#FairUseWeek 2017 - Fair use is copyright law's safety valve for free speech

Fair use is critical to protecting free speech about social, political, and cultural issues. Here are projects and stories from our work that show how important defending fair use is to protecting freedom of speech.

  • We've defended hundreds of individuals who have faced unreasonable overreach from individuals and companies trying to use copyright to squelch fair use and free speech. Read the stories of our defenses of remix creators, including of Jonathan McIntosh, the Media Literacy project, and Shannon Sun-Higginson are good examples, including middle school kids attacked for making a fair use video.  You can enjoy Jonathan McIntosh's Buffy v Edward remix right here.

 

  • In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to fair use in 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 understand and utilize fair use, bringing 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. Watch these films and videos from our clients to see fair use in action.
  • The Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act process for 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.
  • We are also proposing extensive legislative fixes to problematic pieces of the DMCA Section 512 safe harbor, which can be abused by coyright holders to squelch fair use and free speech. 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.
  • 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.

 

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. 

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

Happy #FairUseWeek!

 

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Ashley Nichols

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

January 2017
Ashley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Las Vegas Nevada. After obtaining her Bachelor's she went on to pursue her JD/MBA. Ashley completed one year of the dual program at UNLV before transferring to California Western School of Law to finish her degree. 
 
While in her first year of graduate school Ashley worked for an angel investment firm where she researched start-up tech companies. This is what sparked her interest in copyright infringement.  Additionally, Ashley is currently active in the acting community in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. After working with independent filmmakers, she developed an interest in entertainment law. 
 
Ashley is looking forward to working with other artists and helping them protect their craft. 

 

Juan Forero

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

January 2017

I am a Texas native and a proud Texas A&M Aggie class of 2013! I have been a “serial entrepreneur” all my life and since college, have successfully started two companies. Hoping to tie my passion with my skills, I relocated to sunny San Diego to attend California Western School of Law and pursue a career in intellectual property. Here, I have been heavily involved in all things copyright and trademark, including acting as the treasurer for the Student Intellectual Property Law Association, and as a certified student practitioner for the USPTO through their trademark clinic.

In an effort to help budding entrepreneurs with their intellectual property issues, I recently joined the New Media rights intern team and I am excited to learn and grow in this amazing legal field. 

In my free time, I enjoy playing music, skating, and hitting the occasional tennis ball.

January Newsletter: Protecting journalists, record breaking fundraising, and a film screening

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    We're off to a fast start in 2017. Our clients include a nonprofit dedicated to financial transparency in our elections, documentary films on the transgender community and media representation of muslims, and a nonprofit that introduces kids to writing and recording music, to name a few.  We also participated in advocating for balanced copyright reform during the recent Copyright Week.

    Our book Don't Panic is a hit! It has already been adopted in 9 college and graduate classes to teach legal concepts to creators. Help us celebrate by picking one up from Amazon or get $4 off at this link when you use the code ""EHCBPZHD".  If you find it useful please take the time to write us a review!  If you're a teacher or professor and want an evaluation copy and assistance incorporating the book into your teaching let us know by sending an email to support@newmediarights.org.

    Our Legal Services for Journalists

    This is a critical time for our nation, and journalists will be an important part of protecting our democracy. Please remember that we provide legal services for journalists. This includes assistance with Freedom of Information Act and California Public Records Act requests. In 2017, we're looking to grow these services. Please let us know if you know of individuals or organizations looking to fund or collaborate to ensure legal services for journalists. If you want to support our services for journalists, you can do that by clicking here!

     
     
     
     
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    Film Screening February 7 in San Diego!

    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 Movie. Painted Nails tells the story of a San Francisco nail salon owner's efforts to convince lawmakers to address public health issues in the nail salon industry. Van Hoang becomes the first person to testify to Congress for safe cosmetics in 30 years.

    We'll be screening the client film Painted Nails February 7th, 2017 at California Western School of Law. Come out and join us in room LH2 at 12:45pm! Send us an email if you plan to come out so we know we can accomodate folks.

     
     
     
     
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    New Media Film Festival - Submit your work!

    We recently found out about the New Media Film Festival and wanted to share the festival with the creators out there as an opportunity to submit your work. The festival provides a platform for groundbreaking and compelling work in the world of storytelling in a variety of media, including virtual reality, apps, drone footage, and web series. The festival is designed to both discover and cultivate highly creative work from emerging and seasoned content creators. 

    Put your innovative work forward and join the unique community of content creators at New Media Film Festival submit today! You can also attend the festival on June 6,7,8 in Los Angeles, CA.

     
     
     
     
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    Record Breaking Giving Tuesday!,
    This past Giving Tuesday you helped us raise over $22,000! We want to thank you again for your support of New Media Rights! Thanks to your support this year we will:

    • Be able to provide free and dramatically reduced fee one-to-one legal services to 500+ underserved creators and innovators.
    • Work on policy proceedings at the US Copyright Office to make sure the Copyright Office serves independent creators and entrepreneurs, not just big media companies.
    • Update and enhance our Fair Use App and educational video content.
    • Sponsor and organize more than 12 workshops and community events throughout the San Diego region and throughout the United States about digital rights.

    If you didn't have a chance to support New Media Rights on this Giving Tuesday, you don't have to wait until next Giving Tuesday to make a difference! Become a supporter today!

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    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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    Finance and Distribution for independent TV, Film, and Online Content 101 - San Diego Film Week Workshop

    Come join us February 11 from 12pm-2pm for a workshop on financing and distributing your films and video content! Here's a link to buy tickets.

    The workshop is part of San Diego Film Week will be held at Studio Unseen, 4608 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116.

    Anyone creating independent TV, film, or online content has to wear many diverse hats these days. To be a professional filmmaker means not just knowing how to produce film, but how to handle financing and distribution. Come learn about the legal and business aspects of film financing and worldwide distribution.

    The workshop will be in two parts. First Jeff Deverett of Deverett Media will give a thorough overview on financing & distribution. Then, we will have an open Q&A with a panel of experienced business and legal experts, including attorneys Valerie Nemeth of the San Diego Sports and Entertainment and Sports Lawyers, Inc and Art Neill of New Media Rights along with other special guests with particular expertise in financing and distribution.

    Presenters:

    Based in San Diego, Jeff and Deverett Media Group specializes in the production & distribution of high quality Independent TV & film content. Jeff’s team includes experienced TV and Film executives who provide consulting, guidance and assistance to independent filmmakers in the creation of content, development of release strategies, domestic and international program launch strategy and delivery platforms.

    Expanding her practice from Los Angeles to San Diego in 1984, Valerie Nemeth has concentrated her area of practice in the entertainment and intellectual property arenas, performing such services as negotiation and drafting of agreements in the film, television, music and publishing fields, as well as the protection and licensing of trademark and copyright ownership. Valerie also has served as an arbitrator for the Superior Courts of both Los Angeles and San Diego Counties from 1982 to 2005. She has served as an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Redlands, on the Board of Directors of the Independent Film Society, and as a guest speaker to both students and professionals in the entertainment and IP arenas. She is a founding director of to the San Diego Sports and Entertainment and Sports Lawyers, Inc, a California Non-Profit corporation which was formed to provide educational as well as networking services for the San Diego entertainment community.
     

    Art Neill is the founder of New Media Rights, a nonprofit program that provides nominal fee legal services to filmmakers, and advocates for the rights of independent creators. Art is a professor teaching internet and media law at California Western School of Law.

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    #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!

     

      •  

      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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    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! 

     

    Value legal services for internet users and creators?  Support them.

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