Our new book: Don't Panic :) A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals

Ever wonder what sorts of issues you may encounter as a creator or entrepreneur, and when you might want to reach out to a real life lawyer? That’s what our book "Don't Panic: A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals" is all about. This book is designed to help you through the legal issues you may run into as a creator, entrepreneur, or innovator. We focus on issues you may encounter from the inception of your business to the moment (that hopefully doesn’t happen) you get a nasty lawyer letter for the first time.

Click here to buy the book on Amazon now!

Electronic version - $9.99 | Paperback - $14.99.

Don't Panic covers a range of legal situations that may arise, from the inception of your business, or the creation of your work, to that dreaded moment (that hopefully doesn’t happen) you get a nasty lawyer letter for the first time. While this book is not a substitute for legal advice, it can serve as a valuable guide to preventing and resolving legal issues.

Don't Panic is organized to help you quickly jump to specific information that will help you through that stage of your work. There are short, straight to the point summaries throughout called “The Bottom Line” providing the essentials you need to know.

You’ll learn how to form your business, protect your intellectual property, understand E&O insurance, and avoid problems when launching an App or internet-based service.  Often, you can take a few simple steps upfront that will protect your business or creative works, and ultimately save time and money down the road.

If you’re any of the following, this book is for you!

App & Software Developers | Artists & Graphic Designers |Designers & Makers | Entrepreneurs| Business People and Startups| Filmmakers and YouTube creators| Game Developers| Journalists and Publishers | Musicians & Podcasters| Non-Profits| Photographers| Podcasters | Scholars & Researchers | Writers | 

We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge just a few of the people who helped make this book a success. First we’d like to acknowledge our student interns and former staff who helped us write and research this book, including the many interns whose work served as inspiration for this book. We’d like to especially acknowledge Erika Lee, Cara Laursen, Emory Roane, Joelle Bartkins, Leopoldo Gabriel Estrada, and Nicholas J. Petruolo, who each assisted significantly with this book. Special thanks also go to Shaun Spalding whose work at New Media Rights informed this book, as well as Cy Kuckenbaker and Alexander Johnson for their invaluable feedback. We’d also like to thank California Western School of Law for being an amazing home and partner for the New Media Rights program.

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

Find additional articles by

Event: Law 101 - The basics of Intellectual Property for Makers @ Fablab San Diego

Executive Director Art Neill & Advisory Board Member Kyle Welch,  a technology transfer attorney for San Diego State University (and a former NMR legal intern!) will discuss the basics of Intellectual Property at Fablab Wednesday June 29 at FabLab San Diego.  Come join us!  Thanks to the San Diego Economic Development Department for making this event possible.

Here's a link to the Meetup page


FabLab SanDiego

847 14th St, San Diego 92101CA

About the discussion

How does the law protect your work, and how does it protect what others create? When do you need permission, and when can you reuse something without permission? New Media Rights will provide a brief introduction to copyright, trademark, and patent, and leave plenty of time for Q&A about legal issues you face as a maker, artist or entrepreneur. 

Free for Fab Lab Members and New Media Rights Supporters - non-members $15 
Members, please note in comments that you'd like to attend. 





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

Find additional articles by

Event: Law 101 Workshop for Filmmakers and Video Editors at UCSD Extension


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? We’ll answer these questions and also leave plenty of time for Q&A.

We'll be answering these questions and more in a workshop at UCSD Extension with the San Diego Final Cut Pro User Group June 6 at 7pm.

Speaker – Art Neill, Erika Lee, Erin Murphy

Art is the founder of New Media Rights, and practices public interest law in the areas of internet, intellectual property, privacy, and media law. Art is also an adjunct professor of law at California Western School of Law teaching the courses Internet & Social Media Law as well as the Internet & Media Law Clinic.

Erika Lee and Erin Murphy are third year law student sat California Western School of Law, and are focusing on entertainment and intellectual property law.

Thi workshop is presented in partnership with the San Diego Economic Development Department.


Direct event link!

DATE: 06/06/2016
TIME: 7 PM – 9 PM
UCSD Extension
6256 Greenwich Dr
San Diego, CA 92122
Room 201

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

Find additional articles by

Related Topics: 

Related Types of Content: 

NMR Testimonial: Brave New Films Releases Documentary on Gun Violence in America

Our client, the non-profit Brave New Films, has created a powerful, eye-opening documentary about gun violence in America entitled Making a Killing.  The core team included California Western School of Law students Erin P. Murphy-Girard '17 and Joshua Pedersen '16, as well as New Media Rights program Executive Director Art Neill. The team worked closely with Brave New Films providing key legal services necessary to complete the film. In addition, New Media Rights' staff attorney Teri Karobonik, as well as students Patrick McManus '16, Stephanie Trejos '17, and Nick Sabatella '16 all contributed to the project.

Brave New Films Vice President of Operations, Devin Smith, had the following to say about his experience with New Media Rights:

"It’s often said collaboration is the key to making a great documentary or film and after our experience working with New Media Rights I can honestly say it’s true!   From day one, some 18 months before completion of our film, Art Neill and team were on board to provide their expertise, critical thinking, and guidelines around Fair Use and many other legal issues.  Throughout our production and until final cut, not only did they provide answers but they also provided an education that allowed us to understand and build upon our own legal knowledge base that enabled us to secure E&O coverage for our film.  We couldn’t have completed the film on time without them and our team is now even better prepared for future projects!"

Here’s the trailer:

BNF is taking a largely grassroots approach for the initial release, distributing the film for free through screenings at community, school, and church groups around the country.  The NMR team worked to meet aggressive deadlines to help BNF stick to its schedule for the film’s strategic release. 

Here’s what our team of law students had to say of their experience working on “Making a Killing.” 

“This project solidified my desire to work with creators. Advising a film like ‘Making a Killing’ from start to finish provided a sense of fulfillment, and an educational experience far beyond familiarization with the legal doctrines and principles involved in the filmmaking process.” – Erin P. Murphy Girard

“Working with BNF was a unique opportunity for me to learn how to transform legal concepts into information that was usable for the client. Most importantly, I learned the value of team work. Each experience with new clips of the documentary continued to strengthen my ability to understand copyright and fair use, to write to non-lawyer clients, and to communicate better with my colleagues.” – Joshua Pedersen

Executive Director Art Neill had the following to say:

"Josh and Erin went above and beyond on this project, meeting aggressive deadlines and ensuring that this film has the best chance of success. They made themselves knowledgeable advisors on complicated areas of the law, and their attention to detail and excellent client communication will make them excellent attorneys."

Check out the film’s website here:  http://www.bravenewfilms.org/makingakilling

The film accessible for viewing parties and group screenings for those who express interest through submission on the BNF website: http://www.bravenewfilms.org/mak_organize

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

Find additional articles by

Related Topics: 

Related Types of Content: 

Additional Tags: 

Camille Collantes

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

May 2016

Camille studied Political Science, French, and Spanish while as an undergrad at California State University San Marcos. Before entering law school, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the West African Republic of Benin, where she was posted as an English teacher for two years. Camille had an amazing experience there and was able to do some cool activities like teaching students about malaria and proper hygiene, hosting an English radio show, and learning the basics of a few local languages.

Now entering her second year at California Western School of Law, Camille is looking forward to expanding her knowledge in various areas of the law, including intellectual property and international law.

When Camille is not in class or interning at New Media Rights, she is fond of listening to electro swing, binge watching shows on (some) weekends, walking around Balboa Park, and spending time with family.

Event: Copyright for Media Makers 2016

A great creative project or business starts with a solid legal foundation. Come join us this Thursday May 12 at 5:30pm for a free legal workshop and Q&A at San Diego City College hosted by SD City RTVF - Open to all and will be held in room C211. Brought to you in partnership with the City of San Diego's Office of Economic Development.

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

Find additional articles by

Related Topics: 

Related Types of Content: 

AALS Clinical Conference panel on developing technology-enhanced community education resources in law clinics

On May 2, 2016, Executive Director Art Neill moderated a panel at the 2016 American Association of Law Schools clinical conference entitled "Community and Pedagogical Benefits of Developing Public Education Resources and Engaging in Technology Enhanced Representation."

Here's a detailed description of the panel:

In serving both our communities and students, as clinicians we oftentimes need to be creative about our methods of community engagement and litigation focus/case acceptance practices.  Traditionally clinics revolve around a live-client model of individual client centered representation.  But what happens when we as clinics need to make an impact for more than one individual at a time? Are there non-case related ways that we can create useful legal pathways for our current and future clients, and our community? 

Part 1 of this session will discuss the pedagogical benefits and successful approaches when working with students on creating public education resources.  Focusing on non-traditional resources including apps and video, we’ll discuss how this work advances pedagogical goals of doctrinal learning and client counseling. Specifically, panelists will explain how student work developing public education resources supports not only doctrinal learning by reinforcing concepts learned in the classroom, but also fundamental client counseling skills, such as being able to explain legal concepts to non-lawyers. Through open moderation and audience participation, panelists will discuss a variety of public education projects they have undertaken in their clinics, including the Fair Use Best Practices for Documentary Filmmakers and Online Video Creators, as well as the Fair Use App, and a variety of educational video series and written resources.

Part II of the session will introduce attendees to A2J, a software system with an authoring tool that creates graphical Guided Interviews, which walk self-represented litigants through a legal process.  Presenters will discuss the pedagogical model as implemented within clinics; present specific clinic project guided interviews; direct attendees to various teaching materials created by clinics using this software; and expose attendees to new pedagogical perspectives and tools generated by the professors who have taught in the Project.  Syllabi and sample interviews will be made available.  

Panelists included

Art Neill, New Media Rights & California Western School of Law 

Jack I. Lerner, University of California, Irvine School of Law 

Victoria F. Phillips, American University, Washington College of Law 

Carrie Hagan, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law 

Alexander Rabanal, CALI 


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

Find additional articles by

Related Types of Content: 

Danasia Neal

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

May 2016

Prior to entering law school, Danasia Neal received her Bachelors of Art and Sciences in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University. Leaving the Motorcity, she decided to pursue her dreams as an attorney here in San Diego, California. Although Danasia loved Criminal Justice, she took a turn in her career interests focusing on her true passion: Music and Media/Internet law.

As Danasia enters her 3rd year of law school, she has gained interests in not only Entertainment Law but also Business and Employment Law. She plans to begin her own Firm one-day practicing in the mentioned areas, specializing in Employment/Entertainment Law.

At Cal Western, she currently sits as the President of the Student Intellectual Property Law Association and the Vice President of the Employment and Labor Law Society.

When Danasia is not working or studying, she mentors younger adults, reads success books, and catches up on new music.  

Zayde Khalil

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

May 2016

Zayde received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology with honors at Western New Mexico University, and was inducted into the Western New Mexico University student Hall of Fame in 2015. During his time at Western New Mexico, Zayde played college football, and was the Senior Student-Athlete of the year in 2015.

Zayde is entering his second year at California Western School of Law, where he is an active member of both the Middle Eastern Law Student Association and the Entertainment and Sports Law Society. During his first semester in law school, Zayde earned the American Jurisprudence award in Property I for having the highest grade in the class.

Zayde is specifically interested in contract law and the legal aspects of copyright and trademark issues. Zayde is passionate to intern at New Media Rights so he can give legal assistants to artists, filmmakers, photographers, and entrepreneurs, because he comes from a family background of self-made entrepreneurs.

Outside of work and school, Zayde is an avid moviegoer, sports fanatic, and enjoys hiking throughout beautiful San Diego with his dogs. 

New Media Rights asks for legislative reform in comments to Copyright Office's DMCA Section 512 study

The DMCA Section 512 is a critical protection for internet-based services large and small against copyright claims based on user infringement.  However, Section 512 creates an easy, out of court process to remove speech from the internet through its notice and takedown provisions.  This process is frequently abused to remove otherwise legal content from the internet. We recently proposed legislative reforms that would address key problems with section 512, and shared our firsthand experiences with clients dealing with section 512.

We particularly want to thank our intern Erika Lee, 3L from California Western School of Law, for her work helping draft these comments.

Part 1 discusses section 512(f)'s failure to prevent copyright bullying, and the lack of clarity regarding when fair use should be considered before sending a takedown notice, and proposes specific legislative reforms to address these issues.

Part 2 focuses on the problems of large copyright holder intimidation, as well as the vast errors that occur with automated takedowns.

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

Find additional articles by


Learn more about why we have ads