Our 2014 accomplishments!

Whether you’ve joined us as a Student or an Open Internet Defender we're stronger than ever thanks to support from individuals like you!

Please consider joining our community of supporters by making a donation and help us continue to fulfill our mission to:

  • Provide free and dramatically reduced fee one-to-one legal services to underserved creators and innovators that need specialized help with Internet, intellectual property, media, and technology law
  • Defend the Open Internet and push for badly needed copyright reform.
  • Create high quality legal educational materials and to educate the next generation of lawyers.

With your support we’ve done this and more in 2014 by:

In 2015, with your support we plan to:

  • Continuing to provide free and dramatically reduced fee one-to-one legal services to  400+ underserved creators and innovators.
  • Release a ground-breaking new legal educational tool to help creators.
  •  Sponsoring and organizing more than 12 workshops and community events throughout the San Diego region and throughout the United States about digital rights.
  • Working on policy initiatives to encourage the FCC to adopt real Net Neutrality measures.
  • Participating in the Copyright Offices 1201 hearings to make sure creators can access the materials they need to create and we can all make modifications to the technologies we own without risking criminal charges.

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Bryan Martinez

Staff: 

Job Title: 

Joined NMR in: 

September 2014

My name is Bryan Martinez I am currently a 3rd year at California Western School of Law. I attended the University of California at Irvine and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Chicano Studies. I took two years off where at worked at various law firms ranging from workers compensation, personal injury, corporate, and criminal. However, I have become interested in Intellectual Property and am currently part of the Trademark Clinic at California Western School of Law. In my free time I like to lift weights, hike, play sports, and run.

Andrew Sanchez

Job Title: 

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

September 2014

Andrew is entering his 2L year at California Western School of Law in San Diego where he plans to focus on International Business Law. He received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice while serving in the Army. After working for the Department of Defense for an additional four years; he decided that government work was not his passion he decided to start a new career path and attend law school. He decided to focus on international business because of his background in foreign policy. He also intends to obtain a MBA with SDSU. In his free time Andrew enjoys traveling mainly to visit his family and friends across the US, and occasionally internationally.

New Media Rights Sponsors Startup Weekend San Diego MEGA: Web / Mobile / Maker

New Media Rights, proudly announces our sponsorship of Startup Weekend San Diego MEGA: Web / Mobile / Maker, beginning November 14th at San Diego’s new downtown library. The event is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where innovators and aspiring technology entrepreneurs can hear from industry experts whether their startup ideas are viable.  New Media Rights' sponsorship of the event includes an offer of free legal services for the winning team.

Startup Weekend San Diego is just one of the ways New Media Rights supports the next generation of innovators creating jobs for the San Diego region, and developing technologies to help improve the world.  New Media Rights works directly with technology startups, creators, and internet users every day in San Diego, offering free and reduced fee legal services on internet, media, and technology law matters.

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PRESS RELEASE: President Obama urges the FCC to adopt real net neutrality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2014

Contact 619-591-8870, art@newmediarights.org

New Media Rights welcomes President Obama's statement supporting real net neutrality

New Media Rights is pleased to announce that this morning President Barack Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify the Internet under Title II. In plain language, the President came out in support of real net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally. New Media Rights has been advocating for reclassification in our recent Open Internet comments  to the FCC (and our reply comments) as well as in our letter to the President and his Office of Science and Technology Policy. We thank the President for his support of Title II reclassification and encourage the FCC to adopt the President's position. Here's the President's statement.

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Put a mugshot on it? Things to think about before using mugshots on commercial products.

At New Media Rights we’ve received a surprising amount of contact forms related to using mugshots on commercially sold items. Although we cover whether mugshots are in the public domain here, this blog post tailors that information a bit more specifically for people who may want to put a mug shot on something and sell it.

A word of caution upfront, putting a mugshot on any commercially sold items raises some serious legal questions. If you’re serious about starting a business like this you should consult with an attorney since this blog only raises some of the issues you may need to look out for and is NOT legal advice.

Copyright
Copyright law protects creative works including, believe it or not, mugshots. But the exact copyright status of mugshots from different law enforcement agencies is a bit more complex.

In general mugshots taken by federal law enforcement agencies(such as federal prisons and the FBI) are in the public domain and are not protected by copyright law. This is because a photo taken by a federal employee as part of their work for the federal government is in the public domain and not protected by copyright law.

However, for mugshots taken by state law enforcement the mugshots may or may not be in the public domain since state, city and other local entities can make their own decisions on whether or not to release mugshots and other photos taken by their employees into the public domain. In addition, some states may chose to restrict access to some mugshots under certain circumstances for reasons unrelated to copyright law.

For photos that are under copyright and access is not restricted, depending on your use of the photo, fair use may apply. However, for commercial use in particular we strongly recommend seeking out legal counsel before you release your product commercially to ensure you have a strong fair use argument.

Right of publicity & privacy laws
Even if the mugshot you intend to use is in the public domain(or your use is fair use) there are still other legal issues to consider. Approximately half of all US states have right of publicity laws. Although statues vary significantly from state to state, they are designed to prevent unauthorized commercial use of a person’s image, name, and likeness, although some are expansive enough to cover things like the sound of a person’s voice. Thus in some states, when mugshots are used commercially in certain ways they may violate a person’s right of publicity.  Keep in mind that some states, like California, even extend this right after death.

Also, just because your state doesn’t have a law called “right of publicity” doesn’t necessarily mean your state doesn’t have a law that would prevent a mugshot from being used commercially. Sometimes that kind of law may be part of the states privacy laws or even unfair competition laws.

These are just a few of the legal issues that come up when using mugshots commercially on products. If you are seriously considering putting mugshots on products and selling them, we highly recommend seeking out an attorney to advise you on the full array of legal issues that may arise from this type of business.

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Copyright & Fair Use Workshop for Filmmakers and Video Creators - A Doculink sponsored event in Los Angeles Saturday November 8

New Media Rights' Executive Director Art Neill is speaking in the Los Angeles area Saturday November 8, 2014 about Copyright, Fair Use, Music Licensing, and Creative Commons at 1:30pm at the Glendale Public Library.  If you're in the LA area come on out and say hello!  The event is sponsored by Doculink and the Glendale Library, Arts and Culture Department.

Here's the details from Doculink, and a flyer for the event is attached below as a pdf.

Please RSVP to Colleen Stratton ixschell2@gmail.com if you're planning on attending.

On Saturday, November 8th, Doculink, in conjunction with Glendale Library, Arts and Culture Department, will present: "WHAT'S FAIR ABOUT FAIR USE AND COPYRIGHT? - HOW FAIR USE AND COPYRIGHT LAW AFFECT DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING AND ONLINE VIDEO CREATORS"

Attorney Art Neill of New Media Rights will give a workshop on how Copyright law both restricts and empowers documentary filmmakers and other video creators. We'll cover key legal issues in filmmaking, including

The basics of copyright law, including how it protects your work, and how it restricts what you can do with others' work

  • How to reuse video footage and images under fair use (Fair Use permits use of copyrighted works without permission under specific circumstances)
  • When and how to get a license for music, footage, and other materials
  • How to properly use openly licensed (Creative Commons) materials

DOCULINK is a community for documentary filmmakers who share information, leads, ideas, and a commitment to support each other's growth as nonfiction filmmakers.   www.doculink.org

Art Neill is an attorney and the founder of New Media Rights in San Diego and practices public interest law in the areas of internet, intellectual property, and communications law. He is an adjunct professor of law at California Western School of Law in San Diego where he teaches Internet & Social Media Law (primarily focused on Internet, Intellectual Property, licensing, and online publishing law).  www.newmediarights.org/

DATE and TIME: SATURDAY, November 8th, 1:30 pm-4:30 pm,

FOOD: Potluck.  As aways, please bring snacks and drinks to share!


LOCATION:  Glendale Central Library

222 E. Harvard St., Glendale CA 91205

818 548-2030

The event will be held in the AUDITORIUM on the SECOND floor.


PARKING
Receive 3 hours FREE parking across Harvard at the Marketplace parking structure WITH VALIDATION at the Loan Desk.
Metered parking is available on the west side of the building in Lot #10 and on Harvard Street.
Handicapped parking is available at the front of the building.
PLEASE RSVP

Please RSVP to Colleen Stratton ixschell2@gmail.com.
Feel free to pass this invitation along to other people who might be interested.   Hope to see you all there!

AttachmentSize
Doculink flyer revised.pdf2.19 MB

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FCC Consumer Advisory Committee ends year with consumer privacy and disabled access recommendations

The Federal Communication Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee held its final meeting of the year October 20.  New Media Rights is a member of the Consumer Advisory Committee, and we are part of the Consumer Empowerment, IP Transition, and Broadband (as co-chair) Working Groups.

In our final meeting, the group passed two important recommendations,

1) Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security

The Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security provides the FCC with guidance on how it can provide leadership to ensure consumers have the information they need to make meaningful choices about their privacy, to encourage innovation in mobile device security, and to make sure companies adhere to best practices in protecting consumer's privacy, safety, and security when they are online using a mobile device.
 

2) Recommendation Regarding Access for Eligible Individuals with Disabilities to Lifeline Service

This recommendation encourages the FCC to take direct steps to make sure that the expansion of Lifeline to mobile devices includes accessible devices for the disabled.

Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security
 
New Media Rights took part in drafting the Mobile Device Security recommendation.  You can view the whole recommendation here, or view an excerpt below regarding our specific recommendations.
 

"... the Consumer Advisory Committee recommends that the Federal Communications Commission consider the following measures to increase consumer understanding and interest in mobile device security:

1.     Convening a workshop focused on mobile device security and privacy best practices to assist the FCC in developing consumer advisories and education resources;

2.     Hosting a “Data Jam” type event with a theme of mobile device security and privacy best practices;

3.     Enhancing the existing FCC Security Checker (http://www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security) web interface to include:

preselecting the OS when accessed from a mobile device

adding more detailed tutorials to explain how to adjust the settings

including accessible video tutorials;

4.     Continuing to work with CTIA, device manufacturers, carriers, and OS developers to improve the consumer experience and usability as it relates to security- and privacy-enhancing techniques;

5.     Coordinating carefully planned and funded Public Service Announcement campaigns aimed at educating consumers on device security and privacy;

6.     Encouraging innovation in mobile device security and privacy;

7.     Developing new FCC-hosted education materials on specific topics. These topics could include but are not limited to: mobile payment security best practices, the importance of two factor authentication, security tips when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, and the relationship between security and accessibility;

8.     Utilizing the FCC Complaint Call Center in Gettysburg and web complaint submission process to direct consumers to existing FCC educational resources on mobile device security and privacy;

9.     Considering any recommendations put forth by the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council and its Cyber Security Working Group on these topics."

This follows previous work at the FCC Consumer Advisory.  Two other recommendations we're particularly proud of this year are a) a recommendation aimed at ensuring libraries and students have access to the internet through E-rate reform, and b) a recommendation on improving the openness and transparency of complaint data, while ensuring consumer privacy at the FCC.  The FCC is set to release improved complaint data before the end of the year.

New Media Rights looks forward to being part of the next FCC Consumer Advisory Committee, which will begin its new term in Spring of 2015.

 

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NMR to speak on fair use & copyright law at the Alliance for Community Media Western Region Conference, October 23 in Ventura, CA

New Media Rights Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik will be speaking on a panel at the Alliance for Community Media Western Region Conference on October 23, 2014 in Ventura, CA

The topic of the panel will be "Intellectual Property, Copyrights, and Fair Use in Media"

Technology has made it increasingly challenging to navigate the world of intellectual property, particularly in media and arts. This panel will address common questions journalists and creators face such as:

  •  What kind of rights do you need to secure?
  • What is Fair Use and can anyone explain whether it applies? 
  • How do you navigate the legal issues inside of platforms like YouTube? 
  • Where can rights be obtain if needed?
  • What are a producer’s liabilities?
  • Can local bands play cover tunes?
  • Can you fight a take-down notice?
  • How much trouble can our organization be in? 

The panel will be an opportunity to give positive support to journalists and artists, showing them the ways the law can actually empower their creativity, how to avoid legal disputes in the first place, and how to move forward if you do face legal threats.

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