The Challenges of Operating Your Business in the Digital World

Welcome to episode 124 of the Own Your Genius podcast! Today, we’re diving into the harsh realities of intellectual property protection in the digital age. From digital piracy and counterfeit products to domain name disputes and content theft, we’re tackling the challenges that business owners face. Join us as we share strategies to safeguard your creations and protect what’s rightfully yours in this ever-evolving digital landscape. Let’s own our genius and defend our business in these Internet streets. Get ready for an eye-opening episode of the Own Your Genius podcast! 

Today's episode covers:

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

About the Own Your Genius Podcast

The Own Your Genius podcast is the perfect mix of business, law, and mindset to help black entrepreneurs succeed in business and life.

Join Attorney LaConya Murray each month as she and guest share their entrepreneurial journey, tricks of the trade, and their secrets to getting out of their own way to succeed.

Inspired by her grandmother, the community bootlegger Attorney Murray‘s passion for helping entrepreneurs started early. Today she helps entrepreneurs throughout the country protect their brand, content, and ideas through trademarks, copyrights, and business development.


Until next week, keep building your business, growing your brand, and owning your genius!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Episode Transcript

First of all, I just want to let you know that this podcast was outlined by AI. I really love how technology has loved to play in fearful small businesses. If you know my story, then you know that I wanted to be an attorney ever since I was in middle school. However, I didn’t attend law school until four years after I received my undergraduate degree. I graduated from law school in 2010, and before attending law school, I really thought that I was running late, that I was behind, that I was missing my opportunity. All lies, just straight lies. I’ve since learned that delay does not deny it. And you hear me say that often, because I truly believe that just because something is not happening on the timeline that you expect it to happen on, does it mean that it’s not going to happen or that it’s not meant to happen? 
By attending law school and graduating when I did, it allowed me to launch my firm. It allowed me to launch my firm virtually without all of these bounds of traditional law firms. It allowed me to leverage that social media, to reach clients throughout the United States. Like, do you guys remember Periscope? Like Periscope for me was bang. That’s really what allowed me to be in front of so many people. And matter of fact, some of you that are listening today, you’re like, yes, I remember Periscope. I remember you coming on Periscope. But it really did allow me to grow my practice.  
The internet in general has made it easier for businesses to build leanly. Does that make sense? To build without having such a high overhead. But with the good, we have to take the bad. And what’s the bad, you ask? What’s the bad? That’s a great question. And we’re going to dig into that in today’s podcast. Drop the intro. 
Welcome to episode 124 of the Own Your Genius Podcast. These internet streets can be brutal for business owners when it comes to intellectual property protection. The digital landscape has significantly transformed the way that information is shared, which makes it easier for unauthorized and infringement of intellectual property. So what we’re gonna do today is we’re gonna tackle some of those challenges today and what you can do to protect yourself. 
One of the challenges that comes along with operating a business, especially when you have your business online, is digital piracy. These days, whether you’re providing a service or a good, your business offers some sort of digital product. Books, courses, guides, free worksheets, you know, like little freebie opt-ins when people exchange their email address. Online platforms provide easy and widespread access to copyrighted content, making it difficult for businesses to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution making it difficult for businesses to prevent unauthorized copying, distribution, and downloading of their digital products. So if you are operating online, if you have any part of your business online, one of the things you’re going to have to worry about is digital piracy. The other thing that you’re going to have to worry about when you are operating a business because of the internet is kind of fit products. Like there was a time when the counterfeiters would just kind of show up at your job. I worked at an apartment complex and this guy would come with knockoff purses and bags and all of the managers and assistant managers would just be like, oh yes, I’m going to get me a Prada. And this is before I knew any better as far as I didn’t know people were just out there doing things like that. So I was looking at those products, I was like, Prada? Like this doesn’t look like Prada, you know, it looks like what they say, it looks like nada. But yeah, so that’s how counterfeiters used to get to you. But now, honey, now they will hit the internet. And we found this out, my daughter, she’s into sneakers, but not so much that she knows like about the drop dates and when things are launching. So she knows to buy the shoes then, she’ll see a shoe that she likes, like weeks or months after a drop. And then she will go to the internet searching, trying to find that shoe, because we live in a city that didn’t really have, you know, a huge selection when it comes to things like that. But if you know, then you know. The e-commerce platforms have made it easier for counterfeiters to sell fake versions of branded products from Nike to Coach to even less well-known brands. These counterfeit products are often inferior. And so the damage for business owners is twofold.  
First, the counterfeiters, the business owners revenue because the people are looking for this brand but they don’t find the brand they found the counterfeiters so instead of spending their money with the business they intended to they spend it with the copycat. So that’s the first thing, they’re still on their revenue.  
And the second thing is they damage the brand’s reputation because the products are cheaply made they inferior they start falling apart and things of that nature now it’s like oh this brand they they’re going cheap. When that’s really not the case. So don’t be scared. I know that we are talking about some things, you’re like, oh my gosh, this is terrible. But you need to be aware of some of the consequences or some of the things as it relates to intellectual property that you should be aware of. 
The third thing that the internet brings to us, the third quote unquote gift, is domain name disputes. I can’t tell you how many times a client has wanted to forfeit a great name simply because the name wasn’t available for the domain, the URL wasn’t available. So domains can be unavailable for various reasons and domain disputes happen because multiple parties claim the right to a particular domain. And this can occur because, you know, similarities between existing trademarks, disputes over ownership or usage, or attempts at cyber-swatting. We talked about cyber-swatting early on. It was the episode with LL Cool J. But cyber-swatting is when someone registers a domain name with the sole intent of profiting from the reputation of someone else’s brand. 
Yeah, so that’s one of the things that you have to worry about when it comes to running a business online or just having an online presence. I will say this when it comes to domain names though. If you’re one of those people who are like, my domain is not available. So for instance, great story. So when I first rebranded, you know, when we first launched, we were Murray Law Group 
When I decided to narrow down and niche down, I wanted to name my business Off The Mark. But I was like those people, Off The Mark was not available for the domain name. And I didn’t know then what I know now, so I changed it from Off The Mark to, and I added Off The Mark IP solutions. You know, made it a little descriptive at the end. 
But now, because I know what I know now, I read a book called, Hello My Name is Awesome. And what she recommended is using a modifier. So what I did was I went back, because Off The Mark wasn’t available, and I wanted something shorter than Off The Mark IP solutions, I went and added a modifier. So now you can go to getoffthemark.com to get to us. And so that’s one of the things that I would suggest if you are in that predicament, if you are in a situation where the domain name is not available and you want to stay on brand and you want to make sure that people are able to find you and you’re staying consistent through all the platforms, use a modifier. That’s just a little side note, side track. 
The other thing that business owners worry about when they’re online is your content protection. When you’re creating digital content, you have to make sure that it stays protected, but one of the things that people, matter of fact, cut that out. So when it comes to creating digital content, if you’re a content creator, one of the things that I know my clients worry about is people stealing it. So I attended this conference one time where the panelists advised a crowd of over 300, 300 entrepreneurs to visit a website of a brand that they admire, and it provides the same good or service, and literally copy it. 
He said, you know what you can do is you can just run your mouse over it and you can right-click. I was horrified. I’m sitting in the audience like, I know this person is not telling all of these entrepreneurs to infringe on someone else’s intellectual property. But he was. Oh my goodness. I could not believe what I was hearing. So of course, you know, I didn’t just let that happen when the Q&A session started. I just stood up and I clarified and, you know, made sure that he was aware and the audience was aware that what he was proposing was copyright infringement. So, but the unfortunate thing is advice like that is being passed on every single day and that there are people out there in the internet streets doing this every single day. Protecting your digital content such as your online articles, your videos, your images, it’s challenging because it can be easily copied and distribute it without your permission. This makes it harder for content creators and businesses to monetize their creations. 
That was some really heavy information that I just gave you. Like, I know, and the intent was not to scare you, right? I’d be like, oh, I’m not publishing anything. I’m not putting anything online. I’m just, you know, that wasn’t the intent. The intent was to make you aware. And I know I promised you not just challenges, but also solutions, but I have so much more to say. We try not to make these episodes too long. So how about, how about this? We did so well with the first series. How about we make this a series? Mm-hmm. 
Let’s make it a three-part series where we’re going to talk about the challenges, the solutions and the opportunities. So we just talked about the challenges. You join us next week and we’re going to talk about the solutions to all these challenges. And then to bring in, you know, a ray of sunshine, you know, a ray of hope to let you know that it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s talk about the opportunities of intellectual property in a digital world. So yeah, I like that. I like that. I like that a lot. So today we’re talking about the challenges of operating your business online. And I promise you, it’s not all gloom and doom. It’s not all gloom and doom. We will get to those opportunities. So tune in next week, tune in next week to hear about the solutions and make sure you have your pen and paper ready because a bunch of acronyms will be thrown around when it comes to the solutions. But before we go, has your business faced any of the challenges that we talked about today? You know what to do.