’m going to focus on:
• Simplicity and voluntarism
• Informal attitude and professionalism (sound quality, exceptional content, etc.)
• Community building and word-of-mouth
• Podcasting and blogging
• Examples of my favourite podcasts

It is a very eclectic class, with a majority of foreign students (specially from Eastern Europe) and the teacher, Ms. Helena Szrek, is American.

It would mean a lot to me if you managed to leave a small message about MT to my class that I could refer to at the end or beginning of the presentation.

Once again, thank you very much for all your great work.

Best regards,

Diogo Garrido