Sarah Borrelli

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

July 2017

Sarah earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology- Archaeology and Master of Education degrees from University of Montana. After teaching elementary school for two years, Sarah chose to pursue her JD at California Western School of Law.

She is an avid sports fan and is interested in pursuing a career in sports law and intellectual property. She is an active member of Entertainment and Sports Law Society, as well as the Student Intellectual Property Law Association as California Western. She is excited to help fledgling artists and entrepreneurs realize their dreams.



Madison Kovall

Legal Intern
Hailing from Pennsylvania, Madison attended West Virginia University and received a Bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture and a minor in Theatre. Currently, she's President of Environmental Law Society and a part-time server at The Cheesecake Factory. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, the beach, and tasting all local food seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  
Aside from being a tree hugger, she fell in love with the tech industry through my undergraduate major where she worked with AutoCad and SketchUp on a daily basis. As she enters her third year of law school, she's looking forward to specializing in creative legal fields such as intellectual property and land use.

Mark Marquez

Legal Intern

Joined NMR in: 

May 2017

Mark received his BA in English with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. Having taken courses in philosophy, sociology, criminal justice, and English throughout his undergraduate career, he became interested in intellectual property after learning about Freedom of Contract and Freedom of Expression—fundamental rights written in our Constitution.

His goal is to help content creators and businesses protect their expressions in diverse mediums, in our era of increasingly accessible communication. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies, playing basketball and video games, drawing, writing, and going to the beach.

Help us protect the Open Internet: Another Fight for Net Neutrality Begins

The Federal Communications Commission made a dangerous new proposal to end the hard-fought net neutrality protections that internet consumers, innovators, and creators fought for and won back in 2015.


The FCC, under President Trump and Chairman Pai, along with the cable and cell phone companies companies, are trying to mislead the public into believing that the open internet (aka Net Neutrality), and all the creative and competitive benefits that come with it, should be gotten rid of. Trump and Pai are advocating dropping Title II regulation that saved the internet in 2015. Instead of being honest, Chairman Pai and companies are saying they support net neutrality, just not through Title II. They know they are misleading the public, because courts already found that without Title II the FCC has no ability to protect the internet. That's why we had Title II classification in the first place.



Here’s how you can do something about it...


What is Net Neutrality?


Net Neutrality just means protecting the open internet and your ability to access the services and websites you choose. Under the current rules, net neutrality makes sure that internet service providers (“ISPs” like your cable and telephone/fiber company) allow you to access websites and online services without interference or preference. For example, without this, an ISP could tell it's users that they can no longer use Netflix and must only use Hulu instead (because the ISP gets a kickback from one platform but not the other).


The 2015 rules work because they are supported by Title II of the Communications Act. ISP's want to dismantle Title II support, which would dismantle net neutrality and the open internet. ISP's are now misleading consumers by saying they support Net Neutrality but not Title II regulation. Do not be fooled. Net Neutrality without Title II support has already found to be worthless in courts. If the FCC dismantles net neutrality, it will hurt internet users freedom to choose what services to use, innovator's ability to create new businesses and compete with large companies, and creator’s ability share their creations without the fear of censorship from ISP.

Why the Current Net Neutrality Important to…



Net neutrality keeps your internet from getting blocked or throttled. Without net neutrality, ISPs could turn down (or even turn off) particular services at their whim. Without net neutrality your ISP can choose which music or video streaming services are ok for you to access. Wasn't it cool when you could


Because they own the wires above and underground, ISPs typically have a monopoly in each city with only one or two services providers in the market. So even if you’re not happy with getting randomly throttled, it may be difficult or impossible to change to another service.

The current rules also require broadband providers to be transparent about their practices and charges, something that goes out the window if we get rid of net neutrality.



Net neutrality prevents large companies from artificially controlling markets. Without net neutrality, established services can simply keep out competitors by paying ISPs for “fast lanes” to consumers.


If Giant Company X pays all of the ISPs in your area to have their sites load first and Little Startup Y’s app to not load at all, then X can artificially control the market and prevent competition from young startups.


Without net neutrality, ISPs who have a monopoly over providing the internet (because only a handful of companies can own the wires underground) can choose which services and content load quickly, and which move at a glacial pace. Established companies win, and little guys won’t get seen.


Net neutrality allows you to create art and speak freely without censoring your content. Without net neutrality, the ISPs or even the current platforms that you create on may decide to favor certain content and platforms over others.


Even relatively open platforms for creative expression like Youtube are often under fire for issues related to favoring certain content over another [ / ] because of advertiser pressure.


If the net neutrality rules we’re dismantled, ISPs themselves could completely block content they believe is “controversial” or “bad for business from their end. They would also have the leverage to force platforms to adopt their own rules about what content can be in a “fast lane” (that users will have quick access to) or a “slow lane” (that may take much longer for users to load).


Why can you do to show your support?

New Media Rights is writing a comprehensive set of comments to the FCC about the importance of net neutrality to creators, innovators, and average internet users. You can help by...


1. Contacting New Media Rights to submit your story about how the Open Internet rules support your productive and enjoyable use of the internet. Will your business be harmed? Will you creative expression be limited? We want to get your story to share, so get in touch with us here.


2. Submit your own comment directly to the FCC. The forwards to the FCC’s open comment page.


3. Sign Firefox’s petition:

4. Get more information on the FCC’s previous proposal for adopting Open Internet rules

...and if this sounds like something that you want to protect, tell your representatives.

A Net Neutrality Timeline


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DONT PANIC: Resources Page

Thanks for purchasing Don't Panic: A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses & Creative Professionals. We hope it helps you to use the law as a sheild to protect your creative business and use the law as a sword to find creative new opportunities for expansion.
If you haven't already purchased the book don't worry, you can find the most up to date version on Amazon. 
This page would normally be filled with additional resources and free gifts for readers of the book, but we haven't launched those yet :). So be on the lookout for June 2017 when we update this page.
For now, sign up to our mailing list to be notified when these new resources launch and get on a VIP list for discounts on future products.


Nanome launches educational virtual reality chemistry and mathematics tool Nano-One on Steam Greenlight!

New Media Rights stays on the forefront of providing legal services to those who create new ways to communicate and learn. Of course, "new media" is literally in our name. So we jumped at the chance to work with local VR company Nanome to make their VR molecular modeling app a reality.  We want to congratulate Nanome, paricularly founders and recent UC San Diego graduates Keita Funakawa and Steve McCloskey, on their release of Nano-One, the first of Nanome’s suite of nano-engineering and mathematics visualization tools. Nano-One was recently launched on Steam Greenlight as Nanome moves forward to a full release. 

Targeted towards students, educators, and consumers, Nano-One allows users to physically build molecules such as Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Hydrogen by reaching out and grabbing the component atoms. In addition to the educational and consumer tiers of the software, Nanome is working on versions of the tool to allow researchers to develop life saving drugs as never before.

Nanome cofounder and UC San Diego alumni Keita Funakawa had this to say about the experience, "Working with NMR was a great pleasure. It was very refreshing to talk to law experts who actually familiar with new media like VR. They even had their own VR equipment that we could share our software with so that they knew what exactly we were making!!"

NMR intern Emory Roane assisted Nanome throughout the launch of their software, and we’re so excited to see where Nanome takes their tool set from here. 

When asked about his experience working with Nanome, Emory said “Working with Keita and Steven was an incredibly rewarding project that gave rise to a number of interesting, complicated licensing issues. It’s not every day at your legal internship that you get to consider the legal issues raised when your client tells you they are exploring new methods of modeling force fields at the molecular level!”

Nano-One can be found on Steam Greenlight for $9. More information about Nanome can be found on their website, and you can follow their development on their social media accounts here


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Film screening: Refugees and cultural stereotyping of Muslims - American Baghdad & Valentino's Ghost - March 29, 2017

New Media Rights invites you to a free screening of two excellent films that we've had the pleasure to work on over the past two years-The short film " American Baghdad" and the feature " Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs". We'll be screening the film at 6:30pm, Wednesday, March 29th, at 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA, 92101, in the third floor Auditorium of California Western School of Law. We will have a Q&A with Ron Najor, director of American Baghdad, and Michael Singh, director of Valentino's Ghost following the screenings. Please RSVP at our Facebook invite. Seating is first come, first serve. Middle Eastern food will provided on a first come first serve basis from North Park Produce!

American Baghdad, launched in partnership with The Atlantic, shines a light on the circumstances that brought Iraqi refugees to the United States, and depicts their new lives in El Cajon, California right here in San Diego County. Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Muslims explores the way America's foreign policies in the Middle East drive and shape the way that Muslims and Islam are portrayed by the mainstream media and Hollywood.

Please help us spread the word, and RSVP to the Facebook event if you're planning on attending.

The two films will run for 20 minutes and an hour and a half (less than 2 hours total), respectively, and there will be a Q&A with the filmmaker and the law students who provided legal services for the film after the screening. Current students can learn what it's like to participate in the New Media Rights clinic.

"American Baghdad" was directed and Produced by Ron Najor. "Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Muslims" was directed and produced by Michael Singh. New Media Rights is grateful to them for allowing us to host this screening on campus.

We look forward to seeing you at the screening!

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It's a WRap! New Media Rights Finishes Working with the Filmmakers of Bad Rap.

New Media Rights is proud to share our client Bad Rap Inc.’s film Bad Rap: Salima Koroma and Jaeki Cho’s debut documentary.

The film follows four Asian American rappers as they struggle to find their place within the mainstream music industry that doesn’t know how to categorize them except through stereotypes.

Bad Rap uses its subjects as jumping off point to show the history of Asian American representation in both hip-hop and broader pop-culture. To do this, several decades worth of music, movie, and TV clips needed to be included to provide viewers necessary context.

Clearing clips in music documentaries, in general, is difficult, but documentaries about hip-hop create additional hurdles because of the liberal use of sampling and remixing in the art itself. For example, one artist may rap over another producer’s beat which is itself sampled from one or several other previous musicians.

California Western School of Law students Bryan Blanco and Samantha Lopez led by their supervising attorney Shaun Spalding took the lead on reviewing the film’s rough cut to determine whether uncleared clips rose to the level of fair use.

New Media Rights worked with the filmmakers throughout the editing process and analyzed over 100 clips suggesting edits when necessary to bolster fair use arguments and recommending cuts when needed.

New Media Rights worked with Salima, the film’s director/editor to revise the film and get the documentary to its final theatrical version balancing the need to adhere to fair use while preserving the intent filmmaker’s vision.

“Our tiny team reached out to New Media Rights for guidance on an independent music film we were finishing up. We are first time filmmakers and it was my first film as a director and editor. Our documentary had music to clear, logos to get releases for, and music samples to search for. We weren’t sure what could be argued as fair use and what probably couldn’t. We had so much media, we didn’t know what to do with it. NMR went through all of our film’s assets and gave legal counsel about each piece of content in our film. 

While NMR’s legal counsel was beyond helpful, the peace of mind we felt knowing that the suggestions and advice we received were knowledgeable and well researched was invaluable. They were clear and communicative, quick to respond, and only happy to explain things in detail. I am so glad we had the opportunity to work with them.”

– Salima Koroma, Director of Bad Rap

In the end, NMR wrote an opinion letter to the film’s insurance provider for Errors & Omissions insurance. This is a necessary component for any documentary looking for distribution that relies on fair use to gain E&O coverage.    

The film is truly a passion project for Salima and Jaeki who originally met through their taste in K-Pop artist G-Dragon. Originally a forty-minute project, the two created an Indiegogo campaign for Bad Rap and were able to exceed their goal from the many supporters who saw their vision.

NMR is extremely happy to have been able to work on this project. We feel like a part of the vast team of supporters that helped make Bad Rap happen.

Bad Rap screened at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently getting ready for nationwide distribution. For more information visit Bad Rap or view the trailer.    


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#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. 



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