New Media Rights #Oneof1000 Celebration

Are you #Oneof1000?

New Media Rights was founded on the idea that legal services provided for the good of the public should take into account not only the financial need of a client, but the social good generated by the client’s activities.  As part of that mission New Media Rights provides direct legal services that help hundreds of people every year. Earlier this summer we passed the 1000 mark, that is to say we’ve provided direct legal services in over a thousand matters since 2010! And we think a little celebration is in order!

In order to celebrate we’ve got two big things planned. 1) A campaign we’re launching to get the word out about just how many people we’ve helped and grow our supporter base, and 2) a celebration we’re inviting you to August 21st at our new headquarters. 

You can go here to make a donation to support our work for our next 1000 clients.

You can get tickets to the August 21 event here.

We're celebrating both our past accomplishments as well as some of our amazing accomplishments this year including:

#Oneof1000 and Supporter campaign

Are you one of the over one thousand people we’ve directly helped? Maybe you benefited from one of our educational guides online, a workshop we gave, or one of our policy accomplishments? Maybe you cut your teeth as a law student here at NMR?  If you were helped by NMR in any way, or just want to show your support for our work we’d love you to share this milestone on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your blog, Instagram, Vine etc using the hashtag #Oneof1000.  Not sure what to share? Here’s a sample tweet to get you started.

I am #Oneof1000 creators, startups and internet users helped by @newmediarights free & nominal cost legal services!http://goo.gl/sVV0cz

And if you want to support NMR even more, please consider becoming an NMR supporter today! It’s donations like yours that allow us to reach amazing milestones like this.

#Oneof1000 Celebration August 21 at CyberHive in San Diego!

But we’re just not having a celebration online; we’re having an IRL party to celebrate. Join us August 21 at 6pm for a celebration of the work we’ve done and the work we’ve yet to do. More details to follow, but early planning meetings indicate a strong possibility of special guests and some seriously legit tacos (Art Neill, our Executive Director, knows someone who knows alguien)!   Your #Oneof1000 posts may even make an appearance!

We’ll be offering tickets to the event for a nominal fee (to cover food and drink) through Eventbrite. More information about the event can also be found on the Facebook event page, but you'll still need to buy your ticket through Eventbrite.

Eventbrite - New Media Rights #Oneof1000 Celebration

 

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New Media Rights @ VidCon 2014!

New Media Rights is excited to announce that we’ll be returning to VidCon 2014, THE conference for YouTubers. VidCon will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center June 26-28. And this year you’ll have a chance for a double dose of NMR copyright YouTube goodness!

If you’re attending the industry track, catch Executive Director Art Neill on the “Copyright on YouTube?” panel at 3pm Thursday in room 213.  In addition to Art, the panel will feature in house council from innovative companies like Corridor Digital and Loudr.

If you’re attending on the community track, you'll also have a chance to catch an awesome panel on copyright entitled appropriately enough “Copyright on YouTube” at 11am on Friday in room 202. Jon Bailey, the voice of Honest Movie Trailers will moderate the panel which will focus on the practicalities of copyright on YouTube.

So if you’re at VidCon, please stop by and check out these amazing panels!

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Executive Director Art Neill to speak on user-generated and "fan" content at Copyright Society of the USA's Annual Meeting

New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neil will be speaking on a panel Monday June 8 regarding user-generated content and fan productions at the Copyright Society of the USA's 2014 Annual Meeting.

Here are the details

Crowd-Sourced Editorial Content and Fan Productions

The panel will explore new business models that have arisen that allow IP owners to profit from crowd- (or fan-) sourced content while more fully engaging their fans and expanding their audience of consumers. Each panelist will focus on a particular entertainment industry. Art Neill of New Media Rights will explore film and video production, including the impact of YouTube’s Partnership and Content ID/monetization programs, Gregory Boyd of Frankfurt Kurnit will focus on videogames and machinima, and Matt Bloomgarden of Alloy Entertainment will discuss publishing projects such as Amazon’s KindleWorld. The panel will also examine other online businesses that seek to leverage fan interest in generating new content in ways that offers benefits to both the IP owners and the fans. Finally, the panelists will discuss copyright and other legal issues that these new business models present as well as challenges that IP owners face from the growth of user-generated content featuring their properties without their involvement or consent.

Moderator:

Jay Kogan, DC Entertainment

 

Panelists:

Matthew Bloomgarden, Alloy Entertainment, A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
S. Gregory Boyd, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC
Art Neill, New Media Rights

For more information about the Copyright Society of the USA's Annual Meeting click here.

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FYI: US Copyright Office registration fees have increased

As of May 1, 2014, the US Copyright Office has updated its fee schedule resulting in increased fees across most of its services. The following are three of the most relevant changes:

  • Fees for online applications are now $55, up from $35.
  • Fees for paper applications are now $85, up from $65.
  • The price of determining if some works are in the public domain is now $200 an hour, up from $165 an hour.

However, not all online registration fees are going up. If you have a single work to register (like a book) that was not a work made for hire, the registration fee will remain $35! A complete list of the new fees can be found here.

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Its your turn to tell the FCC how to protect and promote the Open Internet

On Thursday, May 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a 4 month rulemaking asking for "public comment on how best to protect and promote an open Internet." For months, regulators, consumer advocates, and service providers have wrestled over what the next steps should be after a court decision that threw out the FCC's previous open internet rules, adopted in 2010.

Here's the FCC's news release and here's the 180+ page Notice of Public Rulemaking.

The first comments are due by July 15, 2014, and reply comments are due September 10, 2014.  In particular, the FCC is asking about whether pay-to-play arrangements, where certain content providers can pay for prioritized, "fast lane" access to users should be permitted.

New Media Rights took part in the net neutrality proceedings back in 2009-2010, and we will be involved in this proceeding as well.  We plan to submit comments, as well as work to encourage positive recommendations through our role on the FCC's Consumer Advisory Committee.

We've provided legal assistance to thousands of internet users, bloggers, video creators, remix artists, nonprofits, and innovators like you who rely on the open internet to share their creativity and innovative ideas with the world.  

Now its your turn to share your ideas with the FCC. How we can promote and protect this vital resource for years to come?

There's some options for how to participate in the upcoming 4 month long proceeding.  We'll share 2 services below where you can directly submit your thoughts to the FCC.  Or, if you have ideas that you would like to share with New Media Rights for consideration for inclusion in our own comments, send your thoughts to support@newmediarights.org.

Here our the tools that our friends at the EFF and Free Press have built for you to submit direct comments to the FCC.

DearFCC.org

Free Press's "Stop the FCC from Breaking the Internet

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New Media Rights develops public interest principles to improve the efficiency of the DMCA notice and takedown system

In November of 2013, New Media Rights responded to the Department of Commerce’s inquiry regarding the formation of a multistakeholder process to create a set of best practices for the DMCA notice and takedown process. That multistakeholder process has begun and New Media Rights wants to ensure that the voices of independent creators, small user generated content sites, internet users and remixers are represented.

As a first step, New Media Rights joined with a coalition of public interest groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Center for Democracy and Technology, Public Knowledge and The American Library Association, to submit a set of principles for improving the efficiency of the notice and takedown system. These principals will not only make the process more efficient for all stakeholders but also make sure that creativity and free speech are not unnecessarily chilled.  The full set of principals is attached to this post.

Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik will be attending the second meeting of the multistakeholder forum on improving the operation of the DMCA’s notice and takedown system to present our support for these principals. She will share stories of some of the individuals that we've helped that make these public interest principles absolutely critical to the improvement of the DMCA process.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Berkeley, California at the David Brower Center located at 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

Improving the Efficiency of the Notice and Takedown System:
Public Interest Principles

A more efficient notice and takedown system will benefit content owners and service providers by streamlining the process for identifying and taking offline infringing content.  However, such efficiency must not come at the price of undermining safeguards against takedown abuse.  To the contrary, the multi-stakeholder discussions regarding the process can and should explore opportunities to improve the process for all stakeholders – including the public, as posters and readers of online content. Any standardized process should include standard procedures to help protect free expression and civic discourse that depend on Internet platforms.

In keeping with this goal, the multi-stakeholder dialogue regarding standardization should incorporate the following elements.

1.  Accuracy and completeness. Standardized forms for submitting takedown notices should be structured to discourage the submission of incomplete, inaccurate and inappropriate notices.

  • All the elements set forth in 47 USC 512(c)(3) for a valid takedown notice should be required fields in web takedown forms. In order to help users evaluate and respond to potentially improper takedowns, a web takedown form should include
    • Identification of each of the specific original copyright protected works claimed to have been infringed. 
    • An optional field where the takedown notice sender is encouraged to provide the URL where the original copyrighted work can be found, if available.
  •  Web takedown forms should remind users about the core elements of a copyright infringement allegation.  Specifically, the submission process should require each user to certify that (i) he/she is or represents the copyright owner; (ii) the use of the work has not been authorized by the copyright owner; and (iii) he/she has considered whether the use of the work is protected by the fair use doctrine or otherwise authorized by law, and has a good faith belief that it is not authorized. These reminders should be in plain English, so that the average Internet user can understand and properly heed these reminders.
  • Web takedown forms should include an explicit warning that sending a false or misleading takedown notice may result in liability.
  •  Web takedown web forms should provide links to plain English definitions of key legal terms found on the form, including “fair use.”
  •  Web forms should prompt senders to check that the information they have provided (e.g., contact information) is accurate.

2.   Transparency. The notice-handling systems of web platforms should be structured to promote prompt and complete notice to the person who posted the content identified in each notice.

  • Where possible, the notice handling system should be designed to automatically notify the poster with the full contents of the takedown notice – either at the time the notice is received, or at the time the platform acts on the notice by taking down the content.
  •  Notice to the poster should include clear information about the poster’s right to submit a counternotice and the mechanism for doing so. 
  •  Notice to the poster should clearly identify each of the specific copyrighted work(s) claimed to have been infringed, so users can fully consider how to respond, including whether to submit a counternotice. 

3.   Information. One benefit of standardization should be facilitating the operation of takedown notice databases, so we can all learn how to make the process better.

  • Standardization of the structure of data contained in takedown notices should make it easier for third parties to create public databases with takedown notice information.  Standards discussions should consider APIs that would make it simple for such databases to import data supplied by content platforms.
  • Content platforms should consider sending takedown notice data to third party databases on an automated basis, as part of the notice handling process.

4.   Level playing field for lawful users. Standardization discussions should aim to make counternotice more efficient as well.

  •  Wherever applicable, standardization approaches aimed at streamlining notice submission or notice processing systems should be extended to counternotice submission and counternotice processing as well.  For example, the development of an easy-to-use web takedown form should be paired with an equally easy-to-use web counternotice form.
  • Content platforms should consider automating the process of re-posting content for which they have received counternotices, so that re-posting becomes the default response to counternotices.

5.  Avoid collateral damage to lawful speech. In addition to these affirmative steps, discussion of any standardized procedure should expressly consider and seek to ameliorate potential risks to lawful speech.

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New Media Rights joins Electronic Frontier Foundation in urging reconsideration of dangerous Garcia v Google copyright ruling

New Media Rights has joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and others in filing an Amicus Brief urging a federal appeals court to reconsider it's decision to order Google to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video while a copyright lawsuit is pending.

Most of our work at New Media Rights is preventative and transactional, focused on helping people avoid legal problems and lengthy court battles before they begin.  In this case, however, we've joined in filing this Amicus Brief because the recent Garcia v Google decision, if not reconsidered, will have negative consequences for free speech that will directly affect the creators and innovators we assist.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's court's decision required an online service provider, Google, to censor the historical record by removing all copies of the video. The court then added a gag order to its decision preventing Google from talking about the controversial decision for a full week.  The decision contradicted an earlier district court ruling that refused to restrain speech based on a highly debatable copyright claim.

The video in question, "Innocence of Muslims," sparked worldwide protests and debate in the fall of 2012. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia sued claiming she held a copyright in her 5-second performance the film.  Although one can understand Garcia's interest in distancing herself from the film, the cost should not involve breaking copyright law.  As it stands, the court's decision threatens to create sprawling, poorly defined copyright protection in a variety of creative contributors, altering the way that copyright law protects contributions to film and video productions.

New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation,  American Civil Liberties Union, Public Knowledge, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries in this brief.

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Fortress of Attitude defeats false bots takedown on YouTube

Last January, we brought you the story of Fortress of Attitude who had their song “PS Gay Car” removed after it was misflagged for violating “TOU #4 Section H”, that is using Bots or other automated means to inflate a YouTube video’s view count. The good news is that video and its view have been fully restored only four months after the last appeal to YouTube! Granted we’re not sure which of our many appeals resulted in the video being restored since Fortress of Attitude never received any notice from YouTube that the video had been restored.

The bad news is that this is the only successful appeal we’ve seen in over a year of covering this issue. And even worse, despite the February 14th blog post from YouTube that seemed to indicate YouTube would start adjusting view counts of videos accused of bots inflation instead of removing videos; we’ve seen a recent influx of unsuccessfully appealed wrongful bots takedowns.

As much as we want to celebrate Fortress of Attitude’s victory, the reality is the bots problem on YouTube is still very real.

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April Newsletter: NMR victories for consumer transparency and broadband access for students at the FCC!

Spring started with a bang here at New Media Rights. At the FCC our work set the stage for making consumer complaint data more accessible and ensuring that more students across the United States have high speed internet access then ever before at schools and libraries. We brought the fight against content bullying to South by South West Interactive. All the while helping creators, entrepreneurs and internet users with complicated legal questions. While we catch our breath, here's some details on what we've been up to.

We shaped and passed an FCC Consumer Advisory Committee recommendation on improving broadband access in U.S. schools and libraries

On Friday, March 28, the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee approved an important recommendation to modernize and improve the way we bring high-speed broadband to classrooms and libraries around the county.  New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, and Legal Interns Marko Radisavljevic and Kyle Welch were directly involved in the research, drafting, and proposal of this recommendation. The other co-chair of the Broadband Working Group is Mia Martinez of the National Asian American Coalition, pictured below with Art Neill and her NAAC colleague Ruriko Sato on March 28 after passage of the E-rate recommendation.



New Media Rights conducted an extensive review of the FCC’s E-rate program, including analyzing a vast amount of input on the program from a variety of stakeholders. Based on this research, New Media Rights’ staff and interns helped lead the efforts to draft a recommendation encouraging the FCC to modernize and improve the 18 year old E-rate program for the 21st century.  The recommendations include both general priorities as well as specific process priorities that will improve the E-rate program. 

You can learn more about our work on E-rate here.

Consumer Complaint Data and E-rate recommendations receive praise from FCC Chairman Wheeler and Special Counsel Gigi Sohn, and help shape FCC priorities

At the March 28th CAC meeting, Chairman Wheeler and his Special Counsel for External Affairs Gigi Sohn specifically praised the recent Consumer Complaint Data transparency and E-rate recommendations. Wheeler and Sohn specifically identified consumer complaint process modernization and transparency, as well as E-rate reform as top priorities.

In addition U.S. Senators Udall and Nelson sent a letter to the FCC requesting improved transparency of the over 400,000 consumer complaints the FCC handles every year.  The letter directly and heavily cited the CAC recommendation that New Media Rights shaped.

NMR joins USA Doing Archives for a conversation on copyright and the laws surrounding digital archives.
Ever wondered how copyright and other laws affect the work that archivists do? Here at NMR we’ve helped our fair share of archivists; so we were happy to participate in Doing Archives first Hang out On Air at New England Archivists Spring 2014 meeting.  You can find the full recording and additional information on the services we provide to archivists, academics or scholars here.

NMR at SXSW!

We’re back from our first trip to SXSW!  Remix artist Jonathan McIntosh and Attorney/Producer Shaun Spalding (both Advisory Board members of New Media Rights) joined NMR Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik for an insightful panel on content bullying and copyright basics for online creators.
We also had a chance to meet up with our friends from Creative Commons, the Digital Media Law Project, The Electronic Frontier Foundation and many more.  And of course no trip to Austin would be complete without some absolutely delicious BBQ.

Special thanks to the Rising Arts Leaders Program of The San Diego Foundation in partnership with The James Irvine Foundation for providing New Media Rights staff attorney, Teri Karobonik, with a grant to help defray the costs of traveling to SXSW.
 

Events

April 8th AMA with NMR
Ever wanted to ask us about what we do at NMR? Or why Art founded NMR? Or maybe you had a general question about copyright law you wanted to ask. Well now you can, ask us anything! On April 8th from  11am- 12:30PM we’ll be doing an AMA on reddit. Please note that the one thing we can’t answer as part of the AMA are specific requests for legal advice. Those should still be directed to our contact form http://newmediarights.org/about_us/contact_us

NMR goes to Tucson
New Media Rights staff attorney, Teri Karobonik, heads to Tucson Arizona for a number of talks on April 17th. First up at 9:30AM she’ll be talking to the Old Pueblo Knitters Guild about Copyright Law and Creative Commons as it relates to knitting. She’ll also be speaking at Tucson’s new Maker House at 6pm about copyright for makers. If you're in the Old Pueblo stop by and say hi!

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Please remember New Media Rights is an independently funded nonprofit program and relies on the support of individuals like you to provide free and low cost legal services to internet users and creators.

We accomplish a great deal on a modest budget, so any donation makes a huge impact for us.

Donate now to support legal services and advocacy for internet users and creators by clicking here.

Please also make sure to connect with New Media Rights on
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Thanks again for being part of the New Media Rights community. Keep an eye out as our future battles and work on behalf of internet users and independent creators continues.

All the best,

The New Media Rights team

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New Media Rights helps shape FCC Consumer Advisory Committee recommendation on improving broadband access in U.S. schools and libraries

On Friday, March 28, the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee approved an important recommendation to modernize and improve the way we bring high-speed broadband to classrooms and libraries around the county.  New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, and Legal Interns Marko Radisavljevic and Kyle Welch were directly involved in the research, drafting, and proposal of this recommendation.

New Media Rights’ Executive Director Art Neill is a member of the CAC, and co-chair of the Broadband Working Group. The other co-chair of the Broadband Working Group is Mia Martinez of the National Asian American Coalition, pictured here with Art Neill and her NAAC colleague Ruriko Sato on March 28 after passage of the E-rate recommendation.  You can watch the March 28 meeting here.

At minute 79, Chairman Wheeler and his Special Counsel Gigi Sohn visit the Consumer Advisory Committee and during their remarks explicitly commend both this E-rate recommendation and a previous recommendation New Media Rights helped shape on improving Consumer Complaint Data reporting. They both indicated transparency in consumer complaint data has become a top priority for the FCC.

New Media Rights conducted an extensive review of the FCC’s E-rate program, including analyzing a vast amount of input on the program from a variety of stakeholders. Based on this research, New Media Rights’ staff and interns helped lead the efforts to draft a recommendation encouraging the FCC to modernize and improve the 18 year old E-rate program for the 21st century.  The recommendations include both general priorities as well as specific process priorities that will improve the E-rate program.  The recommendations (see attached PDF) address the following topics.

  • Prioritizing the use of E-rate funds for high speed broadband
  • Making the use of E-rate program funds fair and equitable
  • Considering the unique needs of rural and small institutions
  • Ensuring E-rate funds assist in the purchase of essential equipment to spread that connectivity throughout the schools and libraries and beyond
  • Improving data collection and monitoring of the E-rate program to improve the efficiency of allocation of E-rate funds, identify needs, and promote greater transparency about the services and network speeds in schools and libraries. 
  • Implementing an electronic filing system.
  • Enhancing predictability of funding
  • Simplifying the application and disbursement processes
  • Allowing multi-year applications

New Media Rights is looking forward to continuing to be a vital part of the discussion surrounding policies that affect access to broadband for Americans at the FCC and its Consumer Advisory Committee.

Special thanks goes to California Western School of Law 2L Marko Radisavljevic, and 3L Kyle Welch, two of New Media Rights' legal interns who worked extensively on this recommendation.

Marko Radisavljevic 

Kyle Welch

Since New Media Rights is an independently funded program at California Western, it continues to rely on grants and individual donations to fund its work. New Media Rights is running a special holiday fundraising campaign.  To learn more about how you can support New Media Rights’ mission and to help them reach their year end goal, click here.

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