About Us

New Media Rights is an independently funded non-profit program of California Western School of Law (a 501c3 non-profit) that provides one-to-one legal services to creators, entrepreneurs and internet users whose projects require specialized internet, intellectual property, privacy, media, and communications law expertise.  New Media Rights is known for our work providing preventative and transactional services on hundreds of matters every year.  We also are known for our work against content bullying.  In addition to direct, one-to-one legal services, New Media Rights turns what we learn into hundreds of freely available video and written legal education guides for creators.  New Media Rights also participates in regulatory proceedings at the Copyright Office, the FCC, and the California Public Utilities Commission, including DMCA Anti-circumvention proceedings, Copyright Reform, and the Copyright small claims court proceedings.

When we're not helping individual internet users, we focus on assisting organizations that provide better access to public information, more business and government accountability, or new perspectives to the cultural landscape through the use of new technologies.

People contact us when they need direct assistance in areas like copyright, trademark, internet and media law. Many of the questions people have about who were are, how we operate, and why we do what we do are answered on our frequently asked questions page. If you're a grantor or foundation interested in supporting our work, we invite you to take a  look at a list of our past accomplishments.
 

A Brief History of New Media Rights’ Accomplishments

2013

  • In November 2013, we provided services to our 860th tech & media law inquiry since June 2010. We continue to provide free or nominal fee legal services to hundreds of clients consisting of copyright, free speech, media, and internet law matters with annual budget of less than $150,000.
  • For example, we provided legal services to a variety of preventive and transactional projects that launched to substantial accolades, including a film that might be on its way to an Oscar nod and a seriously amazing open source independent video game
  • We continued our efforts to fight content bullying. In Januarys, we helped remix artist Jonathan McIntosh get his amazing 'Buffy Versus Edward' remix back up after it was repeatedly taken down. In September, we helped the Media Literacy Project stand up to a bogus copyright claim from a third party. In October, we also helped the Lansdowne Library Teen Advisory Board get their video unmuted after it was disabled for the second time through YouTube’s Content ID system.
  • We held our first 3D printing advice night in conjunction with FAB LAB SD and provided valuable intellectual property guidance to a half dozen innovators whose work truly inspired us.
  • We participated in hearings that helped mold legislation for a new copyright small claims court and wrote comments to try to reform copyright law for the digital age.
  • We continued to add to our library of video legal guides, including our LAGD series for indie game developers, and our Copyright FAQ series.  We also produced a timely video this past Spring to explain the new Copyright Alert System monitoring internet subscribers' internet connections.  In jsut the last year we've had nearly 120,000 views of our 150+ video library, and we now have over 2300 subscribers! 
  • We launched our guide to Free Speech and Censorship for Students
  • We provided more than 10 workshops in California to independent creators and Internet users.
  • We educated 5-6 law students each trimester [Spring, Fall, and Summer] in public interest internet law issues.

Read our 2013 accomplishments blog post for more on 2013 at NMR.

2012

  • We continued our growth from 2011 by assisting 400 tech & media law inquiries (copyright, free speech, media, and internet law matters) with free or reduced cost legal services while utilizing an annual budget of less than $150,000.
  • For example, New Media Rights helped reinstate the popular Buffy vs. Edward video after it was improperly monetized by YouTube’s Content ID system and then improperly taken down by the Lionsgate movie company.
  • We released over 13 hours of educational video that has been cumulatively viewed more than 100,000 times including a series of videos explaining copyright law and LAGD, a series that features advice from established developers on how to avoid legal problems in the industry.
  • LAGD got #1 spot on Reddit games. We put together a fundraiser to support this work and these videos where we raised more than $4,000.
  • We continued to support net neutrality through our work with coalitions such as the coalition of more than 70 organizations that sent a letter to Congress regarding SOPA and PIPA’s impact on internet freedom.
  • We worked with the EFF in the recent DMCA “anti-circumvention” proceeding and provided the direct evidence needed to secure important exemptions for smartphone users and independent creators.
  • We provided more than 15 workshops in California to independent creators and Internet users.
  • We educated 6-8 law student law clerks per semester in public interest internet law issues
  • By providing specific stories to the Copyright Office, we helped protect users’ rights to jailbreak or root their mobile phones and the rights of video creators on YouTube. We partnered with other organizations like EFF to ensure these rights were protected for another 3 years.

Read our 2012 accomplishments blog post for more on 2012 at NMR.

 

2011

  • We received a grant from the California Consumer Protection Foundation, which allowed us to continue our work in supporting consumers and creators with free or low cost one-to-one legal assistance.
  • We assisted more than 260 individuals from July to December.
  • We were one of the first groups to request that the California Public Utilities Commission review the AT&T – T-mobile merger. After the CPUC opened an investigation we submitted comments to the proceeding. You can read our CPUC comments and our additional comments, and our petition to the FCC to deny the merger.
  • We used the stories of the individuals we assist to illustrate how this merger would have serious effects on innovation in the wireless and mobile application space, mobile broadband access, network discrimination, telecom jobs, and consumer protection including prices and choice of wireless carriers.
  • We created 3 long-form guides and 72 shorter-form 1-3 page guides geared toward highly specific questions about copyright law that we regularly receive. We also created a guide for defendants in mass copyright lawsuits (Bit Torrent cases) for the thousands of internet users who were implicated in these cases who could not afford even basic information about these cases.
  • After planning Drumbeat in 2010, 2011 was the year our Mozilla-sponsored even Drumbeat San Diego actually happened.

Read more about New Media Rights’ 2011 accomplishments.


2010

  • We've helped hundreds of creators with one-to-one assistance with legal issues including copyright and online publishing questions.
  • We created legal guides including:
  • We joined the Coalition for the Competition in Media to advocate for consumers and independent creators by opposing the Comcast-NBC merger.
  • We also joined a coalition of groups led by the Government Accountability Project calling for increased Whistleblower protections through the Whistleblower Protection Act.
  • We were among the most active partners in the Online Media Legal Network at Harvard Berkman Center.
  • We became a cooperating attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and helped many targets in predatory filesharing cases understand their digital rights.  We also helped many others who were referred for assistance with their digital rights.
  • We hosted a free film screening of 10 Tactics, a movie about how to use new media to enable global activism in October of 2010.
  • Art Neill, NMR’s Executive Director, published "Social Media and the Law: Here Comes Everybody!" in the California Business Law Practitioner.
  • We filed comments in the FCC Future of Media proceeding. Some of the topics our comments to the FCC discussed included: (A) how to rebuild of the local and national media landscape to encourage participatory, citizen involved media that helps local communities identify and meet local challenges; (B) government data availability and usage of public media; and (C) the role of public vs. commercial media
  • NMR also filed comments with the FCC regarding the Broadband Legal Framework and the "Third Way." Our comments discussed the Commission's decision to reclassify broadband internet under Title II, and the implications that reclassification would have on consumer protection and the future of the internet.
  • We worked with Mozilla to united diverse individuals locally to work on creative new media projects and organized Drumbeat San Diego.

 

2007-09