Disclaimer: This blog post does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Expansion Partner is a consulting firm, not a law firm. We are not attorneys nor are we affiliated or associated with an attorney. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

Yesterday, March 26, the European parliament approved a copyright directive that will impact a number of tech companies doing business in Europe. The part of this directive that generated the most controversy is commonly known as “Article 13,” (though it was changed to Article 17 yesterday). It makes “online content sharing service providers” potentially liable for unlicensed copyrighted work uploaded by users on their service. Simply put, “online content sharing service providers” are platforms such as YouTube and Facebook that allow their users to upload and share content online.

Whilst there has been a lot of discussion on the impact of Article 13/17 on large platforms like Google and Facebook, there has been relatively little commentary on the impact on smaller startups. Here are some of our recommendations, as operators, rather than as lawyers, for what startups who think they might be affected should do next:

Given the widespread uncertainty surrounding this law, the changes this law will cause in the European and worldwide online landscape remain to be seen. Scenarios range from barely any impact to strengthening of incumbents to enabling startups to take on the incumbents. However, even significant compliance effort appears justified to keep access to the enormous potential of Europe, a single market with 513 million people (U.S.: 328 million) and a GDP of USD 17.3 trillion (U.S.: USD 19.4 trillion).

Disclaimer: This blog post does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Expansion Partner is a consulting firm, not a law firm. We are not attorneys nor are we affiliated or associated with an attorney. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.