- company formation (EpicGem will soon be a Delaware corporation)
- developing standardized legal documentation we can use going forward (e.g., for engaging advisors, managing confidentiality and intellectual property and issuing equity)
- specialist legal issues, which for EpicGem includes copyright.
On this last point, it has been interesting to explore a bit where Napster went wrong and later media sharing sites (such as YouTube and GitHub) have gone right.
- With respect to Napster, courts found that its service was essentially used for repeated end exploitive copying of entire works (songs) with the effect of harming (music) sales. (OK, this is probably not news.) However, even if it charged no money to its users, courts found that Napster gained a direct financial benefit because the infringing activity it facilitated (copying and sharing of entire songs) drew ever more users to the Napster platform (whose main purpose was shown to be committing more copyright infringing activity, while Napster made no meaningful effort to limit that activity). This is why Napster was unable to claim protection under the US Copyright rules which otherwise shield online intermediaries from liability for copyright infringement.
- On the other hand, online intermediaries like GitHub and YouTube currently operate well defined procedures that allow copyright holders (e.g., the original authors) to identify infringing material to be taken off the respective web sites.
Managing access to content created and shared by users is core to the functionality provided by EpicGem. EpicGem inspires creativity, while fostering users' ability to receive recognition and input from those they care about (be it just family and friends, or the broader universe of EpicGem users).
This coming week, we will focus on building the EpicGem team, hopefully with progress in discussions to fill key roles.