You might be among the many podcasters who are wondering what Podcasts.com is all about. Maybe you noticed other podcasters asking questions about it online. Or, you could be among the podcasters who received an email from Podcasts.com that asked you to “get started today”.
When I visited their website, I discovered they had posted episodes of my podcast even though they never had permission to do so. Is your podcast there, too? You might want to check on that.
For me, this started when I got an email from Podcasts.com. Immediately, I was skeptical. The email address they sent it to is one I used for a podcast called Halfway Around the World, which is no longer in production. The final episode is titled “This is Goodbye”, and the show notes clearly state that we have decided to end the podcast, forever. It was very obvious that the show is over and done with.
Oddly enough, the email sent to me from Podcasts.com said “Hello Dawnforge Productions”. The Halfway Around the World podcast was one of many podcasts that are part of Dawnforge Productions. It seemed strange to me that the email didn’t specifically mention Halfway Around the World. The only way I knew that was the show they were referring to was by deducing what I’d connected that particular email address to.
I started taking a close look at Podcasts.com to see what this was all about. The email, and the website, both state that Podcasts.com offers 100% free podcast hosting. They also offer unlimited bandwith, unlimited storage space, and unlimited podcasts. Why on earth would they be offering this to what is, in reality, a “dead” podcast?
I was talking to my husband, Shawn, about this. (He is also a contributor here at Podcaster News). He discovered that Podcasts.com had the podcast that he and I do together on their website. Our show was originally called Hyper Nonsense, and it started in 2006. The show changed names a few times (to Gemini Dragon, and No Market Radio) before returning to its original name.
Podcasts.com has our show listed as “GeminiDragon.tv (formerly Hyper Nonsense)”. They stole the image from the Gemini Dragon website and posted it on their website. (Amusingly, the image is a screenshot from World of Warcraft.) Podcasts.com has our most recent episodes and episodes that go back to 2012.
The thing is, neither myself, nor Shawn, ever gave Podcasts.com permission to post our content there. Neither one of us has ever signed up to their website. Podcasts.com grabbed the content anyway. Their website does not link back to our website, either.
Obviously, I was irate. I had to do some digging, but it turns out that Podcasts.com is owned by Emerge Media. At the very bottom of the Podcasts.com website, there is a tiny link that says “Press”. Click it, and you can find an email address for Antonio Bumanglag, the Director of Marketing. (It’s Antonio at emergemedia.com).
I sent them an email and have very clearly stated that I want Podcasts.com to remove all of the content they have taken from our podcast. I pointed out that they never had permission to post our content on their website. It remains to be seen how soon I get a response from anyone at Emerge Media or Podcasts.com.
Is your podcast’s content at Podcasts.com? You might want to check and see.
13 thoughts on “My Podcast is at Podcasts.com – Without My Permission”
Thanks for this! I got the same spam, did some checking, found out producers at podcasts.com don’t have control over their RSS feeds, and chucked it. Then saw your post, headed over there, and yep, there’s my Podrunner podcast. I emailed Mr. Bumanglag. Let’s see what happens.
I hope you post this info at the Google+ Podcasters page (I’m no longer a member there).
Thank you so much for this Information. DMCA request has been submitted for my shows to be removed from their site.
Well, surprise, surprise, I popped over and sure enough, doing a search for “Boise” guess what showed up? Yup, and I haven’t done an episode in several years. Hmmmm what to do, what to do…
I checked podcasts.com and found that my two shows are there.
There is no link back, which in my book is a breach of my Creative Commons Copyright.
The images again are under the same license and they are hosting those files, without permission.
There is no subscribe to my feeds/iTunes subscriptions, only their own.
At the very least the shows are being streamed/downloaded from my show sources.
Jeez… My wife and I only managed to get out three episodes before we podfaded, and they have ours!
Looked on there and Saw Podcastdojo.com was there but I had signed up because I was going to just play around with it for a bit and I couldn’t remember if I add actually tied my RSS feed to the site. So, I looked for my other Show Finding Bryan and sure enough it showed up, and I know I haven’t added it.
Hi Jen & Podcaster News Readers-
We apologize for the negative experience you’ve had with Podcasts.com. As a podcast indexing site, our mission is to provide an index of public podcasts from around the web (similar to how search engines index web pages) to provide users with easily searchable, and discoverable podcasts.
For all podcasts indexed on our site, Podcasts.com uses the audio file URL specified in the podcast’s RSS feed. This ensures all tracking and analytics are provided to the podcaster.
As valued podcasters, we encourage your right to determine where and when your podcast will be indexed. To remove your podcast from our site, please follow the link below, and allow 24 hours.
Please let us know if you have any further issues or concerns, and we thank you again for your valued feedback.
Thank you for providing a link that let’s podcasters remove their podcast from Podcast.com.
You asked for feedback, so here’s some to start with:
1. It would be a lot nicer if you asked podcasters for permission to post episodes of their podcast(s) on Podcasts.com BEFORE you went ahead and put them there. If you had done that in the first place, I wouldn’t have had a need to write this post.
2. Thank you for adding a quick and easy way to remove a podcast from Podcasts.com. I’ve clicked it and will check tomorrow at this time to see if my podcast has been removed.
3. You should take the time to inform all the podcasters whose podcasts are currently at Podcasts.com that you have put them there. As you can see, podcasters tend to get upset when discovering their work has been put somewhere that hadn’t even let them know about it.
4. I believe that if you added a link to each podcast’s official website it would make some people who are currently angry somewhat less upset. Personally, I was unhappy that you had episodes of my podcast over there and did not link back to the official Hyper Nonsense website.
I hope this feedback helps you improve Podcasts.com
This explanation smells funky to me. If they were building a directory, then they wouldn’t have imported complete feeds of all the podcasts and hosted them on their own servers (I could find no evidence that the audio they’d linked from any of the shows they were hosting were coming from my existing media location). They simply would have created pages for the many shows, with links to those shows’ websites and legit iTunes feeds, and included ONE episode as a sample. That they slurped in as much content as they could get their hands on is proof enough there that their intentions were otherwise.
In addition, other podcasters who contacted me said they had begun receiving emails from podcasts.com that invited them to begin hosting their podcasts with them for free… which meant uploading content to them… something they had already done.
I know of at least one show, perhaps as many as three, where podcasts.com were providing for free access to podcast episodes that those podcasters had on their sites as premium content, so that in my mind is theft, of both traffic and revenue. It also contradicts their claim that shows were being linked back to the source.
Uploading content to their own servers where they can control it all, creating new RSS feeds for the show in the hopes of overriding the content creators’ feeds, nope, this post-egg-on-face explanation definitely fails the smell test. They were hoping to create a competitor to Libsyn and Blubrry is my guess, but they wanted to have enough content on their site to look big time in order to attract new signups.
I will give them kudos for quickly removing the more than 10 podcasts of mine that I asked them to remove. If they recover from this “learning experience”, it’ll be interesting to see what direction they take their services, but I won’t be along for that ride.
I think they are responding to all the pushback. Someone notified me that one of our podcasts was on their site, and when I checked out the page, I found the same thing everyone else did, and I submitted a request through their support system to ask what was going on and how I could remove my shows from their service.
I just got a reply from their Support team saying there’s a “Remove this podcast” lilnk on the lower left of the show page, and that if you click that link the podcast will be removed within 24 hours.
When I first visited the various pages for my different shows this morning, that link wasn’t there, so my guess this is in response to the massive pushback against them taking so much content without permission.
Clearly the “better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” policy was adopted right out the gate. My problem isn’t with being listed on a site. It’s that they are amazingly opaque about their process for prospective podcasters they want to host, and that they are monetizing the pages where sites are featured, including those not asked about participation. I ain’t Emerge Media’s billboard,
FWIW, Emerge Media not podcasters.com), who I also emailed, replied confirming that my Podrunner podcast had been removed.
I like it when we’re all squeaky wheels.
Hello and God Bless. To start, I am very new to podcasting. I am on my 2nd week. I have followed you on twitter as well as subscribed to your iTunes channel. I listen to your podcast, just about daily. I put a post up on my forum today that deals with the very subject you are posting about. I received my information, from the Copyright Office of the United States. This is an excerpt of what it says, concerning your issue.
“Do I have to register my work with your office? ~ No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work“.
(My Interpretation) How can this be? Because, as I understand the material taken from the Copyright Office of the United States, since the internet has becomes so popular, it is up to the Owner of the Copyrighted Material, to PRESENT IT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT IT CAN NOT BE DOWNLOADED, COPIED OR RE-DISTRIBUTED IN ANY MANNER. Very few website, including my own, have these defensive measures in place. It is extremely expensive as well as time consuming).
So with that being said, I encourage anyone that wants to protect their material! Spend $55.00 and submit your material, on-line and then, and only then, will your material be protected under the copyright law. Also remember, if you do have copyrighted material, it still falls under the “Fair Use Act”. . I copyrighted both addresses to my forum this morning. $55.00 & 20 min. Thanks again for teaching others how to be a better Podcaster. p.s. Loved your show on “Interviewing”!
I don’t know why they email us asking to join up when they take the podcast no matter the response. Why bother spamming?
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