Many of us have long known that sharing is caring, but who would have thought it also could be good business? In recent years, collaborative consumption—renting, lending, gifting, bartering, swapping or sharing products—has emerged as a new economic model that is changing the way entire communities and cities live and operate.
Yet as enterprises continue to sprout up in the sharing space, they have come across some significant legal pitfalls. With this in mind, Rocket Lawyer has proposed a panel titled “Is the Sharing Economy Legal?” at South by Southwest Interactive 2014, March 7-11 in Austin Texas.
South by Southwest Interactive has proven itself to be a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. Are you interested in learning more about the legal issues surrounding collaborative consumption—aka the sharing economy or peer-to-peer economy? Vote for our panel on SXSW’s Panel Picker (see info below for more details).
This leading-edge panel will cover issues surrounding insurance and liability, violating existing industry-specific regulations, and questions about how to tax sharing-generated income.
Legal strife has accompanied collaborative consumption since its inception. When Napster first emerged just before the new millennium, the music industry crushed the peer-to-peer file sharing service under the full force of the law. More recently, Airbnb has drawn the ire of the hotel lobby, which claims allowing people to rent out their rooms on an individual basis creates unfair competition, while landlords are coming down hard on tenants who sublet their properties in violation of the terms of their leases. Peer-to-peer taxi companies like Uber and Lyft have faced incessant legal action initiated by traditional municipal taxi services. The list goes on.
Charley Moore, Founder & Executive Chairman of Rocket Lawyer, will lead a discussion about the past, present and future of collaborative consumption and the law. Joining the dialogue will be David Hornik, Harvard University business law lecturer and General Partner at investor firm, August Capital; Mark Norman, President of car sharing firm, Zipcar; and Mark Gilbreath, CEO of office space sharing company, Liquidspace.
The panel will also cover the critical legal factors entrepreneurs entering the sharing economy ought to know, such as being mindful of federal, state, and local regulations and restrictions that might hamper innovation. Panelists will discuss real-life examples of legal pitfalls that sharing services have encountered and how aspiring sharing entrepreneurs might avoid them. With overwhelming evidence that that sharing economy is here to stay, the discussion will cover how the law will eventually catch up with these disruptive enterprises. The panel will conclude with a discussion on how companies engaged in collaborative consumption have not been passive participants, but are actively engaged in government reform to bring about policies that favor innovation and ensure the sharing economy continues to thrive—so that it might one day become mainstream.
If that piques your interest, please take a moment to vote for our entry on Panel Picker. Your vote will have a major influence on whether our panel will be selected for SXSW Interactive.
How to vote:
1. Create a Panel Picker account (takes less than a minute!)
2. Visit the proposal page for “Is the Sharing Economy Legal?”
3. On the top left-hand side, where it says “Cast Your Vote”, click on the “thumbs up” icon.
4. If you like, let your social networks know that you voted and encourage them to vote by Tweeting or sharing the following on Facebook or LinkedIn:
Twitter: Just voted for @RocketLawyer @sxsw panel “Is The Sharing Economy Legal?” http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23939 #sxsw #collaborativeconsumption
Facebook/LinkedIn: Just voted for Rocket Lawyer’s “Is the Sharing Economy Legal?” Panel for SXSW that is bringing together ZipCar, LiquidSpace and August Capital to discuss what all collaborative consumption innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs need to know when it comes to facing inevitable legal challenges. Help the panel get picked by voting for it here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23939. Spread the word!
- The Rise of the Sharing Economy – Yours, Mine, and Google’s(article-3.com)
- The New “Fiduciary” Duty: Be Social(rocketlawyer.com)