A video to our community: Big news about our future!

New Media Rights Homepage - logo

New Media Rights Twitter IconNew Media Rights Youtube Icon

We want to share some big news about the future of New Media Rights and make a few simple requests of you.

Our big news!

Click here to watch the announcement
Click here to watch the video!

We recently finalized a partnership with California Western School of Law.  We’ll still be providing the same quality one-to-one legal services and educational guides for internet users and independent creators, but now, as part of the California Western community, we’ll be able to expand what we do more than ever before.

We’re really excited to be part of the California Western community. The broader internet community will benefit from the increased availability of free and reduced fee legal services, and Cal Western Students will get real-world experience in internet and media law.

Click the image above to watch our official video announcement!

We are still completely independently funded, so please support us in starting this partnership off on the right foot

Click here to donate now!

This is an important moment for New Media Rights, so we need your support now more than ever. Even though we are aligned with California Western, our work to help internet users and independent creators is still completely independently funded, so we rely heavily on donations from individuals.

Your support of New Media Rights provides thousands of hours of free legal services every year, policy advocacy at the FCC and Copyright Office, and educational guides, all targeted at internet users and the independent creators.

We intend to get this new partnership started right, so we want to ask you. 

Will you help us protect the internet and the people who use it by donating today?

Click here to donate now

Please then share this campaign with others who care about protecting the internet and those who use it.

You can share this link via Twitter or Facebook, make a video about it, or forward this email, but please find at least one way to invite others to support our work. We'll even give you some sample text that you can copy and paste -

New Media Rights provides free legal services to artists, internet users, and tech startups, I'm donating to them today, will you? http://bit.ly/MwYAJA

Thanks so much for being part of the New Media Rights community.

Keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube and Flickr accounts


Our website is:


We offer a newsletter every 6-8 weeks



This newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Icons created by Missrivs under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike No Derviatives 2.0 License

If you would no longer like to receive our newsletters you have the option to opt out by clicking the below link:




Content Types: 

Join New Media Rights in signing the Declaration of Internet Freedom to uphold basic rights in the digital world

New Media Rights has joined a broad, international coalition of civil society groups calling on elected officials to sign the new Declaration of Internet Freedom and uphold basic rights in the digital world.

We encourage you to read and sign the Declaration, and encourage your elected officials to sign it as well.

Here are the text of the Preamble and the Declaration, and directions on how to sign it yourself.



We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.

We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.


Let’s discuss these principles — agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community — as only the Internet can make possible.

Join us in keeping the Internet free and open. [You can interact with the following text on redditTechdirtCheezburgerGithub and Rhizome.]


We stand for a free and open Internet.

We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

Expression: Don't censor the Internet.
Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.
Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users' actions.
Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.


Individuals: Go to the action pages at the Access,ACLUCREDOEFF or Free Press to add your name.

Organizations: Submit your organization or company's name in the form below. We'll follow up with a confirmation that you have the authority to sign on.



Content Types: 


Fighting for remix culture and against wireless shutdowns - May 2012 newsletter

New Media Rights Homepage - logo

New Media Rights Twitter IconNew Media Rights Youtube Icon

New Media Rights has been busy helping helping creators and internet users all Spring, and we have alot to share about what we've accomplished!  In addition, please stay tuned for some big news regarding the future of New Media Rights that we'll be announcing in the next few weeks. 


We're testifying before the Copyright Office on behalf of creators and consumers this month

We have been invited to testify before the Copyright Office in Los Angeles on May 17, 2012 regarding artists' right to remix and reuse content under fair use, as well as consumers rights to install the apps of their choice on their wireless devices.  This testimony follows our recent comments to the Copyright Office in ongoing proceedings on these issues. For more, read our comments or come to the hearing in Los Angeles.


Fighting to ensure  Wireless Service Interruptions like the August 2011 BART interruption won't happen again

New Media Rights filed comments on April 30th with the Federal Communications Commission regarding intentional interruption of wireless services. This follows the August 2011 incident where BART chose to interrupt wireless services at its stations. We focus on the effect of wireless shutdowns on consumers, free speech, and public safety. We conclude by encouraging the FCC to enforce appropriate safeguards to prevent future wireless service shutdowns undertaken without proper process. This incident raised serious concerns about the authority of governmental agencies and other non-carrier third parties to disrupt wireless networks. The FCC opened a regulatory proceeding to review the issues and we have filed comments to protect the rights of wireless consumers.  We thank our fellow, Shruti Joshi, for her assistance in preparing comments.

Read these comments here.

NMR highlighted on "Jack & Jill the Innovator" series

Derek Slater, Google's Policy Manager, recently asked Art Neill of NMR a few questions about New Media Rights to highlight our work on his "Jack & Jill the Innovator" web series.  

Here's the video!


New guides on the website

Quite a bit of educational content has been added to the site.  Consumers may be interested in...

How to identify and remove cell phone tracking software

How can I remove my mugshot from a website that has posted it without permission?

Artists and entrepreneurs may be interested in...

Frequently asked questions about copyright law (a master list of answers to many common copyright related question).

How do I register multiple works of visual art (like t-shirt designs) at the Copyright Office?

Support media reform in San Diego by checking out the Save KLSD documentary

Join New Media Rights for the first public screening of the documentary Save KLSD. The movie is about the rise and fall of a San Diego independent political radio station and how the demise of the station demonstrates a need for media reform.  The film is a great example of the power if independent filmmakers to shine a light on topics not often discussed in traditional media.  New Media Rights assisted with the project.

The screening will be at Lestats Coffee Shop on Adams Avenue on Saturday, May 19th at 2pm. A Q and A session with co-producers Jon Monday and Jennifer Douglas, as well as NMR will follow. More information about Save KLSD can be found at saveklsd.com. You can also purchase a copy from Amazon.

See NMR at Blogworld NYC on June 7th-9th

New Media Rights will be exhibiting at Blogworld New York at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on June 7th-9th. Every time we attend, we meet lots of independent creators at our booth who can take advantage of our free services. We hope that the demand is even higher this year. For attendees who'd like to schedule a time to get into contact with us, drop us a line at support@newmediarights.org.

NMR welcomes three new legal clerks
We'd like to welcome our new legal clerks working with the project for the summer Lauren Brady, Katrina Julian, and Alex Johnson. We'd also like to give a big thank you to our legal clerks Ashley Gray and Courtney Byrne returning for the summer because we couldn't have done all the great work we did in the last few months without them. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our long-time video volunteer Aleymar Santana, as well as law clerks Ben Hoffman, Jamie Marion, and Laura Patrick recently.

Find out more about the video production or public relations internships available with New Media Rights. Volunteers and interns are how New Media Rights can provide such extensive services while keeping our costs low.

We need your Help
Although our public donations are closed, we are planning a new public donation drive soon. Please send an email to support@newmediarights.org if you're interested in helping out that drive in the upcoming months.


Ways to get involved with NMR without getting out of your chair!
Do you want to support our work protecting the rights of content creators online?

1. While we are not currently accepting donations, we will be soon.  Please keep us in mind for a donation when we are accepting donations again, as we rely on support from individuals like you.

2. You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube and Flickr accounts

3. Write articles for our blog. If you would like to become part of our blogger network, send an email to support@newmediarights.org

4. Suggest new resources, projects, and advocacy efforts for us to participate in by using our contact us form



Content Types: 


New Media Rights files comments with the Federal Communications Commission on wireless service interruptions

New Media Rights filed comments April 30 with the Federal Communications Commission regarding intentional interruption of wireless services. This follows the August 2011 incident where BART chose to interrupt wireless services at its stations. This incident raised serious concerns regarding the authority of governmental agencies and other non-carrier third parties to disrupt wireless networks. The FCC opened a regulatory proceeding to review the issue.

Read our entire comment by clicking here!

Our comment identifies major problems associated with wireless service shutdowns, especially for consumers of wireless services.  We highlight ambiguity in the Communications Act of 1934 that leaves uncertain the responsibilities of third parties such as BART that are not obligated by a federal license. These third parties may, similar to BART, try to use this ambiguity in the future to exercise unilateral authority over shutting off wireless networks in a particular premises under its control by merely cutting off power to the receivers or transmitters used for reception of wireless networks on its premises.

Our comment urges the Commission to clarify that such government agencies and third parties are covered under the provisions of the Communications Act. We provide an array of less intrusive solutions to protecting public safety, including emphasizing the need to strengthen emergency communications as well as to clarify the power of the FCC, state commissions, and courts to authorize wireless shutdowns in the future.

In particular, we want to thank our fellow Shruti Joshi, for her able assistance in preparing this comment.

Photo Credit: "End of the Line" by Flickr user Wha'ppen under Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike 2.0 license

Content Types: 


Did you receive an errant copyright notice for Liberty Media Holding LLC v James March et al (10-cv-1809)?

Did you receive an errant copyright notice for Liberty Media Holding LLC v James March et al (10-cv-1809)? If you received any notice relating to this case, please email us at support@newmediarights.org or call us at 619-591-8870.

We recently spoke to an individual whose IP address was apparently identified in Liberty Media Holding LLC v James March et al (10-cv-1809), who contacted us when he received a notice from Verizon that his identity had been subpoenaed by Liberty Media Holdings.  The letter stated,
"The Plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit alleging that various people have perhaps infringed their copyright by illegally download and/or distributing a movie."  
The Doe wanted to know when this download occurred and what movie had been downloaded.  We pulled up the case to see if we could find what the infringing content was.  The problem was that Liberty Media Holding LLC v James March was not a copyright case.  It was a cybersquatting and trademark case.  We contacted the counsel for Liberty Media, and they confirmed that this was a not a copyright infringement case.  They suggested we contact Verizon.  We then contacted Verizon and they told us that it was a one time mistake, a simply clerical error.  The Doe in this case had apparently received this notice in error, and was not a defendant in any illegal filesharing related case.   
The concern with this clerical error is if the Doe had behaved as if this was a legitimate notice. The letter to our Doe included,
"If you are interested in discussing this matter with Plaintiff's attorneys, you may contact them ... They can speak with you about settling the lawsuit, if you wish to consider that."  
The important lesson to take from all of this is if you receive a notice from your internet access provider that you are part of a copyright infringement lawsuit, make sure to check the facts before you decide how to proceed. In this case, the individual notified was not actually a defendant in any filesharing case.
If you received a notice from your Internet Access Provider in the Liberty Media Holding LLC v James March et al (10-cv-1809) case, please contact us at support@newmediarights.org or 619-591-8870.


Content Types: 


How to remove yourself from Jerk.com

Please Note: We are NOT affiliated with Jerk.com in any way, we are simply trying to raise awareness and help people get their information removed. We do NOT control Jerk.com's listings.

Also Note: Unfortunately, we are not licensed to practice law outside of the United States. Any contacts from outside the United States will NOT be answered.

Jerk.com is a website that appears to try to profit from consumers who are concerned about their online reputation.

We've recently heard from individuals who have come across Jerk.com after they Google themselves and find that they have a profile on Jerk.com.  

Having information appear on this site causes you a number of concerns, including that a potential employer will see this when you apply for a job.  In some instances the photos may not be of you but of your children or other family.  The Jerk.com profiles sometimes also contain a person's email, age, address, phone number and job information.  The profile also can provide links to the persons other online profiles like Facebook and Linkedin.  After seeing their Jerk.com page, the first thing you may want to do is try to delete it.  You may notice a link on the top of Jerk.com that says "Remove Me." This takes you to a page that asks you to create an account and makes a number of claims, but be wary, as you have to pay to create an account on the website.  Moreover, there are reports that even if a user pays to access their account profile, they can't necessarily remove the entire profile.  In addition, those who pay may find that Jerk.com simply creates an additional profile, rather than allowing access to edit the original, objectionable profile.

If you simply want to notify Jerk.com that your photos or personal information appears on the site without their permission, there is a contact link at the bottom on the page.  However, again, it appears Jerk.com intends for visitors to pay to simply send an email to the website. Right now the contact feature appears to simply be broken.

These are just some of the issues with Jerk.com.

Content Types: 

Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA - February 2012 newsletter

New Media Rights Homepage - logo

New Media Rights Twitter IconNew Media Rights Youtube Icon

What an amazing time for digital rights!  Millions of internet users and creators like you put a stop to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in Congress.  These laws threatened free speech and innovation by allowing blocking of entire web services due to infringing content posted on a single webpage. 

You have the power to shape the future of a free and open internet, but Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA & PIPA. Wireless carriers, large media companies, and other gatekeepers continue to find ways to artificially limit your ability to access services and share content online.

New Media Rights has been working tirelessly in the New Year to protect digital rights by helping creators, wireless consumers, and other internet users one-to-one.  Policymakers need to understand these real-life, specific examples of how laws like SOPA affect internet users to make good policy. To this end, we've submitted comments that rely on our one-to-one experience to a series of important digital rights proceedings that are taking place at the Copyright Office (see below).  We've also joined a letter to Congress from 70 groups to ensure that SOPA and PIPA cannot happen again.  Read that letter here.

Check out our new video series

Consumer education is central to our mission at NMR. This means getting information out to the people that need it in the way they want to see it. The NMR Youtube channel is going to be revamped in the coming months to be the number one source for mobile broadband and intellectual property information for consumers and creators. Check out our first few test videos in the series:

In the Community at the LA Media Reform Summit

NMR will be at the LA Media Reform Summit on March 3rd at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. The event will start at 11:00AM with sessions all day until 5:00PM. Go here for more information or to register.

Art Neill and Shaun Spalding will be hosting a workshop on "Fair Use, Creative Commons and Other Ways Internet Law Empowers Media Creators." They'll be discussing the positive ways that the law actually empowers those who create and share online, rather than rehashing the usual disussions about how the law limits them. 

If you'd like to invite us to give an educational workshop on internet rights issues in California or elsewhere in the United States, contact us at support@newmediarights.org.

Our recent blogs

NMR made two new regulatory comments to the Copyright Office to protect your digital rights

1) Supporting the ability to take control of our wireless device and reuse video content legally

Every 3 years, exemptions that allow consumers, creators, and developers to legally access content and technologies must be reargued. This year, our ability to legally reuse video content in fair use, and to use the applications and services of our choice on our mobile devices, are on the line. Since we work with these communities first hand, we gathered input directly from consumers, creators, and technologists and provided specific examples to the Copyright Office to support key exemptions. 

Read our comments supporting the right to jailbreak mobile devices and reuse video content legally.

2) Regarding small copyright claims and the "settling culture" copyright law creates

Here we identified a key frustration afflicting small-scale defendants, the “settling culture” that has emerged within the current system whereby internet users and independent creators are intimidated into paying settlements and accepting DMCAi takedown requests rather than risk the high costs of federal litigation. Unfortunately, some copyright holders exploit the high cost of federal litigation to extract unwarranted settlements from small-scale defendants and impose improper DMCA take downs. 
NMR Testimonial: Susan Myrland
Susan Myrland, an internet user, ran in trouble when an unscrupulous advertising company recreated an old personal website of Susan's without permission, and then incorporated spam advertisements on the site. New Media Rights helped Susan respond to the abuse of her personal information and fix the damage this created. Read Susan's story here.
Thank you to the California Consumer Protection Foundation
Much of our funding throughout the second half of last year came from the California Consumer Protection Foundation. We would like to thank CCPF for having the foresight to see what a huge need California has for free legal resources for online artists, consumers, and startups. 
We need your Help

We need individual support more than ever this year. You can donate to support our work here!

We also ask that you share the word about supporting NMR through FacebookTwitter, and with your friends who are interested in media reform, and protecting their rights as internet users, creators, and consumers. 
Legal, Public Relations, and Web Development internships available
New Media Rights is now accepting applications for summer Law Clerks and has volunteer and internships opportunities in Public Relations and Web Development open. By effectively utilizing volunteers, interns, fellows, and donated advertising, we are expanding our ability to help people without actually raising any of our overhead costs. 
We welcome your assistance requests in the 2012, and we also hope that you will support our services knowing that each dollar you give will go even further. 

Ways to get involved with NMR without getting out of your chair!

Do you want to support our work protecting the rights of content creators online?

1, You can donate by visiting our secure donation page

2. You can retweet us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribte to our Youtube and Flickr accounts

3. Write articles for our blog. If you would like to become part of our blogger network, send an email to support@newmediarights.org

4. Suggest new resources, projects, and advocacy efforts for us to participate in by using our contact us form



 Our website is:


The blog is updated weekly:



This newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Icons created by Missrivs under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike No Derviatives 2.0 License

If you would no longer like to receive our newsletters you have the option to opt out by clicking the below link:




Content Types: 


New Media Rights files comments at the Copyright Office supporting the right to jailbreak mobile devices and lawfully reuse video content

New Media Rights has filed comments with the Copyright Office supporting three exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions.  Similar to our 2009 comment to the Copyright Office, this comment supports the right to bypass anti-circumvention technologies to a) allow individuals to take control of the apps and services they use on their mobile devices, and b) allow creators and internet users to reuse video content for fair use purposes.  Our 2012 comment also supports recommendations that these exemptions should be extended beyond their 2009 counterparts in two very important ways – we argue that jailbreaking should also apply to tablets and that the bypassing of anti-circumvention technology should include non-DVD sources.

The exemptions provide a safety valve for otherwise lawful behavior by consumers and creators.  Specifically, NMR’s comments relate to Proposed Class 5, 7B, and 7C, as requested by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

The Proposed Exemptions

Proposed Class 5 includes “[c]omputer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets ("smartphones") and tablets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is undertaken for the purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the handset or tablet.”

Proposed Class 7B includes “[a]udiovisual works on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System, where circumvention is undertaken for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in primarily noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright, and the person engaging in the circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use.”

Proposed Class 7C includes “[a]udiovisual works that are lawfully made and acquired via online distribution services, where circumvention is undertaken for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in primarily noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright, and the person engaging in the circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use, and the works in question are not readily available on DVD.

Proposed Class 5: Jailbreaking of smartphones and tablets

Proposed Class 5 would renew the exemption for jailbreaking smartphones and extend the exemption to tablets.  Jailbreaking is essential to ensure competition and innovation.  Jailbreaking enables alternative app marketplaces, which provide a safety valve to censorship by OS makers, wireless carriers, and device manufacturers, who use their gatekeeping power to control what apps and services we can access.  In addition, jailbreaking allows for increased customization that allows consumers to address security and privacy concerns instead of being forced to wait for the OS maker to address the issues.  This exemption would allow consumers to continue to enjoy the benefits of jaibreaking their smartphones to lawful software, and extend these benefits to tablets. 

Proposed classes 7B and 7C: Accessing video to reuse footage from DVDs and online sources

Proposed Class 7B, which allows circumvention of encryption on DVDs for purposes of reusing content lawfully, is an exemption that was granted before by the Copyright Office in 2009. However, existing exemptions have to be reargued every three years.  The exemption is meant to allow creators, remixers, and vidders the ability to bypass DVD encryption technology to obtain high quality footage for the videos they create.  The exemption extends only to videos that fall within the bounds of fair use and thus, this exemption is not as broad as many copyright holders argue.  This exemption allows those who create and share videos that reuse existing content to defend themselves under fair use.  Our comment includes the stories of creators who represent the wide array of social, political, and cultural commentary that this exemption would protect.

We also argues that it is necessary to allow circumvention to provide access to higher quality footage, which is both demanded by viewers and necessary to communicate a creator’s message.  Many of the already legal methods to obtain the footage – including screen capture or analog capturing – are deficient. 

Class 7C extends the same type of exemption in Class 7B to non-DVD sources of video footage.  As more content becomes available solely online, it becomes more important for internet users and creators to be able to lawfully repurpose and reuse this source of material.  There is an enormous amount of content not currently available on DVD.  To ensure the basic right to post videos regarding current social events or hotly debated political topics, it is essential allow this exemption to legally access the most up-to-date footage.  Having to wait for the material to come to DVD would cause many videos to be stale or wholly irrelevant.  For these reasons, NMR supports extending this proposed exemption to non-DVD sources.

In sum, our comment represents numerous individual examples that support these three exemptions.  The exemptions will not only benefit consumers, but are in harmony with the spirit, purpose, and law of the Copyright Act.  Read the text of NMR’s comments to the Copyright Office.


Content Types: 


Your 4G phone may not actually be 4G (even if your carrier says it is)

4G speed test - Sprint PCS

Are you in the market for a new phone and want the best one out there? Many wireless companies say in their commercials that in order to be on the crest of the wave of the future, you must get one of their 4G phones. You can download the latest blockbusters, or make your own home movies and share them with friends and family. Speeds are advertised that apparently allow you to do anything from be part of a flash mob to data intensive downloading. But there are some serious limits to the companies’ claims.

Just an FYI, none of those phones actually obtain 4G speeds: it’s a misnomer. It's more like 3G+ or 3.9G. Your wireless carrier’s claim that it’s a 4G is legal due to pressures on the International Telecommunications Union by industry insiders to relax their standards. The technology in these phones simply do not achieve 4G speeds. This practice of marketing phones as being able to achieve speeds they actually can't is not new. T-Mobile, for instance, previously marketed a phone as 3G when it was really more like 2.5G. As a consumer, you need to research what each carrier means by 4G. Don’t just listen to the hype of the ads: the speed differences can be staggering.

And even if you accept the less-than-4G speeds, that doesn’t even begin to address the issue of the data caps that mobile companies impose upon us. Your data plan will pretty much be used by filming 20 minutes of your band’s show, or downloading half of a movie. And what does that leave you with? No data plan left over to look up directions, bus schedules, or emails about the location of that flash mob. Your data cap must be monitored carefully, because the additional fees you incur from going over can prove astronomical, as much as $10 extra per gigabyte.

While this 4G technology promises advances in how we communicate and new uses for our wireless devices, companies just aren’t offering the speeds or the services yet that are promised in the ads. Being a savvy consumer and complaining when you’re not getting what you need from a carrier actually does make a difference.

If you have questions or complaints about how your wireless carrier is limiting your wireless broadband internet, or need any help deciphering just what a carrier means by "4G,” feel free to contact us with your issue through our contact form.


Photo credit: Spring 4G Speed Test by mtellin released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. 

Content Types: 


New Media Rights signs open letter sent to Congress regarding SOPA, PIPA, and internet freedom with 70 other groups

February 6, 2012

Contact: Art Neill, Executive Director, New Media Rights, (619) 591-8870

On February 6, 2012, New Media Rights joined approximately 70 grass-roots groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, human rights groups, communities of color, and Internet companies in sending a letter asking Congress to stop its work on intellectual property issues in the wake of massive public protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).


February 6, 2012
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Congress:

We the undersigned groups align ourselves with the more than 14 million Americans who joined us in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Together we participated in the largest online protest in American history (currently estimated at more than 115,000 websites) because we believe these bills would have been harmful to free speech, innovation, cyber security, and job creation. We want to thank the Members of Congress who shared our concerns and opposed these bills.

Now is the time for Congress to take a breath, step back, and approach the issues from a fresh perspective. A wide variety of important concerns have been expressed – including views from technologists, law professors, international human rights groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and above all, individual Internet users. The concerns are too fundamental and too numerous to be fully addressed through hasty revisions to these bills. Nor can they be addressed by closed door negotiations among a small set of inside the-beltway stakeholders.

Furthermore, Congress must determine the true extent of online infringement and, as importantly, the economic effects of that activity, from accurate and unbiased sources, and weigh them against the economic and social costs of new copyright legislation. Congress cannot simply accept industry estimates regarding economic and job implications of infringement given the Government Accountability Office’s clear finding in 2010 that previous statistics and quantitative studies on the subject have been unreliable.
Finally, any future debates concerning intellectual property law in regards to the Internet must avoid taking a narrow, single-industry perspective. Too often, Congress has focused exclusively on areas where some rights holders believe existing law is too weak, without also considering the ways in which existing policies have undermined free speech and innovation. Some examples include the year-long government seizure of a lawful music blog (dajaz1.com) and the shutdown by private litigation of a lawful startup video platform (veoh.com).

The Internet’s value to the public makes it necessary that any legislative debate in this area be open, transparent, and sufficiently deliberative to allow the full range of interested parties to offer input and to evaluate specific proposals. To avoid doing so would be to repeat the mistakes of SOPA and PIPA.


106 Miles
Access Humboldt
American Library Association
Amnesty International (USA)
Art Is Change
Association of College and Research Libraries
Canvas Networks
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Media Justice
Center for Rural Strategies
Cheezburger Network
Consumers Union
Demand Progress
Democracy for America
Don’t Censor the Net
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Engine Advocacy
Entertainment Consumers Association
F2C: Freedom to Connect
Fight for the Future
Foundry Group
Free Press Action Fund
Free Speech TV
Hackers & Founders
Human Rights Defense Center
Human Rights Watch
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Internet Archive
Learning About Multimedia Project
Main Street Project
Mayfirst/People Link
Media Alliance
Media Literacy Project
Media Mobilizing Project
Mom's Rising
Mountain Area Information Network
Native Public Media
New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative
New Media Rights
NY Tech Meetup
O'Reilly Media
Participatory Politics Foundation
PCUN Oregon Farmworkers Union
People’s Production House
Public Knowledge
reddit inc.
Reel Grrls
Save Hosting Coalition
SF New Tech
Startup Weekend
SV Angel
Teethie, Inc
Thousand Kites
Tucows Inc.
Twitpic Inc.
Women In Media & News
Women Who Tech
Women, Action & the Media
Women's Media Center
WordPress Foundation


Content Types: