TLDR; Due to Article 13 in the new EU Copyright directive it is very probable that we may be forced to black list EU and UK IP addresses due to our inability to comply with the law.
As our EU and possibly our UK members know the new EU copyright directive passed the first round of voting and was approved. This new law contains two portions that are a concern to many websites operating around the world, Article 11 & 13.
After a cursory look over we feel Article 11 will not apply to our site, but Article 13 has us worried. Our understanding is that Article 13 requires sites that distribute user content (for example Facebook, YouTube, ect) and make money to be proactive in screening the content its users post for copyrighted material and if we fail to do this the site (Weight Gaming) would be held liable for the distribution of the copyrighted content. This is very dangerous for us as we do not have the resources to set up automated screening systems or dedicate manpower to screening user content for copyrighted material in a timely fashion. This would leave the site open to potential lawsuits, and while we know that there are exceptions for “small businesses” we did not see any hard numbers one what defines this and it seems to leave the decision up to the presiding judge.
All this means is under the current form of the law (to the best of our understanding) if it is fully passed it would be too risky for us to operate in EU countries. While we understand the law can change before it enters the last round of voting, currently it seems very likely we may be forced to blacklist all EU and (by extension) UK IP addresses. We don’t know yet if we will only be blocking the official site once it is up or if we will be blocking anything Weight Gaming related as it is going to depend heavily on our detailed review of the new law, specifically of Article 13.
We are watching the situation closely and will do our best to keep our EU and UK users informed of the situation as it develops. Thank you for your understanding.