B.Ratelle: 00:00 This is episode 25 being legal online with Richard Chapo. Welcome to Law and Wit: creative counsel for entrepreneurs. I’m your host, Brittany, Ratelle, mother of four, entrepreneur, Nap time lawyer and attorney for creative entrepreneurs. I’m here to share inspiration and action so that you can tackle your business blocks and confidently own your business in every sense of the word. Thank you so much for being here. Hey there listeners, and thanks so much for being back. I wanted to preface today’s episode and just, um, just kind of let you know what we’re going to be talking about. It’s a little on the legal debt side, but I totally believe in you that you can handle it. Your ancestors did hard things. You can do hard things. Okay. Um, and the reason why I wanted to share and why I was so excited to have my guest, Richard Chapo on today is that he, um, has a tremendous amount of experience in internet legal businesses.
B.Ratelle: 00:57 He’s been doing this for more than 25 years. I’m, his specialty is in people who are making money online content creators, major businesses. Um, and we talked a little bit after the episode and without name dropping, you know, I don’t want to, um, you know, breach his client confidentiality, but he’s got some really major clients are making multimillion dollars with their online businesses so he knows what he’s talking about. Um, and it was really great to kind of dive in with him and get some perspective on what’s happening with the online legal landscape. Um, how are things changing, how are they evolving and how can we make sure that we’re poised to be on top of that and to me managing our businesses and did this be online in a really smart way so that we are creating value, um, and we’re solving people’s problems online and not creating new problems with headaches for ourselves when we can avoid it. So, um, without further ado, let’s get into the conversation. So, welcome Richard. Thank you for having me on. Thank you. Um, well, you know, give us kind of a quick reader’s digest version of how you Kinda came to do what you do now. I know you’ve done different stuff and the course of being an attorney and being kind of a digital expert and helping online businesses, um, but kind of take us a little bit through that, that journey and where, where you got to be, what you’re doing today.
Richard Chapo: 02:10 Sure. I’ve been practicing for about 25 years now. Um, when I first started out a business, San Diego was doing a litigation with a certified litigation specialists. We did wrongful death cases, primarily some bad faith insurance, but most of the wrongful death defending physicians and hospitals, for instance, when the patient passed away and there were questions of whether my practice that occurred. Um, and as you can imagine that that got a little old after a while,
B.Ratelle: 02:36 a little, a little dead, you know, not, not, not, not to beat the, you know, the death, the puns there. But yeah, it’s certainly a, it’s, it’s, it’s, it could be a narrow niche for sure. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 02:45 Yes. Was some small emotions involved and uh, so, uh, yeah, around 1999 it took a year off sabbatical though Russia came back and I’d had a peer who had left the same practice and had become the CEO of a, a internet company, which was amazing to me because I wasn’t all that familiar with the Internet at the time. Um, but uh, one thing led to another. He needed legal work and couldn’t find an attorney. And so I ended up doing it and realizing that it was a field where, you know, at that point in time you really, you know, it was really the foundational level of law. There wasn’t, there weren’t so many open questions. Almost nothing was decided. Although you had acts like the Dca from 1998, uh, the Consumer Decency Act Nineteen Ninety eight, he didn’t get into a lot of case law or anything of that sort. So it was interesting. It was an area to really break new law and see a new developments. And I’ve been doing it ever since. A couple breaks to do some traveling, but more or less a pretty constant since then.
B.Ratelle: 03:40 Awesome, so, so you’ve seen, I mean, just an incredible change in the industry from, you know, the birth of the Internet and it being the complete wild wild west and we weren’t sure what was going on or what the role is certainly the birth of the Internet legal atmosphere to what we have today. Um, you know, what are just some macro trends or things that you’ve, uh, you’ve been able to see from your bird’s eye view.
Richard Chapo: 04:03 Um, well I think that anybody that was looking back then obviously as you pointed out, it’s kind of the wild wild west. There really weren’t any guidelines. I mean there were basic things like, you know, we’re links legal, that kind of a thing. Uh, and we moved to a period where we started getting more sophisticated, um, judges, appellate courts and what have you and decisions that made quite a bit more sense and now we’re kind of in a period where, you know, I’m a little worried about where we’re headed as a commercial medium. The idea of, you know, this world wide web and this uninterrupted flow of information is under attack. Uh, in my view, and um, you know, I think that, that, that a lot of people are just kind of impervious to what’s happening and it’s unfortunate because I think that we’re, we’re almost seeing, I like to joke that it’s world war three going on right now digitally, but a lot of it’s based on privacy law and issues of this sort, which admittedly are not always the most exciting things. But, um, you know, we’re seeing the empire strikes back you. One way I like to put it in the views in certain areas of the world are much different than, for instance, in the United States, United States, we favor of free speech in China. They don’t, you know, in these different countries. So how do you mesh all of these things together? And what we’re seeing is the answer for a lot of countries in the European Union is you don’t.
Richard Chapo: 05:21 So we’re starting to see this trend of the internet becoming something that’s fractured and isn’t really what most people thought it would be. Not so much from a societal standpoint, but certainly from a commercial standpoint. And, uh, that’s, I think very worrying.
B.Ratelle: 05:36 Yeah. Yeah. Something that we all need to at least be aware of. Even those that may seem like, oh, you know, I’m just, uh, if I, I think some, some of my listeners might, you know, feel more candidate. I’m a small time operator, you know, I’m just running a simple ecommerce site or I do content creation online or I’m a blogger and that’s how I make my money, you know, what does this have to do with my business, you know, and I think the answer is that we all need to care about, you know, privacy law and certainly with this year and the GDPR coming out and how that’s affected us even on this side of the Atlantic. We know that the nature of the way that we’re seeing privacy regulation, um, and how that affects everything from service providers and the way that we process and move data to the way we run, you know, all the services that we need to keep our website going. That these are things that we care about. Um, you know, do you see anything else, you know, other reasons or things that you find yourself repeating often as to why even smaller operators need to care about this stuff?
Richard Chapo: 06:33 It’s just the pervasiveness of the difference of views. I think that, you know, people don’t really understand how different societal views aren’t certain areas and I mean, when you think about the European Union, the United Kingdom, well for awhile, uh, Germany, France, you know, these kinds of countries and you think, well, views aren’t really that different, but let me give you an example of how different they truly are. Here in the United States. I have family all over the country. Uh, everybody has kids. Kid has a birthday party, they go on to facebook and they post pictures of the birthday party. If you do that in France, that’s a misdemeanor and you can go to jail for up to a year and you can be fined 5,000 francs. Now, are they putting people in jail? No, but, but the reasoning is you’re violating the privacy rights of those kids. Right? And that’s a mentality in the US. We would never have
B.Ratelle: 07:19 no, I mean, that’s, that’s crazy. I mean, you know, I think you saw, and you know, there was a while where it was I think a little bit more common to see people be concerned about privacy. You know, some people say they don’t do direct shots, you know, their kid’s faces or they would cover them up or something or you know, a lot of people were private, had private accounts and were concerned about that privacy online. But I think a lot of those concerns if kind of passed away his people as, as it’s become so much a part of our life and now so much a part of people’s business, you know, if you’re running a lifestyle brand than that, you know, targeting babies and children, then your kids are going to have to be in the pictures. There’s no way around it. Um, that’s crazy to hear that there’s such a different view and France, um, about something as simple as just a birthday party picture.
Richard Chapo: 08:00 No, it is. You know, what the problem is that we’re seeing, you know, this variation and philosophy about who should be the governing body, who should deal with these issues, you know, the EU with copyright law, they’re talking about copyright reform now and they want to have things like link taxes so that if you were to link to a newspaper article or some kind of a verified journalistic piece online in Europe, you have to pay a tax that’s your social media, that is your blog post. That’s whatever. Now, you know, I, I can’t even wrap my head about how they would even govern that, but just the concept of doing something like that, you know, and, and, and there’s logic behind it which is, you know, journalism for forms of very unnecessary task and society.
B.Ratelle: 08:48 No, the fourth estate. Yeah. Right.
Richard Chapo: 08:50 So, and, and we’ve seen newspapers having so many problems. So how do you address that so that they’re going at, you know, a real problem. It’s just, you know, that’s their mentality as to how to address it. And in the United States, the idea of doing that is it’s just madness. The problem, the biggest problem, you know, I can rant about Europe all the time. The biggest problem that you see in some areas in the European Union is famous for this. They did not differentiate between somebody who’s running a blog on how to grow tomatoes and facebook, you know, and if you look at the Gdpr and we can get into the GDPR requirements are all the same except for record keeping under article 30. If you have less than 250 employees, you don’t necessarily have to keep records. The problem is if anybody actually investigated you, you need records to defend the audit.
B.Ratelle: 09:37 It’s not, it’s not really letting you off the hook. Right.
Richard Chapo: 09:40 Right now, I mean obviously now are they going to invest it investigated tomato hobbyist? Probably not. Yeah, he probably save, but it is just a different mentality and I think one of the big struggles you’re seeing now is how do you deal with these things? I have clients in Asia and Singapore and Japan and you know, you look at China and you’re trying to get into these markets and it is just chaos because, you know, you’ll have released Chinese have suddenly decided we’re no longer allowing it nymity well, if you’re in Hong Kong or if you were in Taiwan, that’s a big issue. And so, you know, how do you deal with those types of things? I’m the fortunate thing for probably a lot of people listening to this is where in the US, which is the biggest consumer market in the world, so we have a certain inherent insulation from these issues. Um, but the thing is, these are spreading. The California just passed a know the California consumer privacy actress goes into effect January first 2020. It is essentially a GDPR light. It has many of the facets of the GDPR and if you’re selling into California, and it doesn’t matter if you’re based in New York, Utah,
B.Ratelle: 10:42 I mean, we all are. I mean, we’re all selling to California, right?
Richard Chapo: 10:46 Uh, you know, and you meet certain thresholds, you know, then you’re going to have to comply with that law of the beauty of California. And, and let me explain, I’m in California, we have a legislature that not the sharpest group of people. This is a group of people that passed a revenge porn law and I think we can all agree revenge porns bad revenge porn is when you have somebody posts, pictures of their acts,
B.Ratelle: 11:05 right? Not Great, not something anyone’s really going to hang their hat on that we need to defend. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 11:10 Right. But they included the exemption in the law for selfies. And the problem is with revenge porn, about 90 percent of the images are selfies
B.Ratelle: 11:18 are gonna have a yourself included in it. So yeah, it doesn’t. Yeah, it does. Doesn’t really come down to really thinking go here at legislation all the way through. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 11:26 Right. So this is not the, not the smartest group, but even then when they, when they came in and they did the Gdpr light and it was done under all kinds of question, will political practice and pressures. Uh, but even when they did that, they created a threshold where you have to have 50,000 visitors a month or a year and you know, they’re, all these different things are still kind of rewriting the laws we go, but at least they at least they created a threshold so we can say to somebody who’s just starting out, you know, hey, you don’t really need to worry about this until you grow.
B.Ratelle: 11:51 Yeah, you’re not going to have to worry about a data manager just yet, you know, but it all, it is something that we’re all going to need to start keeping on our radar.
Richard Chapo: 11:58 Right. Whereas if you’re in other countries, I mean, you know, not to bag and keep begging on the EU, but if you think of the largest internet companies in the world, how many of them are based on. The answer is none.
B.Ratelle: 12:09 I get, I get some junk phone calls from pay pal and Ireland. Now it’s telling me that they can give me a line of credit, but I mean, they’re not even based there. That’s just one arm of their data. Their data storage that they do. They’re so right,
Richard Chapo: 12:22 and plus iron one bends over backwards.
B.Ratelle: 12:25 Exactly. They said, take it all, take all the potatoes, take all the land. Whatever you want. Paper Towel please, please come here. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 12:33 The joke was he a supervisory authority in Ireland, held meetings in a pub somewhere. Three of them that were a policing, a privacy law there, but unfortunately it looks like that’s changing. So
B.Ratelle: 12:44 sure. I’m sure there was some Guinness was involved yet with that, that, that, that entire show down. So, um, so I mean, just fascinating the Development California and I mean not surprising because, you know, I, and I’ve, I’ve had some soft Raelians against California and passed on even here because California is famous for making up their own laws. I mean they are like being able to really see themselves on the forefront of legislative, um, you know, changes and being early adopters of new trends and kind of having a, you know, that the laboratory of democracy, they definitely embrace that wholeheartedly. Um, and so I don’t think it’s a surprise to us that that’s what we’re seeing tech changes, but also is going to be really interesting to see how that plays out because as we know, most of our tech giants have, you know, a significant presence in Silicon Valley,
Richard Chapo: 13:30 the California privacy law, and it shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than a huckster move. In California. We have ballot initiatives which means that anybody can go out and if you can get enough signatures, you can put something on the ballot. And in this case it was a very wealthy real estate investor and developer and to other people went out and got basically a ballot initiative, got signatures and what have you. And the privacy initiatives that they were going to put forward was polling. Rarely, rarely will really strongly. So it was pretty obvious it was going to pass. But if you actually read it, violated all these different laws. It was just going to be cast and I will be able to conform to it when it passed. And so they agreed that if the California legislature and governor went ahead and issued a law, um, basically incorporating it all, you know, before a particular date in June, um, you know, that they would pull the initiative, which is what happened. So where’s it, where’s the Gdpr took between six and four years, depending on how you look at it to negotiate. The California privacy law was put together in six days.
B.Ratelle: 14:30 Not Ideal.
Richard Chapo: 14:32 Yes. And listeners might not, might not grasp what that means, but to lawyers to the two of us, that means that it’s written incredibly poorly. Um, you know, not, not necessarily because they were incompetent. It’s just you can’t write a 10,000 word law in six days. This is not gonna happen. Um, and so what we’re seeing in California right now is people freaking out, but I don’t really think they should because, um, you know, their bills being introduced to amended. And as you pointed out, silicone valley has a habit of sway
B.Ratelle: 14:59 here. And they’ve got, they’ve got a, you know, some, some seats at the table there. And so I imagined that they, yeah, they will have some very strong opinions about the way that it should come down in terms of its enforcement mechanism and everything else. Yeah. To make sure that it’s not overreaching. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 15:15 Yeah, exactly. You know, they’re looking at gut parts of it to be quite honest. And um, you know, there have already moved to pretty much limit the, um, you know, personal, right, of action. There’s still an exception for, but mostly it’s going to be enforced by the attorney general in California who, again, typically it’s politically motivated, so it’s not necessarily a great thing, but the attorney general is limited by funds to be quite honest. Right. Um, and so, you know, the tendency is going to be probably to look at larger companies and try and force it in that area. Whereas with the Gdpr, um, you know, the scare tactics, uh, you know, you could be hit with a fine for $20,000,000. Well, yeah, if you’re Google,
B.Ratelle: 15:53 right? And if you’re google then you have a, you have a bevy of attorneys to help you with that. So, um, I’m not too worried. Yeah,
Richard Chapo: 15:59 right, exactly. Uh, you know, smaller sites, you’re probably looking more at worst case scenario, the four percent figure that they’ll throw around however they do go after small size. It depends. The thing with the EU that’s so interesting is it depends on the member state, you know, the ICO in the UK is really somebody, if you’re going to have a problem, you kind of want to have it with them because as they will hunt you but they won’t find you and they’ll work with you. I mean that’s been their history now even in worst case scenarios. And I almost had a client that was just, you know, spamming not paying attention to any of the law, breaking every law possible over there and you know, and they got hit and, but even then the fine, I was kinda shocked with the fine wasn’t more. Um, I didn’t end up representing them, but you know, it was a situation where it was like a google alert. Their name, this will be good and, and the final wasn’t too bad. However, if you get hit by say Germany, you know, Germany issued 175 audit notices for the GDPR before it was even enacted and France, you know, they’re, those are areas you want to avoid.
B.Ratelle: 17:01 Yeah. Obviously we know the window, the Francis Feeling on birthday party privacy, so don’t, don’t cross them.
Richard Chapo: 17:07 Right. And they’re already issuing warnings to apps and in groups at that point. Pretty much the only country that’s really doing it right now, let’s be honest.
Richard Chapo: 17:36 No, I think it’s basically profiling their businesses, getting an idea of, you know, the territorial scope provisions for the Gdpr and things of that sort. Um, you know, you’ll see stuff written online all the time about, you know, if you clicked one email, you have to comply with the, I don’t really believe that, I believe if she read the recitals and what have you, that’s not the case. You look at Brussels regulation and you look at the case law is under that and it’s based on almost the exact language that appears in the Gdpr, you know, there’s a sliding scale. Factories will look at, there’s a risk factor there that obviously you have to weigh, but to go through that analysis with the client, I mean, you know, if you’re, if you’re a mortgage broker and you’re in San Diego and you know, so mortgages to people in California, it really don’t have to worry about the GDPR.
Richard Chapo: 18:55 Other states are going to pass similar legislation I would think. And it’s just kind of have to wade through it. And well more importantly, the court, you’re going to have to wade through it. One of the things that is important to remember, I think with regulatory fines is typically liability insurance does not cover them. So this is not something that you should be sticking your head in the sand on because finds, you know, even if you’re not, find your attorney fees, send one of these actions they can accumulate quickly. So even if you’re small, you know, it makes sense to kind of get your ducks in order and at least know what you’re doing. I tend to think that if you can show good faith effort to comply, uh, you know, a lot of these agencies are, are not going to be that interested in you and they’re really only gonna be interested in your thing.
Richard Chapo: 19:40 I complaints unless you’re bigger, you know. But unfortunately, no, there are a lot of privacy warriors out there and um, both in the EU and in the US and you know, I’ve had problems with homeless smaller clients where I’ve, you know, and as an attorney, I’m sure you would have the same reaction, which was, oh, come on, come on. Yeah, exactly. You know, facebook is doing all this stuff and you’re coming over to my client. Really, um, you know, but unfortunately, you know, that’s, that’s the legal rights that people have. Um, and you know, you’re gonna have to address it and they also have to keep an eye out just kind of on development. So you really want to team up with an attorney because there’s some strange developments. Are you familiar with the facebook ruling on the fan groups?
B.Ratelle: 20:25 I think I heard the headline, but I don’t think I read the full story on it. So yeah, fill us in here.
Richard Chapo: 20:30 So this, uh, the European courts decided that when he formed me fan group, um, you are essentially a joint controller with facebook and that you must take technological steps to gain consent before allowing people to join the facebook group because you’re, you’re gathering information on him literally seems to point it out to the court. Really? Okay. So I joined my or I create my fan group page for Justin Bieber and then I send a message to facebook saying, hey, how are we going to put together a consent mechanism now, how long, how long do you think I’m gonna have to wait for that response. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, no, it’s just ludicrous. So unfortunately, you know, you really do need to sit down probably in and form a relationship with an attorney who is familiar with these issues and um, you know, it was watching what’s going on and then there’s just going to be risk analysis just like anything else, you know, in your business, particularly from a legal perspective. There’s gonna be some comfort level. You’re going to have to, you’re going to have to come to, um, you know, with some areas that maybe you need to be more aggressive than others. It’s just kind of roll your eyes and, you know, I hope that the small percentage of a potential problem occurring doesn’t happen.
B.Ratelle: 21:38 Yeah. Just kind of let those things go. And, and, you know, I understand that, that is, uh, is something that’s going to be ongoing as things unfold. You know, as a, as, as you know, Richard talked about, especially as we see the, the California, the Gdpr, the light has and may be termed a rolling out and see how that affects a waves is levelization that probably will effect the all, all across the US.
Richard Chapo: 22:01 Regrettably or not.
B.Ratelle: 22:04 I mean, you know, it means that people are going to keep calling you, but you know, sometimes we wish that wasn’t the case, that maybe maybe we should go into something that was less depressing for our clients to have to be waiting through all this stuff. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 22:17 Well, from my perspective, at least having done it for too long, um, you know, from the 19, late 19 nineties as, you know, you really had this medium where you did have the free flow of information and you have this, you know, Arab spring and all these different things and it was kind of a beautiful form and seeing it break down, now I’m into these regulatory areas where it’s really no different than brick and mortar businesses. Yeah. The Ada question. So the Americans disability act as apply to websites or not, do you have a physical location? Yeah. Know all, all these things that are just um, you know, it’s a bit much.
B.Ratelle: 22:57 Yeah, it’s a bit much. And then, you know, throw in, you know, some net neutrality on top of that, you know, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy how much the internet could change as much as we think that it is something that’s bigger than all of us, but yet it’s still controlled by humans. So yeah, we can certainly affect it for, for good or for bad.
Richard Chapo: 23:15 No. You know, and the indices certain, you know, it’s frustrating. I used to represent quite a few companies that marketed and worked with target audiences that we’re under 13 children in the US and there’s federal law, the Children’s online privacy protection act. You have to comply with it. Yeah. Okay. Well it’s expensive to do it. Is it expensive? Is it expensive to do it, but you lose a lot of potential revenue channels. And I would tell my clients due to flee as an attorney that they had to comply with the law and he wrote all the steps and they would spend the money and do everything else. And then the FTC who’s charged with essentially enforcing it but do nothing. Right. And all of their competitors are completely noncompliant. Making money and you know, the FTC enforces two cases a year, almost verbatim and there to a sample cases, so you know, cases that are going to get big publicity and it’s usually nothing in the fair is, it’s just, you know, yelp got hit once because of their age filter was broken. Right. And you’re sitting there trying to talk to your clients. Well, you know, he wanted to do.
B.Ratelle: 24:19 I, I still think it’s a good idea, but you’re right, it all kind of seems a little ridiculous because of the actual. Yeah, the actual chance that you’re going to get dinged by it. So, um, yeah. And yet who wants to be the bad actor, who’s, you know, you know, ripping off kids and telling them, put in your email addresses. I mean, no one wants to be that guy, but yeah.
Richard Chapo: 24:38 Well I think, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but in looking at it, I think there should be thresholds on the Internet in relation to the size of businesses. And I think that we should stop this, this idea that, you know, um, you know, particular regulation should apply across all businesses because if, if you’re an antique store and you’d have 1500 people on your email list, they’re probably really interested in the antiques you’re selling. Do you really need consent? What is consent decay? You know, my favorite thing with the Gdpr, one of the favorite conversations I had with a supervisor authority was they told me, well, consent decays over time. And I said, really? So when somebody signs up for my clients email, as they check the box, they go through all the disclosures. You’re telling me that decays over time? Yes. Okay. How long an appropriate amount of time? What the hell
B.Ratelle: 25:29 mean? Like, you know, let’s, let’s hit it. CSI style, we’d, we’d put it out on the table. How long is it going to take? It just, you just assume that people’s tastes change over time. I mean, how paternalistic is that to assume that a person doesn’t have the wherewithal to unsubscribe if they’re not interested? Like
Richard Chapo: 25:45 thank you. Thank you. We work off of the presumption that people are idiots.
B.Ratelle: 25:49 Yeah, I mean, how hard is it? It’s at the bottom of every email. I mean, I’ve taught my grandma to do it. They done. They can do it now, so we’re all good. We’re all good. It’s 2018. Okay.
Richard Chapo: 26:00 Thank you. It’s so nice to talk to somebody that looks at the same way as just because I just like what I mean, these people, the presumption is that the audience, the target audience that you’re dealing with on the internet barely has the capacity to breathe on their own and it’s literally like really know what we’re doing essentially in the EU and what you’re saying, you already seeing backlash in the EU. People are saying, why are these popups? Yeah. Why am I getting all these warnings? Essentially they’re the warning on the mattress.
B.Ratelle: 26:27 Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. And which people always blame attorneys for, but you know, it’s not always attorneys. It’s, it’s, you know, stupid litigants who say, Hey, I think we can make some money. You know, it takes, it takes more than just one person to tango into. Right. Bad laws like that. So no, no, exactly.
Richard Chapo: 26:44 So who knows. I mean, you know, there’s two sides to every story, but yeah, certainly is frustrating at times.
B.Ratelle: 26:49 Yeah, for sure. So, um, I mean that’s, and that’s the real, you know, the, the scariness about the splinter net, you know, as you, um, as we were talking in email about about this concept and it’s a term that I’ve heard but um, but not one that I’ve really explored a lot, but it is something that I hope that doesn’t, we don’t see that it’s a trend that comes to pass, which is we have, you know, little island nations of Internet split up because of rules about things like privacy or things about hate speech or free speech or um, you know, being able to rewrite history. I mean, you know, how awful is it to know that in China, you know, we have all of these sites that are blocked that mean that poor Chinese citizens don’t have access to.
Richard Chapo: 27:27 Sure. No, absolutely. And for people listening to splinter enough, it is just a concept that’s been floating around for awhile. That was kind of theoretical. Now it’s become much, much more actualized and basically it says the Internet is divided into different regions based on either economic or geopolitical reasons. And, and you’re seeing it. The GDPR is kind of an example. Uh, as many people know when the Gdpr went into effect on May 20, fifth, 2018, quite a few US newspapers block the traffic. Yeah, something like 1100 papers a because primarily they’re do a lot of cookie advertising and they would just kill their advertising. Right? Dick’s sporting good, well known sports retailer blocked and I present that to my clients all the time. I said, you know, you want to block this or not. How many sales do you actually have?
B.Ratelle: 28:11 Yeah, it’s an option. I mean it, you know, cost effective benefit analysis. It might be cheaper just to say sorry you forget you best of luck and you can buy from your French birthday party stores, but I, I, you know, I don’t have the resources, nor do I think it’s prudent to invest that in order to comply with these kinds of regulations.
Richard Chapo: 28:29 No, absolutely. And I think the key thing to that is, you know, a lot of people and a lot of my clients immediately said, no, I have to be in the union. I said, well, what are your sales? And then they start looking at their sales and you know, two percent of their sales come from the EU and it’s like, wow,
B.Ratelle: 28:44 do you really have to be in the EU or do you just like the idea of being in the EU? Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 28:49 Because I’ll tell him, you know, you want to be there, that’s fine, but you know, I’m telling you the bills you’re going to get from me and that you’re going to have to hire a programmer to do this and this and you know. And then suddenly, you know, they’re not so excited. And you’re saying in another areas, I mean obvious areas. Russia, linkedin. You can’t view linkedin in Russia because Russia is. That said essentially that if you collect information from any of their citizens, you have to maintain a server within their jurisdiction within their country that contains all that information on that citizen. And you can play the ominous music behind that.
B.Ratelle: 29:18 Right? Right. Good for Linkedin for saying no, no.
Richard Chapo: 29:23 Well, yeah. The irony is linkedin said no. Google and Yahoo. It goes rolled over immediately.
B.Ratelle: 29:28 Where do we sign? Yeah. Yeah. That is that to their shame because yeah, they have definitely a bowed down all over the place where they’ve needed to. Um, and yeah, I mean that’s hard because then the bad actors and people get rewarded for bad behavior.
Richard Chapo: 29:44 No, it’s true. You know, and then you get into the issues of, you know, that are more esoteric and perhaps maybe a little boring to the audience, but it would probably be a surprise. I can, um, I can control the domains and some infrastructure of the Internet. Well, most people don’t realize I can, was originally, uh, I wouldn’t say subsidiary affiliated, let’s put it that way with the US Department of Energy. That’s where they originated. And they were an independent company. They are an independent company, a nonprofit out in California. But they were controlled and funded through the Department of Energy through secondary subsidiary. Well, two years ago the question was does it us keep that kind of subtle control of Icann or does it throw it out into the public and let different nations control it? And the ultimate decision was, well, we’ll put it out into the public. Different nations can control it.
Richard Chapo: 30:33 Well, you know, everything we’ve been talking about here, uh, you know, what is free speech in theU , s we created, it’s an incredibly important constitutional right on other countries is not. And so, you know, what, what does that do to Icann and see I can’t struggling in the EU right now with the Gdpr, you know, because of the way he was saying, hey, you can’t show the who is a table because that’s violating the privacy rights of these people. And the reason that’s important is if you’re in copyright infringement, trademark infringement, who is a database is kind of where you start to try and hunt down the people who are stealing your content.
B.Ratelle: 31:11 Yeah. If you don’t have access to that and people can hide behind a shield and they can, you know, they can scrape and post all day long and they’ll and they’ll say Nananana booboo and you can’t find them. So
Richard Chapo: 31:21 yeah, and the courts and the EU have upheld that and if they continue to do so, you know, it’s a holy day, a glorious day for. Yeah, scary scrapers and scammers because they can hide behind that and it’s, you know, and so, and that’s because in the EU privacy is considered essentially, you know, as important as free speech, it carries ferries that kind of a weight. Whereas here in the US, you have to be honest in the US, despite all the things we say about freedom, privacy in the US is kind of a joke. You know, we don’t even have a federal law that deals with privacy in general. We have specific niches and, and that’s fine. I’m not criticizing. It’s just a different mentality. And so how do you deal with these international structures, these international organizations that are going to be kind of key going forward. You have net neutrality. We talked about and scream about it here, but in other countries they don’t have it and you know, you’re charged for everything and it’s, you know, it’s kind of a downer, but in the US, you know, we’re very entrepreneurial in nature, but you know, there’s a cost to that and if you are dissuading people and you’re raising that cost by making it a bigger burden to get into a particular business niche, well does that really benefit what we’re trying to do?
B.Ratelle: 32:33 Right. And then we get the, you know, the super weird circumstances, like did you see the story of the firefighters who were trying to, um, they were trying to Max out their data because they were using obviously their gps applications. So we’re fighting fires and they got notices saying, sorry, you know, you went over your data, you’re going to need to go and call your supervisor. I mean this is during an active fire and they got throttled. They got throttled by their provider. You can imagine the public bash back, I forget the provider was, I think it was verizon. I mean, I don’t want to throw rise under the bus if it wasn’t them, but um, but I’m pretty sure it was, but I’m like, okay, come on. I mean don’t you think that someone should have stepped up and been like, now is not the time now is not the time. Okay. You let first responders have and yeah, I have the express lane. Okay.
Richard Chapo: 33:18 Yeah. But you know, what’s going to happen more often and where it’s going to happen probably is in the data exchanges in emergency emergency medical procedures. Some of those pipes I know that they’ve had problems with hospitals or suddenly everything goes, you know, rather than the open heart surgery. And that’s, that’s exciting. So
B.Ratelle: 33:38 that we were doing so well with the self driving cars and the robotic surgery and then. Yeah. And then, you know, we get taken aback and now everyone goes full terminator. Scary. Yeah. So yeah.
Richard Chapo: 33:47 Well you know, it’s an interesting environment. I mean, and as attorneys, I think it’s obviously particularly interesting to us, but you know, if you’re listening and you’re not an attorney, one of the things you have to understand is we’re also in an era for entrepreneurial ism and for business, not only just a small business, both with large businesses where you’re seeing accident, it never really occurred before in economy. So for instance, Elan Musk, you know, they have all these patents for batteries and for the electric car and everything and he’s just opened it up to people and said, go ahead and use these if we’ve gone back to the 19 eighties before the Internet, you know, companies spent billions of dollars suing each other over there
B.Ratelle: 34:24 15 over that, you know. Yeah. And he’s just, you know, opening up on a platter and say, Hey, come, come, come and use them. I’d love to see this get developed. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 34:32 Right. You know, and you talked about instagram, people developing their personal brand. I mean that’s, you know, there was a meme going around somewhere that I was talking about the 19 seventies. Now, I don’t want to say that on the phone. Yeah. Maybe the government is listening now you have people talking directly to, you know, Alexa and Alexa being used as a record for actions. I mean, they solved a murder through an Alexa recording. It’s crazy. Yeah. You know, or the husband said somebody broke in and killed his wife and they played back Alexa. And obviously he had actually done it and uh, yeah. So we have these familiar legal perspective is, it’s kind of shocking to see how open we become with a lot of these things. But from a business perspective it is, it’s, you know, it’s an amazing growth period and hopefully we don’t know. We don’t ruin it.
B.Ratelle: 35:16 Hopefully. Yeah, we don’t, we don’t stifle it too much. US and all of our, all of our friends. So yeah, definitely. What was, we kind of wind down, you know, did you have. I mean, and we kind of talked about some of the things you can go and, you know, specifically for kind of a privacy analysis for business, but even on, you know, to step back a little bit, um, you know, as you start talking about people who getting the online business and maybe so maybe it’s someone that you, you know, say it’s a first client and you don’t, have you had any conversations before, um, what are kind of some four tips that you would like to give in terms of what they should be thinking about in protecting themselves kind of in the current environment with the caveat that things are changing all the time?
Richard Chapo: 35:55 Sure. Um, you know, I think the probably the biggest thing, and I mean there’s the basic things. Obviously, you know, you want legal documents on your side to try to protect you. Um, you know, do you need to form business entity? We’ll take a look at his shards. I think one of the biggest changes that I’m telling people, it’s not necessarily they must do, but they should think about is, you know, the American passive business model is kind of under attack and the idea that you offer something free in exchange for privacy data of, you know, a person that you can later use to drip market on them. The classic being, I’ll give you an ebook if you sign up for my email list, you know, that kind of a strategy I think is going to be under threat. Let me know who not only do we have the Gdpr but the EU privacy directive or well, it’s going to be regulation now is coming out and you know, Lord knows what that’s going to do.
Richard Chapo: 36:41 The email marketing and the EU. But if that also transfers over into you or into theU , s three states like California, you know, you can see that form of marketing under a lot of threats. So I think that if, um, you know, people should really be thinking about, well, how am I going to monetize this? And maybe trying to think of new revenue channels. And New directions to take their business because I think that that’ll help insulate against that. And then the other thing that’s kind of a standard one, most attorneys tell clients, you know, affiliate marketing is a great way to get started, but you know, as soon as you can develop your own products,
B.Ratelle: 37:14 branch out. Yeah. Don’t put all your eggs in someone else’s basket. Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 37:17 Yeah. Particularly with social media because if you build up, you know, 100,000 followers on instagram and then they close your account, um, well you’re not getting it back,
B.Ratelle: 37:26 which is what happens, you know. And sometimes it’s for cause and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes stuff just, you know, people can, people make mistakes and uh, you know, good luck trying to get through to instagram and explain that. So.
Richard Chapo: 37:37 Sure. Yeah. Particularly, particularly copyright, you know, the DMC, a lot of people don’t understand if you receive a DMC a complaint, you need to respond to that. Um, because there’s something called the repeat infringer policy and that is under the DMCA. If you receive a certain number of complaints, it’s usually pretty low. Number two to three. And a couple of years, um, that provider has to close your account or they become reliable with you for copyright infringement. So you need to respond to those things. Just don’t bury your head. Um, and yeah, youtube accounts. I’ve had people call me with large youtube accounts that are
B.Ratelle: 38:09 disappeared. So. So yeah, listen to that. All my clients who have a hard time taking, listening to my advice, if not using copyrighted music, stop using copyrighted music. I know, I know it’s hard because those are the songs that we all want to listen to, but will, you cannot do it. It’s not worth it. It is not worth it.
Richard Chapo: 38:28 Absolutely. Particularly music. I mean, that’s the number one area that enforce, right? Um, you know, and for people out there don’t understand how serious the music industry is about it, whether rightly or wrongly, they spent 10 years. I’m an obscene amount of money on a stupid baby dancing youtube video over whether 22nd a sample of a prince song constituted copyright infringement or not. And they took it all the way to supreme court 10 years. And I, I can’t even imagine the legal fees
B.Ratelle: 39:00 hard, just hundreds of thousand dollars, just all the money just up, just this, you know, all being burned down the drain, wherever you want to imagine it. But um, so yeah, if you think that record companies aren’t, are messing around or wouldn’t waste your time, you’re wrong. They absolutely would because a lot of what they plan on is making a big splash like that and scaring people. That’s what they started doing with file sharing. I mean it was all about get catch a couple people and you know, scare him enough to make everyone else scatter. So.
Richard Chapo: 39:26 Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Taken seriously those groups, that’s, you know, they have departments and funds and that’s all they do. Yeah,
B.Ratelle: 39:34 for sure. So all right, well, um, you know, if people want to hear more about you and working with you, if they’re in California or if they just want more, some of your gems of wisdom, you know, from someone who’s really done a lot in this space, uh, where, where can they find you?
Richard Chapo: 39:47 Sure. You can find me. My website. I have a very old school, a primitive website. It’s so cow Internet lawyer Dot Com. I’m also on linkedin quite a bit. Uh, I’m not really on twitter or facebook as I end up wasting too much time. You can also do a search for me on Google. It’s just Richard Chapo, c h a p. Oh no, I’m not related to the Mexican drug, Lord. I’m. So when you see FBI investigates Chapo, that’s not me.
B.Ratelle: 40:12 You’re well traveled, but you’re not that well, trevor, with Richard is what you’re saying? Yeah.
Richard Chapo: 40:16 Yes. Everyone’s allowed to get tempted to go down to Tijuana and try to get free drinks, but you know, the risk level is pretty high and thanks.
B.Ratelle: 40:22 I think you could get that could go two ways. You’re going to have a really good story or you could end up dying in a Mexican prison. So
Richard Chapo: 40:29 yes. Yes. And then knowing my luck, I have a pretty good idea
B.Ratelle: 40:33 how that would go down. Well, awesome. Well thank you so much for joining us today.
Richard Chapo: 40:39 Hey, thank you for having me on. I really enjoyed it.
B.Ratelle: 40:42 Okay guys, thanks so much for joining me on this deep dive today button Internet law and, and I hope you came away with some new nuggets of things to think about, um, or even just a new frame of reference, you know, I think because we are in this space and so many of us are making our money online and it’s a big part of the way we did business and the way that we provide content other people and solve their problems and reach the people that we want to reach them. It’s just really good to be aware of what’s going on in our legal landscape and especially what’s coming down the pipeline in terms of as people are trying to decide what the Internet is going to look like going forward and whether that’s going to what kind of regulatory environment that’s going to be.
B.Ratelle: 41:21 Um, so I think it’s behooves us all to just become better informed about that. And I know, I know it’s not the most sexy part of running an online business of being online is worrying or about this stuff. But, um, I do think it’s important and so, you know, if we can hope to be at just a small part of that, engaging in that conversation and just having, just a way to, to think about it and to frame it in a way that makes sense to the way that we’re doing business, but I think that’s great for all of us and we can be part of those better solutions to today’s problems. So, um, I want to remind you that if you have not left a rating for the show yet, please, please do that as soon as you’re done, even if you think that you’ll do it another time.
B.Ratelle: 42:02 Um, even if you’ve sent me a DM or hearted something, you know, like to comment or engage someone else online, that’s awesome. Thank you so much. Um, but ratings really, really help people find the show and help this content get into the hands of people who need it, who were looking for it, who are trying to find ways to make their creative businesses more legit. And would love to know that this is a legit show. That they can actually, I’m fine and that will give them some help and answers to their problems. So, um, and part of that definitely is from your writing. So if you can write one, great. If you could just do stars the give, give me some stars please. Thank you. Really appreciate it. I’m also want to remind you that if you’re not signed up for my newsletter, please do that as well.
B.Ratelle: 42:43 That’s at BritanyRatelle.com slash newsletter B R I t, t and why? That’s the right way to spell Brittany. Sorry, not sorry for being, for being a little bit of a snob about that. Um, and Ratelle.com r a t e l l e Dot Com slash newsletter. Um, and when you sign up for my newsletter, you do get a total freebie. I’m not going to leave you empty handed. So I send you a free legal checklist, um, where you can go step by step and look at what are the big things that you need to be looking at to make sure that you are setting up your business and making it legit, even if you’ve already been going for awhile, all the more reason to take a look at that checklist of have a really good place to start asking questions to any experts that you have or any experts that maybe you want to bring on to make sure that you’re getting your business set up in a strong way and that it can grow the way that you wanted to grow. So check that out. Um, subscribe, like, comment, do all the things. I’m also check out the show notes for this episode. So I’m, I’m trying to make those better and better all the time. And so, um, you’ll find the Lincoln, his podcast. You can also always find the link for each and every episode at Brittany. Retell.com/the number of the episode. So this is BrittanyRatelle.com/25 for episode 25. Thanks so much for being here. Really, really appreciate it and have a great week.