Yesterday’s New York Times featured an article on radio’s increasing use of Internet video to promote their on-air programs, to extend their brand, and to increase the connection with their listeners.  This is another manifestation of the theme we wrote about earlier this week in connection with this year’s RAB Convention, where the emphasis was on radio broadcasters maximizing and leveraging their digital assets.  But, in doing so, stations must be alert for the legal issues that this extension can raise.

For instance, we have written before about the concerns about using copyrighted music in video productions without permission from the record company or other copyright holder in the musical performance.  Stations should not make their own music videos without securing authority from a copyright owner of the song that they are featuring (from both the artist and the composer).  If stations are asking listeners to post their own video on the station’s website – like a local YouTube – the station must be prepared to take down any video using copyrighted material if the station is asked by the copyright holder.  And the station should adopt Terms of Use for its site, warning users not to post copyrighted material without permission.  The station should also not encourage the use of copyrighted material without permission – for example, it should not give prizes to the producers of the best music video for the website unless it has obtained permission for the use of the particular song or songs that are to be used by contestants.

Remember, the Internet magnifies all sorts of intellectual property issues by making it possible for copyright and trademark owners to monitor infringement far beyond the coverage contours of the broadcast station.