5 Steps to Shield Your Podcast – Good Passive Revenue

Disclaimer: This text is designed to be very useful, however please remember that it’s basic info and never authorized recommendation particular to you. Wesley Henderson recommends contacting an lawyer for personalized recommendation however hopes this info helps you in your small business journey!

I used to be contemporary out of regulation faculty, working for a giant regulation agency once I first began listening to the Good Passive Revenue podcast. I used to be instantly impressed as a result of, like me, the host was a enterprise skilled who went from a “regular job” to changing into a profitable entrepreneur. Each week I seemed ahead to listening to a brand new story, tip, or new mind-set about entrepreneurship. With out SPI, I’d possible have by no means even considered beginning my very own regulation agency, nevertheless it has modified my complete profession (and life).

Beginning my very own enterprise has allowed me to decide on staff who share my values and to observe different pursuits, together with a non-profit, Driving for Downs, and a slew of different companies. The entrepreneurial mindset has helped me develop professionally and personally, and it’s all because of a easy podcast.

Combining my ardour for the regulation and my curiosity in podcasts, I’ve delved into the authorized features of working a podcast, and I’ve realized so much since opening my agency in 2014. This text outlines 5 steps that will help you keep out of bother.

Distinctive Challenges of Podcast Regulation

Traditionally, belongings have been simply categorised into subsections like stock, tools, property, and so on. Nevertheless, for the reason that starting of the digital age, classifications have change into more and more tough. This led to the rise in mental property regulation, which focuses on defending creators and their inventive works, which is what primarily covers podcasts. 

In contrast to different belongings you’ll be able to shield with door locks, safety cameras, and insurance coverage, podcasts must be protected by emblems, copyrights, and contracts. This ensures creators are shielded from others stealing their concepts or infringing on their inventive rights. So, when you personal a podcast, it’s essential to assessment mental property regulation and different associated legal guidelines.

Step 1: Shield Your Podcast Title with a Trademark

For months, you will have spent countless hours in your podcast. Issues are lastly beginning to come collectively till you obtain a letter within the mail from a elaborate regulation agency in California that claims “CEASE AND DESIST” in utilizing your podcast identify. 

Do you need to rebrand, do you want an lawyer, is all your time for nothing?

This worst-case situation, sadly, occurs very often. For instance, you could wish to begin a podcast about crime scene cleanups and name it Crime Junkie, however that identify already belongs to a podcast that talks about prison circumstances from across the nation. This small mistake could be fairly pricey and even require you to rebrand and pay an lawyer

How do you forestall this from taking place?

The excellent news is that it’s fairly straightforward to keep away from infringing. You must begin by researching names on-line, hashtags, and so on on the United States Patent and Trademark Workplace web site to make sure nobody is already utilizing your identify in the identical business. To be taught extra about selecting your identify, watch this video.

 When you haven’t picked a reputation in your podcast but, then there are two features you need to think about:

  1. Be sure the identify you select is just not already getting used and/or trademarked. Your purpose is to determine a reputation that may be yours and that has no confusion with another podcast identify. The extra distinctive, the higher. 
  2. You’ll finally wish to register your trademark so nobody else can use your identify. When to register your trademark is a judgment name based mostly in your funds, however the sooner, the higher.

Step 2: Shield Your Enterprise and your Private Property with an LLC

Every time my spouse and I am going out to eat, we at all times scan the newest Google critiques. Even with essentially the most well-liked eating places, you inevitably discover these two-star critiques that appear to at all times discover one thing fallacious and one thing to complain about. I imagine that most individuals are good, however I additionally know all about these two-star reviewer personalities as a result of I find yourself coping with them many occasions in representing my shoppers (and they’re largely what conjures up this subsequent step). 

These tough individuals are the identical ones that write unwarranted dangerous critiques, file lawsuits, and threaten your small business. So upon getting a reputation picked, you want an LLC or its equal to guard your small business and private belongings.

An LLC will separate you out of your firm and guard your private belongings. In case your LLC will get sued by a person for cash, damages, or anything, it’s the LLC that can be sued and never you personally. That’s the magic of the LLC: it limits private publicity even within the worst of situations. 

Beginning an LLC could sound like a frightening process however it may be a quite simple course of. There are two issues you need to think about:

1. Create an Working Settlement 

  • Together with your LLC, you need to create the governing doc for it known as an working settlement. This non-public doc establishes possession percentages, working guidelines, and different issues. (To be taught extra about working agreements, watch this video.) 

2. Separate Financial institution Account

  • I additionally advocate that you just get a separate checking account. This lets you preserve your small business totally separate. It’s an incredible enterprise observe in your bookkeeping and helps make sure you preserve the legal responsibility safety you need out of your LLC.
  • Vital Authorized Tip — remember to run all earnings and bills for the enterprise out of the LLC account, and do NOT use it for private bills!

In case you have any questions on the best way to file an LLC, please go to our website, Drafted Authorized, to be taught extra and get the assist you to want. 

Step 3: Use Contracts to Shield Your Cash, Time, and Enterprise 

As an lawyer, I’ve obtained many telephone calls with tales just like this one:

Wesley, an individual I met at Dwelling Depot stated he wanted assist with an irrigation situation. Since I personal an irrigation enterprise, I supplied to return over and look. I went over and was capable of repair the issue. However then he had one other drawback that he thought I stated I’d repair. He additionally disputed the worth we agreed upon. So, not solely does he need me to do extra work than I agreed to however he hasn’t even paid me. What can I do?

Issues get misplaced in communication. Whereas oral contracts could be enforceable, it’s at all times preferable to have a written contract as a result of then you’ll be able to concretely show the phrases of the settlement. 

The great thing about the contract isn’t just in making it straightforward to win a lawsuit but additionally it normally prevents the dispute from ever taking place. When the events take the time to place all their expectations on one doc, it turns into fairly clear what’s anticipated, so it avoids misunderstandings.

Contracts set expectations and make your life simpler down the street. Listed here are some basic suggestions when making a contract:

  • Take a couple of minutes to make clear something which may not be apparent.
  • Be sure you deal with issues like cash, deliverables, timeline, and so on. 
  • Make the contract straightforward to know and so simple as it may be. 

This behavior of clarifying expectations after which getting the settlement signed will dramatically cut back your probabilities of ending up in a dispute. You’ve already carried out the exhausting work to be sure you are on the identical web page (and also you’ll have the signed settlement to show it). 

Within the broad world of contracts, listed here are a number of your podcast enterprise would profit from:

Visitor Launch

The visitor speaker indicators a visitor launch, permitting you to make use of it the way you see match and make derivatives of it, whether or not it’s shorts, reels, or YouTube content material. This ensures you received’t have points sooner or later along with your visitors, just like the visitor attempting  to have you ever take away or try to regulate the content material later.

For instance, when you’ve got a chef in your podcast and his episode blows up in recognition due to his beef tenderloin recipe, he could later need you to take it down with the hopes that he can get all that site visitors to his web site or podcast as a substitute of yours. Effectively, when you had him signal a visitor launch, he can not pressure you to take it down as a result of you will have a transparent settlement. The discharge offers you permission to do precisely what you might be doing (and it additionally releases you from any legal responsibility for doing so).

Worker and Unbiased Contractor

When you use unbiased contractors and/or staff, it’s essential to put out the phrases of that relationship. This contains every part from cost to timelines to deliverables. These all should be outlined as clearly as you’ll be able to.

In case you have unbiased contractors creating mental property for the enterprise (akin to logos, ebooks, and so on.), your contracts have to state that the LLC owns this mental property. Inherently, an creator owns their artistic endeavors, so it’s essential expressly state that it’s a work for rent and that the possession of such work is transferred to the LLC. In any other case, you could find yourself with a dispute over mental property possession down the street.

Sponsorship Settlement

You should have a written settlement when you’ve got advertisers and/or sponsors. For instance, suppose you rent a social media guru to market and promote your small business, they usually overstep by utilizing materials that infringes on one other firm’s trademark. You want the choice to terminate the contract or restrict legal responsibility. That is when a sponsorship settlement would come into play, as a result of it ought to embrace termination phrases, cost phrases, supply dates, and so on. This ensures your small business is protected.


I’m a lawyer, and I’m giving basic info right here. It’s designed that will help you do a greater job along with your authorized framework, nevertheless it’s not personalized to you personally. It’s nonetheless good and useful. See what I did there? That is my disclaimer. My disclaimer is just not obnoxious; simply sincere and highlights my limitations.

Disclaimers are needed in your podcast to guard you from one thing stated on the podcast. What folks say could be misinterpreted or misused. For instance, in case you are a health coach working a wholesome life-style podcast, you need to use a disclaimer such because the one I take advantage of above clarifying that the data and recommendation is basic and never particular. Additionally, when you’re not educated as a doctor or nutritionist, then simply state that clearly. You’re attempting to obviously clarify any limitations your info could have. When drafting a disclaimer, it’s finest to not assume folks know these limitations, so state them clearly. 

Step 4: Personal Your Podcast Intro Music to Keep Out of Hassle

Though they are saying don’t choose a e book by its cowl, many choose a podcast by its intro. So whereas it could be tempting to play the theme track to Skyfall when speaking about international intelligence or use the brand new Taylor Swift track when speaking about her new album, this is usually a harmful minefield.

Utilizing another person’s materials could be difficult and really costly. So as a substitute of happening the rabbit gap of how we will use these well-known songs, we advocate that podcasts use unique music or buy music you will have the rights to.

In case your funds is just not restricted and also you’ve recognized a must have track, go for it (and use an lawyer to assist with the method). 

Nevertheless, when you’re on a funds, save that cash and headache for an additional day and persist with one thing you personal that you realize won’t trigger you authorized issues.

Step 5: Keep Compliant with the FTC as You Monetize Your Podcast

The Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) doesn’t regulate podcasts as a result of they aren’t “broadcast radio;” nevertheless, they do regulate podcast endorsement. 

If you’re reviewing, endorsing, promoting for, or sponsored by a services or products, then it’s essential disclose that below FTC rules. For instance, when you function a podcast about cooking home equipment and an organization pays you and sends you a field of utensils to try to charge, you need to disclose that you just didn’t pay for the merchandise. Normally, if somebody pays you to say one thing or promote one thing, disclose it.

A very good rule of thumb is to be upfront along with your viewers, whether or not it’s a sponsor or an affiliate hyperlink. Study extra right here from the FTC. 

To summarize: when you observe these essential authorized steps, your podcast can be off to an incredible begin with a correct basis: 

  1. Decide a Podcast Title (which you could personal)
  2. Get an LLC (with an working settlement and checking account)
  3. Personal your intro music
  4. Use Contracts
  5. Adjust to the FTC 

A lot of this may be carried out on a funds with some analysis and know-how (however when you’ve got the funds, you can too get a lawyer to assist) or with a good on-line authorized providers firm like Drafted Authorized. Attempt to use attorney-drafted templates and web sites with dependable info. You’ll be able to at all times submit questions on Drafted Authorized’s web site too! 

We hope this text clarifies what it’s essential do legally so you’ll be able to hit report. Better of luck!

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