fbpx

Category Archives for Season One

Hiring contractors and employees the right way, with Ashley Cox of sproutHR (LRM S1E12)


Business is booming and you’re ready to hire help — make sure you do it the right way! When should you hire an independent contractor and when do you need to pay someone as an employee (and what’s the difference)? Plus contracts for workers, like non-compete and NDAs.

Episode highlights:

  • What’s the difference between kinds of workers – independent contractors and employees?
  • What could happen if you misclassify a worker as an independent contractor when they should be an employee (or vice versa)?
  • What does it mean to be an “at will” worker?
  • When should you use a non-compete or NDA (non-disclosure) agreement?
  • What forms do you have to fill out when hiring workers?

KEY TAKEAWAY: You could open yourself up to major fines and penalties if you misclassify a worker as an independent contractor when they should be an employee, so it’s essential to look at all the factors and make sure you expand your team the right way, and consult an expert if you’re not sure.

Click here to sign up for Ashley Cox of sproutHR’s guide to the differences between independent contractors and employees (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Dealing with copycats who rip off your content or brand name (LRM S1E11)


As a creative business owner, at some point, you will probably find someone has copied your best stuff or started a business or product with a very similar name as yours. Learn how to respond when this happens to protect your business and brand.

(Be sure to listen to Episode 5 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 11 builds on Episode 5).

Episode highlights:

  • What steps can you take to avoid someone copying you?
  • What evidence should you keep in your files if you find you’ve been copied?
  • How can you get someone to stop copying you without a lawyer?
  • What is a DMCA takedown notice and how can this help you stop copycats?
  • When should you consider hiring a lawyer?
  • What is the process for filing an infringement lawsuit and what does it cost?

KEY TAKEAWAY: Protecting your rights from copycats may be easier than you think, many people don’t know how the laws work and often a gentle heads up and request that they stop will work wonders.

Sign up below for swipe copy you can use to write your own cease and desist letter to send to a copycat (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Make more money for your business by licensing your content and brand (LRM S1E10)


How can you get paid for the intellectual property your business owns? Licensing might just unlock a hidden revenue stream. Learn about the basics of selling a license, or permission to use your copyrights, trademarks, or patents.

(Be sure to listen to Episode 5 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 10 builds on Episode 5).

Episode highlights:

  • License = fancy word for permission to use your IP
  • What terms should your license include?
  • What’s the difference between an exclusive and non-exclusive license?
  • What should you charge for a license?

KEY TAKEAWAY: A license is a contract, and like any contract, it’s always best to put exactly what you’re giving permission to do in writing, signed by both the owner of the IP (licensor) and the user (licensee).

Sign up below for swipe copy you can use to write your own basic license (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Help! I just got a cease and desist letter, what do I do? (LRM S1E9)


You got a letter saying you’ve infringed intellectual property rights in someone’s copyright, trademark, or patent. Now what? Learn what a “cease and desist” letter and “DMCA takedown notice” are, and some steps you might take on your own without hiring a lawyer.

(Be sure to listen to Episode 5 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 9 builds on Episode 5).

Episode highlights:

  • What is a “cease and desist” letter?
  • What is a “DMCA takedown notice”?
  • How to investigate on your own
  • When a sincere apology might do the trick
  • What evidence should you keep in your files
  • How to evaluate the risk of a lawsuit
  • When you should consider hiring a lawyer

KEY TAKEAWAY: You can avoid getting a cease and desist letter by creating your own stuff or getting permission, but if you make a mistake, you might be able to fix it on your own by apologizing and taking down the infringing content.

Sign up below for a 5 step guide to respond to a cease and desist letter (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Copyright and Trademark 201, using other people’s photos, videos, music, and more legally (LRM S1E8)


How can you use content created by other people like photos, videos, music, or text (third-party content) the right way in your business? Learn all about fair use and how to stay out of legal hot water with copyrights and trademarks.

(Be sure to listen to Episodes 5, 6 and 7 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 8 builds on those episodes).

Episode highlights:

  • What’s in the public domain?
  • Ask permission – the safest bet
  • Using other people’s content on social media (re-pinning, re-posting, re-gramming)
  • Copyright fair use – there is no magic % you can change and be safe
  • Trademarks – rules for selling things made with licensed fabric, plus can you use college sports and NFL logos, movie and book titles and characters, quotes and song lyrics?

KEY TAKEAWAY: If you don’t have permission, you’re probably infringing. Create your own stuff or get permission (in writing!) or risk getting a nasty letter or being sued.

Sign up below for a cheat sheet to help you use other people’s stuff the right way (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Copyright 101, who owns what, plus the huge benefits of registering early (LRM S1E7)


Want to stop copycats in their tracks? Learn how copyright law automatically protects your creative content like your blog, photos, videos, and e-courses, and the huge benefit you can get by registering your copyrights ASAP.

(Be sure to listen to Episode 5 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 7 builds on Episode 5).

Episode highlights:

  • Who owns what?
  • How to be sure your business owns copyrights when your employees or contractors do the creating
  • Tricky ownership issues with co-creators
  • What rights does a copyright owner get?
  • Crazy good benefits of copyright registration
  • How does the federal copyright registration process work? Do you need to hire an attorney?
  • How long does a copyright registration last?
  • Should you use the © symbol?

KEY TAKEAWAY: Copyright registration is easy and inexpensive — this is a MUST for any business that’s making money from content like a blog, videos, e-course, or other digital products.

Sign up below for a Copyright 101 guide (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Trademark 101, choose a good business or product name and registration explained (LRM S1E6)


How can you create the most value in your brand? Start by choosing a great company or product name, then check to make sure no one else is already using it. Plus learn why a federal trademark registration could help your business.

(Be sure to listen to Episode 5 first for an overview of the different kinds of IP; Episode 6 builds on Episode 5).

Episode highlights:

  • What kinds of brand and company names make the best trademarks? Fanciful, arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive and generic marks explained.
  • How can you search to see if a trademark is already being used?
  • Is checking for domain name availability good enough as a trademark search?
  • When does it make sense to register a trademark?
  • How does the federal trademark registration process work? Do you need to hire an attorney?
  • How long does a trademark registration last?
  • Should you use the ™ and ® symbols?

KEY TAKEAWAY: One of the easiest legal protections you can DIY is a thorough trademark search to be sure you’re not infringing anyone else’s rights, and are building value in a brand you can actually protect.

Sign up below for a Trademark 101 guide and cheat sheet to help you choose a great business or product name (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

IP for your business, copyrights, trademarks, patents, and more (LRM S1E5)


Copyrights, trademarks, and patents, oh my! What intellectual property does your creative business own that’s worth protecting? This primer will help you identify what’s valuable in your business and how you can protect and make money with IP registrations.

Episode highlights:

  • Copyrights: protect creative works
  • Trademarks: protect brands, company names, logos
  • Patents: protect inventions, processes, manufactured designs
  • Trade secrets: protect things you keep secret and give you a competitive advantage
  • Right of publicity: protects use of your name or likeness (images where your face is
  • recognizable)

KEY TAKEAWAY: If it’s valuable to your business, it’s worth protecting. If someone copied your content or started a business with a similar name, would you (or your business income) be devastated? Then it’s worth investing in legal protections for your IP.

Sign up below for a cheat sheet about what copyrights, trademarks, and patents protect and how they’re different (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Do I need an LLC or corp. for my business? plus licenses, insurance, EIN, and taxes (LRM S1E4)


Do you need an LLC for your business? Maybe, maybe not. Learn why you might want to form an LLC or corporation, plus info about federal and state taxes, insurance, business licenses, EINs, bank accounts, and sales taxes.

Episode highlights:

  • Liability protection – what this actually means
  • Federal and state tax issues (hint: talk to an accountant!)
  • Pros and cons of Sole proprietorships, Partnerships, LLCs, and Corporations
  • Changing your business name

KEY TAKEAWAY: Forming a business entity can provide important protection for your personal assets and maybe even tax benefits — but this decision will be different for every business. This is an area where chatting with an attorney and accountant is money well spent.

Sign up below for a pro/con cheat sheet about the different kinds of business entities (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Every business with a website needs these documents in place (LRM S1E3)


NOTE – NEW PRIVACY RULES (EU GDPR) went into effect MAY 25, 2018. Check out episodes 38, 39, and 40 for updated information on privacy policies. This Episode 3 was published in 2016 and does not address the new rules.   

Wonder what those “privacy policies” or “terms and conditions” that you see on websites actually are? Find out about these and other documents and terms your website must have – terms of use, disclaimers, and disclosures.

Episode highlights:

  • Terms and conditions: the rules of the road for your website and how you protect your copyrights and trademarks
  • Privacy policy: required by law!
  • Terms of use: a contract with your e-course or digital product purchasers
  • Disclaimers: consider for health, financial, or legal information
  • Disclosures: required by the FTC if you receive money or products, and for affiliate links

KEY TAKEAWAY: If you collect any personal information through your website (even just an e-mail address through an opt-in or contact form), you are required by law to post a policy on your website telling your visitors what you will do with this information, such as whether you sell it to third parties or share it with your advertisers or partners.

Sign up below for a list of all the legal documents, notices, and disclaimers you may need to post on your website, and swipe copy you can use to create your own (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

All about contracts, the most important legal protection for creative and online businesses (LRM S1E2)


What contracts do you need for your creative business, and what should they say? Contracts are THE most important legal protection for your business. Learn about contracts with your clients or customers, vendors, partners or founders, joint venturers, investors, independent contractors and employees, event attendees.

Episode highlights:

  • When is a verbal contract ok, and when should you put it in writing?
  • Liability waivers explained
  • Why you need an agreement when you let others use your IP (e-courses and digital
  • products + licenses)
  • Key terms every contract should include
  • How to get someone to actually sign a contract

KEY TAKEAWAY: You must put your agreements in writing. Whether you work with a lawyer or just write it up yourself, you’ll have all the terms are in one place if a question or problem comes up later.

Sign up below for a cheat sheet to write your own contracts with five key terms every contract should include (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

How legal can protect your business and make you more money (LRM S1E1)


Do you need to worry about legal protections for your business? In a word, YES! Find out why you can’t ignore the law, how taking care of legal issues early can save and even make you money, and how legal protections can let you be more creative.

Episode highlights:

  • Contracts: everything is spelled out in case disagreements come up later
  • Trademark name search: avoid getting sued and build value in your brand
  • Copyright registration: better remedies against copycats
  • Forming an LLC: protect your assets if sued for something related to business
  • Licenses and taxes: do it right from the start, don’t want to have to pay penalties later

KEY TAKEAWAY: Spend a little time and/or money on legal in the beginning doing it right, so you can avoid spending a lot later on.

Sign up below to get a free 10 Step Checklist to get your business legally legit (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation.

Intro to the Legal Road Map podcast and lawyer Autumn Witt Boyd (LRM S1E0)


Don’t know where to start getting your creative business legally legit? Hosted by lawyer Autumn Witt Boyd, the Legal Road Map® podcast gives creative entrepreneurs the answers to your copyright, trademark, and business legal questions.

Learn how to protect your rights and stay out of legal hot water, so you can confidently build your dream business. Whether you’re just starting out and haven’t done any legal work on your business, or are going through a transition or growth spurt and want to make sure you’re covered, the Legal Road Map® podcast is a great tool to make sure you haven’t missed any key legal protections for your business.

Who is this podcast for? Creative business owners with big dreams at any point in your entrepreneurial journey.

Who is Autumn? Autumn Witt Boyd has been a copyright, trademark, and business lawyer for more than 12 years and opened her own law office two years ago to work with creative business owners. Most of her clients are online business owners. More information and bio can be found at https://awbfirm.com/about .

What will this podcast teach you? You’ll learn how to protect your rights and stay out of legal hot water, so you can confidently build your dream business. Each episode will give you a high-level look at the legal protections you may need for your business, that you can either put in place yourself or hire your own lawyer to help with.

For example: What contracts should you have? What the heck is a website privacy policy or terms and conditions? What should you protect with a copyright or trademark? Do you need an LLC or should you stay a sole proprietor? What should you do if a copycat steals your photos or content? What’s the right way to respond to a cease and desist letter? When is using someone else’s stuff fair use under the law? How should you hire employees or independent contractors?

Season One – 12 episodes:

Episode 1 – How legal can protect your business and make you more money

Episode 2 – All about contracts, the most important legal protection for creative and online businesses

Episode 3 – Every business with a website needs these documents in place

Episode 4 – Do I need an LLC or corporation for my business? Plus licenses, insurance, EIN, and taxes

Episode 5 – Intellectual Property for your business, copyrights, trademarks, patents and more

Episode 6 – Trademark 101, choose a good business or product name and registration explained

Episode 7 – Copyright 101, who owns what, plus the huge benefits of registering early

Episode 8 – Copyright and Trademark 201, using other people’s photos, videos, music and more, legally

Episode 9 – Help! I just got a cease and desist letter, what do I do?

Episode 10 – Make more money for your business by licensing your content and brand

Episode 11 – Dealing with copycats who rip off your content and brand

Episode 12 – Hiring contractors and employees the right way, with Ashley Cox of sproutHR

Sign up below to get a free 10 Step Checklist to get your business legally legit (plus be the first to know when new episodes are live).

This podcast is information not legal advice specific to your situation