Didn’t rapper, Common used to go by the name “Common Sense”? Why did he have to drop the “Sense”? I’ll tell you why it’s because, someone beat him to trademarking his own damn name…
A new artist thinks up a cool name for himself. The 1st thing he should search for is to make sure no other company/artist is using that name already & how he can legally be the only person to gain a profit from that name. It’s called a trademark. Anyone can get a trademark. Just go to US Patents & Trademarks Office online, uspto.gov. If no one has the name you want trademarked then you can apply there. The fee is about $325.
The 1st thing an mc should be worried about after writing a song isn’t how to get it played on radio or blogs. It should be getting said song copyrights that protect it under law. Below is a page from my new book,”Digital Hustle” that explains the easiest ways to copyright online.
Being your own business manager includes protecting your work. I usually do this in 3 different ways. Poor man copyright, myfreecopyright.com, & Library of Congress ecopyright online. Poor man is the easiest, but least safe. Type up all songs you wrote, throw it in a big envelope & mail it back to yourself. Never open the envelope. Simple right? It’s not proven if this is fail proof though. Another thing I discovered is this site called myfreecopyright.com, where you can upload your lyrics & save them. The site give you a confirmation code that you can store to prove wait date you created the song.
The 3rd way to copyright is mandatory. There’s no getting around having a legitimate copyright from the Library of Congress. I hate doing the paperwork so I just do it right online at eco.copyright.gov. Follow the step by step directions, pay the $30 fee, & in months your work will be protected under law.
Download full version of Digital Hustle Book for more info. Comment below if this article helped in anyway!
Carl Jones is the chief editor, radio host, author, & event coordinator for Chi-Bangerz.combased in Chicago, IL, USA. An avid hip-hop enthusiast, he works tirelessly to educate independent musicians on the right way to “Do It Yourself” using grass root & online methods.