5 Steps to Defend 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 attorney for personalized recommendation however hopes this info helps you in what you are promoting journey!

I used to be recent out of regulation college, working for a giant regulation agency after I first began listening to the Smart Passive Income 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 probably have by no means even considered beginning my very own regulation agency, but it surely has modified my total profession (and life).

Beginning my very own enterprise has allowed me to decide on workers 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 elements of working a podcast, and I’ve discovered so much since opening my agency in 2014. This text outlines 5 steps that will help you keep out of hassle.

Distinctive Challenges of Podcast Legislation

Traditionally, property have been simply labeled into subsections like stock, tools, property, and so on. Nonetheless, because the starting of the digital age, classifications have turn out to be more and more troublesome. This led to the rise in mental property regulation, which focuses on defending creators and their inventive works, which is what primarily covers podcasts. 

Not like different property you may defend with door locks, safety cameras, and insurance coverage, podcasts must be protected by emblems, copyrights, and contracts. This ensures creators are protected against others stealing their concepts or infringing on their inventive rights. So, when you personal a podcast, it’s essential to overview mental property regulation and different associated legal guidelines.

Step 1: Defend Your Podcast Identify with a Trademark

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

Do it’s important to rebrand, do you want an legal professional, 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 will be fairly expensive and even require you to rebrand and pay an legal professional

How do you forestall this from occurring?

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

 When you haven’t picked a reputation on your podcast but, then there are two elements it’s best to contemplate:

  1. Ensure the identify you select will not be already getting used and/or trademarked. Your purpose is to determine a reputation that may be yours and that has no confusion with some other 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 primarily based in your funds, however the sooner, the higher.

Step 2: Defend Your Enterprise and your Private Belongings with an LLC

At any time when my spouse and I’m going out to eat, we at all times scan the most recent 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 incorrect 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 purchasers (and they’re largely what evokes this subsequent step). 

These troublesome persons are the identical ones that write unwarranted unhealthy critiques, file lawsuits, and threaten what you are promoting. So upon getting a reputation picked, you want an LLC or its equal to guard what you are promoting and private property.

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

Beginning an LLC could sound like a frightening job however it may be a quite simple course of. There are two issues it’s best to contemplate:

1. Create an Working Settlement 

  • Together with your LLC, it’s best to create the governing doc for it referred to as an working settlement. This personal doc establishes possession percentages, working guidelines, and different issues. (To study extra about working agreements, watch this video.) 

2. Separate Financial institution Account

  • I additionally advocate that you simply get a separate checking account. This lets you hold what you are promoting totally separate. It’s an excellent enterprise follow on your bookkeeping and helps make sure you keep the legal responsibility safety you need out of your LLC.
  • Vital Authorized Tip — you’ll want to run all revenue and bills for the enterprise out of the LLC account, and do NOT use it for private bills!

If in case you have any questions on tips on how to file an LLC, please go to our web site, Drafted Legal, to study extra and get the assist you to want. 

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

As an legal professional, I’ve acquired many cellphone calls with tales much like this one:

Wesley, an individual I met at Residence Depot stated he wanted assist with an irrigation problem. Since I personal an irrigation enterprise, I provided to come back over and look. I went over and was capable of repair the issue. However then he had one other downside that he thought I stated I’d repair. He additionally disputed the value 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 will be enforceable, it’s at all times preferable to have a written contract as a result of then you may concretely show the phrases of the settlement. 

The great thing about the contract is not only in making it straightforward to win a lawsuit but in addition it normally prevents the dispute from ever occurring. 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 highway. Listed below are some basic ideas 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 grasp and so simple as it may be. 

This behavior of clarifying expectations after which getting the settlement signed will dramatically scale back your probabilities of ending up in a dispute. You’ve already executed 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 couple 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 together with your visitors, just like the visitor making an attempt  to have you ever take away or try to manage the content material later.

For instance, you probably have a chef in your podcast and his episode blows up in reputation 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. Nicely, when you had him signal a visitor launch, he can not pressure you to take it down as a result of you’ve got a transparent settlement. The discharge offers you permission to do precisely what you’re doing (and it additionally releases you from any legal responsibility for doing so).

Worker and Unbiased Contractor

When you use impartial contractors and/or workers, it’s essential to put out the phrases of that relationship. This consists of every thing from fee to timelines to deliverables. These all have to be outlined as clearly as you may.

If in case you have impartial contractors creating mental property for the enterprise (similar to logos, ebooks, and so on.), your contracts have to state that the LLC owns this mental property. Inherently, an writer owns their artworks, so it is advisable 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 highway.

Sponsorship Settlement

You should have a written settlement you probably have advertisers and/or sponsors. For instance, suppose you rent a social media guru to market and promote what you are promoting, and so they 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, fee phrases, supply dates, and so on. This ensures what you are promoting 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 together with your authorized framework, but it surely’s not personalized to you personally. It’s nonetheless good and useful. See what I did there? That is my disclaimer. My disclaimer will not be obnoxious; simply sincere and highlights my limitations.

Disclaimers are vital on your podcast to guard you from one thing stated on the podcast. What individuals say will be misinterpreted or misused. For instance, in case you are a health coach working a wholesome life-style podcast, it’s best 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 skilled as a doctor or nutritionist, then simply state that clearly. You’re making an attempt to obviously clarify any limitations your info could have. When drafting a disclaimer, it’s finest to not assume individuals know these limitations, so state them clearly. 

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

Though they are saying don’t decide a guide by its cowl, many decide 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 will 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 authentic music or buy music you’ve got the rights to.

In case your funds will not be restricted and also you’ve recognized vital track, go for it (and use an legal professional to assist with the method). 

Nonetheless, when you’re on a funds, save that cash and headache for one more day and stick to one thing you personal that you recognize 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 don’t seem to be “broadcast radio;” nevertheless, they do regulate podcast endorsement. 

If you’re reviewing, endorsing, promoting for, or sponsored by a services or products, then it is advisable 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 attempt to fee, it’s best to disclose that you simply didn’t pay for the merchandise. On the whole, if somebody pays you to say one thing or promote one thing, disclose it.

rule of thumb is to be upfront together with your viewers, whether or not it’s a sponsor or an affiliate hyperlink. Be taught extra here from the FTC. 

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

  1. Decide a Podcast Identify (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 executed on a funds with some analysis and know-how (however you probably have the funds, you can too get a lawyer to assist) or with a good on-line authorized providers firm like Drafted Legal. Attempt to use attorney-drafted templates and web sites with dependable info. You may at all times submit questions on Drafted Authorized’s web site too! 

We hope this text clarifies what it is advisable do legally so you may hit document. Better of luck!

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