BLOG:  IP Legal Freebies

A FEW TIPS re managing copyright, trademarks and intellectual property  [Please note, the postings on this blog are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice]   ...follow and subscribe to this blog on wordpress


How do musicians get paid when their music is played on Pandora or Sirius Radio?

Musicians MUST REGISTER with SoundExchange in order to get paid royalties from digital performances.  Digital performances include having songs played on Pandora or Sirius Radio.  I know that you might think that being registered with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC covers this, but it doesn’t.  Separate registration with SoundExchange is required to collect royalties when your music is played on digital and satellite music providers.

SoundExchange pays royalties to performers and copyright owners.  If you own your own track and play on it, then you get paid twice.

The only catch is that Musicians, performers and copyright owners must be proactive in registering with SoundExchange to collect their money.

-->Register with SoundExchange -->

p.s. if you haven’t already submitted your music to Pandora or Sirius Radio here is the contact info for that too.

-Vanessa Kaster


How you NAME your business is important

Before you fall in love with the name of your new business, run three simple searches (on GOOGLE, GO DADDY and the USPTO) to see if anyone else is using or has trademarked a similar business name already.

How do you do this?  EASY:  1) run a GOOGLE search to see if anyone else is using the same name for their business, 2) search on to see if the domain for your biz name is available and 3) search the USPTO/US trademark office records to see if anyone else has already registered a trademark for the same name.   Follow the steps listed below to search US trademark office (USPTO) records.

How to run a basic USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) search to see if the name of your new business is already being used by someone else.

  • Click -
  • Then Click on - New User Form Search (Basic)
  • Enter your business name in the ‘Search Term’ field
  • Click - ‘Submt Query’
  • To be really comprehensive, Back-page and search the key words in your business name separately

IF and WHEN your business comes to fruition, takes off and becomes successful... you might want to expand, franchise, trademark your business name and or sell your company.  Having a good business name, that you own the rights to can be a profitable asset.


Track the pulse of your online presence (ie monitor your copyright, trademark and intellectual property) with free Google Alerts

Using  a ‘Google Alert’ is an easy way to monitor how your music, business name or storybook title (ie your copyright, trademark and intellectual property) are being used or written about on the internet.  Google Alerts are FREE and help track the pulse of your online presence.

Setting up a Google Alert is simple.  Click on and enter the name of your song, album, business, or storybook as the search term.   Putting your search term in quotation marks is a good way to refine the search results.  Additionally, a string of search terms can be used to further refine the results.  For example enter the search term as:  ‘album name’ and ‘your name’.

Tracking the pulse of your online presence helps you develop your fan base, keep tabs on reviews of your work and notify you if and how other folks are using your work.

-Vanessa Kaster

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