Intellectual Property

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New EU Copyright Law Brings Compliance Challenges for Tech Company Counsel

March 27, 2019Media Mention
Corporate Counsel

Jesse Saivar, the chair of Greenberg Glusker’s intellectual property and digital media and technology groups, spoke to Corporate Counsel about the European Union's controversial copyright directive, which holds platforms accountable for copyright-infringing posts on their site. U.S. tech companies can start eyeing compliance efforts as EU nations finalize their versions of the directive.

Many U.S.-based tech companies, including Google, Reddit and Twitter, have spoken out against the directive, especially Articles 11 and 13, which would impact online publishers and require platforms to filter out or block copyrighted content, potentially including remixed material.

“It’s a fairly large break from U.S. law on this topic,” said Saivar.  “There are some steps in-house counsel can start to take, with a broad view of what is currently, lawyers said, a relatively vague directive.” Saivar recommended in-house counsel “start looking into content filters” and engage with EU-based attorneys to get “boots on the ground.”

“U.S.-based companies will have to consider whether they’ll be able to distinguish between the European and American parts of their platform. Some smaller companies may not be able to afford technology that would enable them to filter out third-party content in Europe,” Saivar said. “One question will be whether it’s even worth it to operate in Europe. That’s something [in-house counsel] should be discussing with outside copyright counsel immediately.”