Frequently Asked Questions About New Media Rights

Table of Contents

About the organization
What is New Media Rights?
Where is New Media Rights located?
Why do you do legal work for free?
Where does New Media Rights provide its services?
How does New Media Rights make money?
Does New Media Rights accept donations by check?
Does New Media Rights accept grants and institutional funding?
Why does New Media Rights you have a minimum donation amount on our online form?
Does New Media Rights accept recent graduates with fellowships and funded positions?
Who works for New Media Rights?
 


About contacting us for assistance
Are the people at New Media Rights lawyers?
How long will it take to get a reply after I submit a contact form?
Can you resolve the legal issues of every person who contacts you?
How long do I have to respond back to you?
Why do you need to know the city and state I live in?
Can I call New Media Rights? What is New Media Rights' phone number?
Should I leave a message if I decide to call New Media Rights?
Can I call in using Skype to avoid long distance charges or international rates?

About what services that New Media Rights does and doesn't provide
Is New Media Rights a referral service?
Will I receive better service if I choose to pay "full price" or tell you I will donate?
What is your criteria for taking cases?
Can New Media Rights help me find/track/fix my cell phone?
I'm a documentary filmmaker, can you do pre-publication review for my documentary?


About the content on the site
Why do you create your videos and eduational guides?
Is the content on your site openly licensed?
Who appears in your videos?
 

 

About New Media Rights

What is New Media Rights?
New Media Rights is a non-profit organization that provides one-to-one legal services regarding internet, intellectual property, media, and technology law.

Where is New Media Rights located?
Our office is in San Diego, California.

Why do you do legal work for free or reduced fees?
New Media Rights was founded on the principle that the information people need to continue creating, stay out of legal trouble, start businesses, and remain free from censorship should be freely and openly available. There are several specific reasons as well...

(1) Independent creators are often improperly bullied with legal threats by large media companies and competitors. New Media Rights stands up for consumers, creators, non-profits, and small businesses who can't afford to defend themselves who are improperly threatened.

(2) Independent creators often do not have the resources to get the preventative advice and transactional work they need done to prevent future legal issues. Months or years later, once they begin finally seeing the fruits of their work, they become targets. Mistakes made early on can destroy months or years of hard work. New Media Rights provides free services to ensure that creators can get the assistance that they need up-front, even when they can't afford it, to prevent future legal issues.

(3) Consumers lack the type of information to make informed choices about (A) whether they need a lawyer, (B) how to choose the proper lawyer, and (C) what strategies their potential lawyer should choose  and which strategies to avoid. Since New Media Rights has no profit motivation, we can objectively advise and evaluate someone's situation. We can recommend the best course of action without the bais or self-interest that sometimes gets in the way of case evaluations done by private firms.


Where does New Media Rights provide its services?
We advise on intellectual property issues like copyright and federal trademark law nationally.

For state law, we are only licensed to provide legal assistance regarding California law.

Since we are located in San Diego, and our mission is to give back to the San Diego community, New Media Rights tries to make San Diegans a significant focus of our one-to-one assistance and educational workshops.

How does New Media Rights make money?
We rely heavily on grants and individual donations to allow our free and reduced fee services to continue. Individuals can donate any amount they feel comfortable by clicking on the donation button on the website. We also encourage individuals with connections to foundations to connect us with like-minded grantors who would be interested in our work.

 

Does New Media Rights accept donations by check?

Since our payment processor takes prohibitive fees for donations under $25, we unfortunately aren't allowed by of fiscal sponsor to accept donations below $25 through the online form. 
 
We do take donations in any amount by check. Feel free to make your donation out to "New Media Rights - California Western School of Law" and mail it to...
 
New Media Rights
1855 1st Ave Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92101
Thanks for helping us fight against censorship of independent artists.

 

 

Does New Media Rights accept grants and institutional funding?

Yes, New Media Rights is always looking for foundation funding, grants, and institutional donors. You can support our work by connecting us with foundations and anyone in charge of making grant decisions.
 
New Media Rights is dedicated to ensuring that the growing millions of people creating and sharing online have quality legal assistance. Our goal is to empower users to understand and exercise their rights online.  We have built a unique, beneficial, and efficient organization with a small staff and modest budget. We have successfully fulfilled the requirements of all the grants we have received in the past. 
 
If you are interested in supporting New Media Rights, please contact Executive Director Art Neill at 619-591-8870 or email art [at] newmediarights (dot) org
 
New Media Rights is an independently funded program of California Western School of Law, a nonprofit 501(c)3. Both organizations are located in San Diego, California.
 

 

Why does New Media Rights you have a minimum donation amount on our online form?

Unfortunately, our payment processor requires unreasonable fees for donations under $25, so our fiscal sponsor requires that the minimum donation that we accept online is $25. We do accept checks in any amount. That limitation is a small price to pay because our fiscal sponsor also provides us free administration, accounting, and other services. This means that 100% of all donations go to actually assisting people rather than many organizations that use a high percentage of donations  for administration. 
 
We are definitely looking into finding solutions to this issue. Right now, other payment processors like Google Checkout and Dwolla are not viable options. 
 
 
Yes. New Media Rights is always looking for recent graduates or practicing attorneys with public interest fellowships from their firm, law school or other organizations. These attorneys will be integrated as full-members of the NMR team during their temporary stay at the organization, and the work provided will be similar to that of the permanent attorney staff members.
 
To apply: please email a resume, cover letter, and description of your fellowship to support@newmediarights.org
 

 

Who works for New Media Rights?
New Media Rights is run by two attorneys, a great group of law students, and a variety of temporary fellows and attorney volunteers. You can see their smiling faces and read their biographies on the staff page.

Generally, the attorneys and law clerks who work at New Media Rights also have non-legal backgrounds in creative or entrepreneurial capacities. The executive director, Art Neill, has a background in technology and music. The staff attorney, Teri Karobonik, has a background in writing and creative geekery. Former law clerks have been business owners, filmmakers, journalists, and musicians.


About contacting us for assistance

Are the people at New Media Rights lawyers?
Yes, the two full-time staff are both California barred attorneys, who are licensed to work on issues of California state law and Federal laws including intellectual property issues. Law students who are supervised by attorneys assist with case research in the same way "summer associates" would at a private law firm.

How long will it take to get a reply after I submit a contact form?
Generally, response times now average 8-10 business days due to the tremendous demand for our services. 

We prioritize responses to New Media Rights supporters (those who have donated at least $25 in the previous 12 months to New Media Rights), typically within about 3 business days.  

In that initial response, we will either ask for clarifications or attempt to provide a preliminary answer to your question through email. We are not open on weekends, so don't worry if you don't receive a reply between Friday night and Monday morning.

Sometimes your initial contact will raise complicated issues. If so, our response may request that you contact us over the phone. With a phone call, we can answer your questions more thoroughly, determine if we need to follow up with more legal research, or ensure your issue is something that we can actually assist you with.

That said, you should read our Supplemental Terms of Service for more information on how we handle contact forms.  You can also read this page to understand who qualifies for free and reduced fee services.

Can you resolve the problems of every person who contacts you?
Unfortunately, our resources are limited, so it's sometimes the case that we don't have the time or capacity to assist someone. At that point, we will try to work with you to come up with an acceptable timeline when we will be able to attend to your issue.

If we cannot work out a time that makes sense for the situation, we will have to wholly decline to take on the case.

Keep in mind that even if we choose not to help you any further we may not have not looked at any of the facts of your case so there may potentially be claims that are worth pursuing that you could speak to another lawyer about.

 

Why do you need to know the city and state I live in?
Knowing your state allows us to know your "jurisdiction." This is important because it will allow us to know if we have the license and the skills to answer your question. Many intellectual property questions that creators and business people have are based on federal laws which don't differ from state to state.

However, many laws do differ between the states and we may not be skilled to comment on those. Even if we could, we can generally only comment on state laws of states that we are licensed to practice in.


How long can I wait to respond to you after you respond to me?
If we do not hear back from you within 10 days of a reply, we will assume your issue has concluded and close your case from our system.

We do this to ensure that our time and resources are not bogged down by cases that are no longer relevant. Feel free to send us a reply and we will attempt to reschedule you into our calendar and re-open the case.

Can I call New Media Rights? What is New Media Rights' phone number?
Our phone number is  (619) 591-8870. We are located in California (Pacific Time Zone), and take calls between 10am - 5pm Monday through Friday in that time zone.

Please send us an email through our contact for so you can schedule a call ahead of time. If you do not schedule a time, we may be unavailable to pick up.

If you call in during a time that we have scheduled but your are unable to get through, please leave a message, and we'll get right back to you. Unfortunately, we do not return calls from callers who do not leave messages.

Should I leave a message if I decide to call New Media Rights?
Yes, definitely. We do not return calls from callers who do not leave messages.

Can I call using Skype to avoid long distance charges or international rates?
Yes, we also use Skype for calling. If you would like to use that to avoid long distance charges or international rates feel free to call user ID "newmediarights" through Skype.

This might be prudent especially for international callers because we may be on the phone for an extended period of time. Please arrange the details of your Skype call through email ahead of time.



About what services that New Media Rights does and doesn't provide

Is New Media Rights a referral service?
No. Within the scope of our mission and expertise, we are a source of full-service assistance rather than simply a referral organization. New Media Rights' free and reduced fee services are no different in quality and scope than private attorneys who charge a fee.

For the issues that we take on, we actually do all of the work from start to finish in the same manner a paid, private attorney would.

Will I receive better service if I choose to pay "full price" or tell you I will donate?
Clients will receive highest quality services regardless of ability to pay or any other criteria.

What is your criteria for taking cases?

You can read this page to understand who qualifies for free and reduced fee services.

Can New Media Rights help me find/track/fix my cell phone?
Unfortunately, we are a legal services organization. We are not a security company that can determine whether there is tracking software on your phone. We do not have any special access to phone GPS systems such that we could track or find cell phones.

That said, if something is outside our field of expertise, we can potentially provide referrals to competent legal professionals in those fields.

I'm a documentary filmmaker, can you do pre-publication review for my documentary?
Documentaries often have a strong public interest and educational purpose that New Media Rights is always interested in supporting. We have done pre-publication review on documentaries before, and encourage documentary filmmakers to contact us.

 

About the content on the site

Why do you create your videos and educational guides?
These materials are intended to help consumers, artists, and entrepreneurs

  1. understand their rights,
  2. engage in self-help, and
  3. empower them be more discerning consumers of legal services if they choose to hire a lawyer (including if they choose to hire New Media Rights for paid services).

Like all educational guides, they are no substitute for legal advice. They contain drastic simplifications of complex legal concepts. Moreover, everyone's factual situation is different. Therefore, the general information presented cannot and should not be applied directly to your own situation without first contacting a competent, licensed attorney to confirm your course of action.

Is the content on your site openly licensed?
Yes, all content generated by New Media Rights is licensed as Creative Commons under an Attribution, Non-commercial license. As long as you both (A) credit New Media Rights as an original source and (B) use the content for non-commercial purposes, you can use the content in any way you please.

Who appears in your videos?
The hosts, actors, and actresses in our videos are all law students, employees of the organization, or volunteers with an interest in help us do what we do.

They are reading from scripts prepared by licensed attorneys without adlibs. The general information they present is not generated by the hosts independently.

If you are interested in assisting us with our videos, we'd love the help. Please contact us.