#CopyrightWeek 2017: Let's build a better copyright system for creators and the public

We respond to over 500 requests for legal services every year, and over two thirds of these relate to copyright law.  Copyright law protects the work of creators, but it also controls how the culture around us can be reused and commented upon. This week a community of awesome organizations are offering our visions of a balanced copyright future.  

You can check out all the posts over at this website.

Each day there will be posts on a specific theme.  Since much of what we do day in and out is copyright law, we're going to link you to some of our best resources, new and old, on copyright law for the given topics.

For a general background, why not check out our Copyright law FAQ with all the most commonly asked questions about copyright law? The FAQ ncludes many of our 25+ Copyright FAQ Video series, which you can view in its entirety by clicking here!

Also, don't miss our new book, Don't Panic, which covers all sorts of copyright issues you may want to know about, from music and open source software licensing, to fair use, to the DMCA safe harbor provisions. Enter the code "EHCBPZHD" at this special link for $3 (20%) off our new book.

And remember... our work to keep copyright law balanced, and provide direct legal services to over 500 creators and internet users each year, is supported by individuals like you, so consider supporting us today. 

Monday, Jan. 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. day): Building and Defending the Public Domain

The public domain is our cultural commons and a crucial resource for innovation and access to knowledge. Copyright policy should strive to promote, and not diminish, a robust, accessible public domain.

Our links to the public domain

Tuesday, Jan. 17: You Bought It, You Own It, You Fix It

Copyright law shouldn't interfere with your freedom to truly own your stuff: to repair it, tinker with it, recycle it, use it on any device, lend it, and then give it away (or re-sell it) when you're done.

What New Media Rights is doing

New Media Rights has argued for your right to install the software you choose on your smartphone and tablet for nearly a decade.  In the last DMCA Anti-circumvention proceedings, we helped provide support for expanding important exemptions to install whatever software you choose on tablets.  While we achieved expanded exemptions, the section 1201 process of exempting particular circumvention is broken. We have a brand new article just published in Tulane's IP & Tech Law Journal that discusses how to fix section 1201 at both the regulatory and legislative level. At its essence, the reforms acknowledge that any fair use should simply be exempted from the anti-circumvention laws.


Wednesday, Jan. 18: Transparency and Representation

Copyright policy must be set through a participatory, democratic, and transparent process. It should not be decided through back room deals, secret international agreements, or unilateral attempts to apply national laws extraterritorially.

What New Media Rights is doing

We fought back with many others on the internet against SOPA, PIPPA, and other laws intended to extend the most restrictive of our copyright laws to other parts of the world, without important safeguards like fair use. More recently, the TPP represents another attempt to take the worst copyright policies and extend them without safeguards. We opposed fast-track authority for the TPP, and demanded TPP officials to include safeguards for users.

Thursday, Jan. 19: 21st Century Creators

Copyright law should account for the interests of all creators, not just those backed by traditional copyright industries. YouTube creators, remixers, fan artists and independent musicians (among others) are all part of the community of creators that encourage cultural progress and innovation.  

What New Media Rights is doing

  • Providing legal services to over 500 individuals, nonprofits, and businesses every year on complex copyright issues every year.
  • We built and maintain an interactive app that helps video creators to understand when they can reuse music, photo, or film clips from other sources. The Fair Use App is an interactive way to learn about copyright, fair use, licensing, Creative Commons, and the public domain.
  • We offer hundreds of educational guides about copyright written directly for creators in the guides section of our website.  
  • We offer 150+ educational videos on our Youtube channels, including a popular FAQ about copyright. Here's a link to our video playlists.
  • We are also proposing extensive legislative fixes to problematic pieces of the DMCA Section 512 safe harbor. In addition to comments directly to the Copyright Office, we've written an article outlining our proposed reforms that will be published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Law Journal's May 2017 edition.


Friday, Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day): Copyright and Free Speech

Freedom of expression is fundamental to our democratic system. Copyright law should promote, not restrict or suppress free speech.

What New Media Rights is doing

  • We've defended hundreds of individuals who have faced unreasonable overreach from individuals and companies misusing copyright law.  Have you read the stories of our defenses of remix creators (here and here are examples) and Philadelphia area kids attacked for making a fair use video?  
  • In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to their social impact films and online videos. New Media Rights is working to ensure those making social impact films have the legal services they need to bring their stories to the public with confidence in the face of intimidation from powerful interests. We’ve helped with important social impact films that address gender and racial discriminationenvironmental degradationpublic health issues, gun violence, and human trafficking, to name a few.
  • Since it's inauguration day, why not check out this video about why presidential speeches are in the public domain?

Happy Copyright Week!

Copyright Week image photo credit - EFF under a CC-BY 3.0 license

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'Painted Nails': A Nail Salon Owner Shares Her Story of Safe Cosmetics Advocacy in New Documentary

New Media Rights is proud to provide legal services to social impact films, including Dianne Griffin and Erica Jordan's new documentary film Painted Nails from DigAll Media.  Painted Nails tells the story of a San Francisco nail salon owner's efforts to address public health challenges in the nail salon industry.

After learning her daily exposure to chemicals has caused life-threatening health problems, Van Hoang takes a life-changing journey from her vibrant nail salon to the steps of Congress, becoming the first person to testify for safe cosmetics in over 30 years.

California Western School of Law students Kevin Serrano and Camille Collantes provided the filmmakers with a variety of copyright and trademark licensing and clearance services necessary to get the film produced and distributed.

"New Media Rights’ thorough, timely and affordable fair use review on our documentary Painted Nails gave us the legal assurance we needed to distribute our film to audiences throughout the world, in order to initiate positive change in the toxic cosmetic industry. We highly recommend New Media Rights for all filmmakers who need reliable legal services from a group who care about the integrity of their work." - Erica Jordan & Dianne Griffin 

Painted Nails has screened to enthusiastic sold-out audiences in over fifteen film festivals around the world, including CAAMfest, Vietfest, The New Orleans Film Festival, ECO Festival in Malaysia, and at the United Nations Film Festival out of Stanford University.  

You can buy a DVD for educational and academic purposes, host a screening, or learn more at the film's website.

Here's an article about Painted Nails for more info.

 

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SD Filmmakers 2016 presentation - Law 101

Here's our presentation to SD Filmmakers from December 13, 2016. Law 101 for Filmmakers.

The presentation took place at Groovy like a Movie in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego at 7pm. Here's a link to the event on Facebook.

Everyone on set should know the basics of copyright law, licensing, and fair use. Is that painting or poster in the background copyrighted? How does copyright protect your work; how does it protect the work of others? When do you need permission, and when can you reuse a photo, video, or audio clip without permission? How about that logo on a shirt or ball cap? We'll answer these questions and also leave plenty of time for Q&A.

Art Neill is the director of New Media Rights - a clinic located in San Diego, CA that provides Pro Bono and nominal fee services for artists of all kinds.

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October Newsletter: Social impact films, virtual reality, and discounts on our new book!

 

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    Our fall 2016 team, including attorney Shaun Spalding who has rejoined the team!

A critical resource for social impact filmmakers

In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to their social impact films and online videos. 
 
New Media Rights is working to ensure those making social impact films have the legal services they need to bring their stories to the public with confidence in the face of intimidation from powerful interests. We’ve helped with important social impact films that address gender and racial discriminationenvironmental degradationpublic health issues, gun violence, and human trafficking, to name a few.
 
 
 
 
    •  

    Our new legal guide for non-lawyers, Don't Panic

 

Discounts on our new book! 70% off the e-book this week, and a special discount code for $3 off the print version!

To celebrate the book's successful launch, we're making the e-book available for one week for $2.99 instead of $9.99. If you want a print version, you can get $3.00 off the print book ($11.99 instead of $14.99) by using the discount code "HG5DGXBX" at this special link.

We're thrilled to share that Don't Panic has sold over 120 copies already, and hasbeen adopted by five undergraduate classes as required reading for Spring 2017! 

If you're a teacher or instructor and have a section of your course on legal aspects of creating or starting a business, consider using it in your next course. We can provide sample curriculum if you're interested, just let us know at support@newmediarights.org

 
 
 
 
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    Image caption

 

Our newest medium: Virtual Reality

To advise cutting edge technology clients, we have to make sure to learn our client's business and technology. Here, clinic student Maresa Martin tries out virtual reality while other clinic students look on. New Media Rights is taking on its first clients with virtual reality projects this fall. Thanks to student Emory Roane for setting up and facilitating this demonstration!

 
 
 
 
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    Teri Karobonik

A fond farewell!

Earlier this year we wished a fond farewell to Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik! Teri was a wonderful colleague, stellar attorney and an excellent mentor to our students since June 2013. During her time at New Media Rights she not only helped us run more efficiently so we could help more people than ever before but was also a driving force behind many of our new educational resources including our book. A big thank you to Teri and best wishes in her future endeavors in the Bay Area and at her new position at Twitter!

 
 
 
 
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    Image caption

SAVE THE DATE: Giving Tuesday is on the way November 29!,
Last year on Giving Tuesday supporters like you helped us raise a record breaking $18,132.00! Giving Tuesday is absolutely critical to funding New Media Rights' work. This year's Giving Tuesday will be November 29, and we're expecting a dollar for dollar match for every dollar you give that day. Please put it on your calendar and make sure to participate.  You can also pledge your support early by writing to support@newmediarights.org.  Remember that both individuals and organizations can become supporters, so put that date on your calendar and go learn about all the great reasons to become a New Media Rights Supporter!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please remember New Media Rights is an independently funded nonprofit program and we rely on individual donors to support our work. Without donations from individuals like you, these services simply won't exist.  Become an NMR Supporter and ensure this service exists for years to come! 

 

    •  

    Our fall 2016 team, including attorney Shaun Spalding who has rejoined the team!

A critical resource for social impact filmmakers

In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to their social impact films and online videos. 
 
New Media Rights is working to ensure those making social impact films have the legal services they need to bring their stories to the public with confidence in the face of intimidation from powerful interests. We’ve helped with important social impact films that address gender and racial discriminationenvironmental degradationpublic health issues, gun violence, and human trafficking, to name a few.
 
 
 
 
    •  

    Our new legal guide for non-lawyers, Don't Panic

 

Discounts on our new book! 70% off the e-book this week, and a special discount code for $5 off the print version!

To celebrate the book's successful launch, we're making the e-book available for one week for $2.99 instead of $9.99. If you want a print version, you can get $5-3.00 off the print book ($11.99 instead of $14.99) by using the discount code "HG5DGXBX" at this special link.

We're thrilled to share that Don't Panic has sold over 120 copies already, and hasbeen adopted by five undergraduate classes as required reading for Spring 2017! 

If you're a teacher or instructor and have a section of your course on legal aspects of creating or starting a business, consider using it in your next course. We can provide sample curriculum if you're interested, just let us know at support@newmediarights.org

 
 
 
 
    •  
    Image caption

 

Our newest medium: Virtual Reality

To advise cutting edge technology clients, we have to make sure to learn our client's business and technology. Here, clinic student Maresa Martin tries out virtual reality while other clinic students look on. New Media Rights is taking on its first clients with virtual reality projects this fall. Thanks to student Emory Roane for setting up and facilitating this demonstration!

 
 
 
 
    •  

    Teri Karobonik

A fond farewell!

Earlier this year we wished a fond farewell to Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik! Teri was a wonderful colleague, stellar attorney and an excellent mentor to our students since June 2013. During her time at New Media Rights she not only helped us run more efficiently so we could help more people than ever before but was also a driving force behind many of our new educational resources including our book. A big thank you to Teri and best wishes in her future endeavors in the Bay Area and at her new position at Twitter!

 
 
 
 
    •  
    Image caption

SAVE THE DATE: Giving Tuesday is on the way November 29!,
Last year on Giving Tuesday supporters like you helped us raise a record breaking $18,132.00! Giving Tuesday is absolutely critical to funding New Media Rights' work. This year's Giving Tuesday will be November 29, and we're expecting a dollar for dollar match for every dollar you give that day. Please put it on your calendar and make sure to participate.  You can also pledge your support early by writing to support@newmediarights.org.  Remember that both individuals and organizations can become supporters, so put that date on your calendar and go learn about all the great reasons to become a New Media Rights Supporter!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please remember New Media Rights is an independently funded nonprofit program and we rely on individual donors to support our work. Without donations from individuals like you, these services simply won't exist.  Become an NMR Supporter and ensure this service exists for years to come! 

 

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Big Changes with the DMCA Registration Process!

At long last the Copyright office has implemented an electronic registration process to register your DMCA agent – which is mostly great! Beginning on December 1, 2016, DMCA registration will only be $6. This is a significant discount from the $105 (plus additional fees for each alternative domain names) registration currently costs. 
 
Unfortunately, the Copyright Office’s latest rule also requires services to re-register their DMCA agent with the office every three years. What’s more, any website or service that has already registered with the Copyright Office will have to re-register their agent by December 31, 2017, in order to retain the protections that the DMCA provides. 
 
How big of a deal is this? Well changes to the DMCA do not come very frequently! While on its face this seems like simply an upgrade to the DMCA agent registration process, it means that services that want to be DMCA compliant will have one more step to maintain in order to be protected by the DMCA. 
 
You can read a prepublication of the newly changed rule here.

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Thanks for signing up for our newsletter!

Thanks for signing up for our newsletter!  If you haven't already, take a look at all the benefits of becoming a Supporter.  You can join as an individual or as an organization, and our Supporter levels start at just $25.  Being a Supporter ensures a much faster response time for inquiries, where we guarantee a 3-4 day response time for Supporters at the $25 level, and a 1-2 day response time for Supporters at the $65 dollar level and higher.

Also, here's a special discount code for our new book.  Just go to this special link and enter the code "34285KDD" at checkout to get $2.00 off.

Bryan Blanco

Student Fellow

Joined NMR in: 

September 2016

Before attending California Western, Bryan worked with filmmakers and musicians in his hometown of Miami producing music videos and short films. Shorts he assisted on have played at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, Park City’s Slamdance Film Festival, and the Miami International Film Festival.

Bryan received his Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus on film studies from Florida International University. The film program at FIU lead him to study abroad in Czech Republic, where he attended the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to learn the business behind film production. It was during his tenure at FIU he decided to take his passion in film to pursue a legal career in entertainment law.

Now entering his second year of law school, Bryan is looking forward to specializing in fields such as intellectual property, entertainment, and employment. After law school he wants to practice law and attend AFI’s producer program.

Outside of school and New Media Rights, Bryan spends most of his time with his dog, Rosco, exploring San Diego, watching movies, and playing records.

Nathalie Garcia

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

September 2016

Prior to law school, I received a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science from Florida International University. I worked in a human resources department for a media company for several years before deciding to pursue my dream of a legal career. I relocated to San Diego, California and began attending California Western School of Law.

Initially, I was interested in criminal law and after a few semesters interning in the area I decided that path is not for me. I realized how passionate I was when working in the media realm and wanted to find my way back into that area.

I am entering my third year of law school and have developed an interest in business, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property. I am extremely excited to embark in this journey at New Media Rights and look forward to learning about intellectual property.

When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time on the beach, hiking, cooking, traveling, and basketball season (GO Miami Heat!). 

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