I recently sat down with Kyle Williams from the popular website Seeds of Music for an interview on how to protect your music and the importance of copyright law for musicians. Seeds of Music is a blog dedicated to helping aspiring musicians acquire the tools necessary to reach success–a mission close to my heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed my discusion with Kyle. To learn more about him and the Seeds of Music blog visit SeedsofMusic.net

Enjoy the video? Please share your thoughts below in the comments and be sure to join my email list to receive up dates on legal issues for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

The adoring crowd of Hogni by Sebastian Anthony, CC Attribution-NoDerivs License

The adoring crowd of Hogni by Sebastian Anthony, CC Attribution-NoDerivs License

Agreeing on a band name can be painfully difficult.

Growing up in a series of bands with close friends — who seemed to agree on virtually everything else — I was shocked by how long it would take us to see eye to eye on a name. Once we settled on a name, we would scramble to see if it was available only to find that someone beat us to the punch. Crushed, we would start the process all over again.

Can you relate?

We all put so much effort into crafting the perfect band name because we understood the importance of this element of our branding. Having a memorable name that expresses something about your group is a critical step toward building a following and a lasting career.

Unfortunately, though, some groups run into trouble. If you discovered another band starting using your name, what would you do?  Would you dig in your heels and fight or abandon the name you love?

If you are anything like me, you would do whatever you could to stop them. After all, isn’t your band name — that name you worked so hard to find — worth fighting for?

Imagine the consequences if you don’t: the fans you’ve made through touring and selling records will be totally confused and potentially lost if this copycat grows in popularity, leaving you back at square one. This is a problem that needs to be addressed and a trademark registration is one of the most powerful tools you can have to resolve the issue.


Federal trademark registration benefits include: Continue Reading…

Copyright Symbol Ian GibsonStatutory damages for copyright infringement is a concept that frequently comes up when discussing the benefits of copyright registration or potential recovery in a copyright infringement lawsuit.  It can be a bit confusing to those that are unfamiliar with the term.  However, like most things in the law, you can figure out what a term means by breaking it down into smaller parts.

“Statutory” means something that is required, permitted, or enacted by statute.  Essentially, this term describes any written law.  “Damages” refers to monetary compensation awarded in a civil action — in other words, money won in a lawsuit.  Statutory damages, thus, refers to any monetary awards won pursuant to a statute.

In the copyright infringement context, statutory damages flow from a written law — namely, 17 USC § 504.  This code section provides for the recovery of a range of monetary awards under certain conditions.  Standard, run-of-the-mill copyright infringement statutory damages range between Continue Reading…

Caution by Michael Theis, CC Attribution-NoDerivs License

Caution by Michael Theis, CC Attribution-NoDerivs License

What Every Creative Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Trademark Registration

It’s a sad but all too common story.

A local small business owner who failed to go through the trademark registration process receives a cease and desist letter from an out-of-state company they’ve never heard of demanding that they immediately stop using a trademarked word/logo or face an expensive federal lawsuit.

Could you be next? Continue Reading…

Supercharged by The 359, CC Attribution-Share Alike License

Supercharged by The 359, CC Attribution-Share Alike License

If you are anything like me, odds are that you turn to Google several times a day to fact check anything and everything.

Similarly, we turn to the all-knowing Internet to research products and services before we buy. Recent statistics indicate that almost five billion (that’s a whopping nine zeroes) Google searches are executed per DAY — an incredible stat, but what does this have to do with my business? And how can I dramatically improve my SEO with trademarks? Continue Reading…