As Michel-Adrien has pointed out, I had the privilege of attending the Podcasters Across Borders conference held in Kingston, Ontario this past weekend. Participants ranged from hobbyists to business people, but the whole weekend had a collegial community feel to it. I was surprised as to how much law-related content I found.
First, a simple explanation of what podcasting is: it is like a radio show, but based on the Internet. Episodes are portable–they can be played from one's computer, or can be down-loaded from the Web to an MP3 player such as an iPod. The name is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast". There is concern in some circles of the legalities of using the "pod" portion in this word. Others have tried to come up with other phrases for this, such as "audio blogging" but podcasting has largely stuck so far.
Copyright and Creative Commons
Andy Kaplan-Myrth and Kathi Simmons from Creative Commons Canada spoke about podcasting and copyright in Canada. I blogged some very brief notes: Podcasters Across Borders: Copyright and Creative Commons (June 23, 2007)
Of course anyone posting to the web should be conscious of copyright. I also noted that they strongly recommend Canadians use licensing from the Creative Commons Canada site instead of others since they are adapted specifically to the laws for our country and have a better chance of holding up if tested in court. I didn't get a chance to ask whether CC licensing has been tested in Canadian courts (I don't believe it has–can someone confirm?). And as mentioned, they launched the Podcasting Legal Guide for Canada: Northern Rules For The Revolution.
Jim Milles moderated a panel on podcasting and education. While Jim didn't get a chance to talk a lot about his own work, it should be noted that he has been a pioneer in the area of the use of podcasting in legal education. My notes from the session are here: Podcasters Across Borders: Podcasting and Education (June 23, 2007)
Use of Podcasting by a Law Firm
Ian Hull from Hull & Hull LLP spoke about their current use of podcasting as another stream of communication with clients, to go along with the website and newsletters. They are also adding a video component, "Hull TV," to join the other communication venues. One of their podcasts is for clients, and the other is for lawyers who tend to feed them work. Also taking part in the presentation was Terry Fallis of PR firm Thornley Fallis who helped develop the podcasting plan, and Kate Morgan of Podwise who helped them actually do the podcasting.
I took detailed notes for everybody on this interesting session:
Podcasters Across Borders: Taking Your Initiatives to the Next Level (June 24, 2007).
Posted June 29, 2007 on my lunch hour from the local coffee shop.