New Media Rights Advocates for Changes in Media Policy

New Media Rights' latest statements and filings to defend online rights and an open internet:

  • New Media Rights has joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and others in filing an Amicus Brief urging a federal appeals court to reconsider it's decision to order Google to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video in Garcia v Google.

    Most of our work at New Media Rights is preventative and transactional, focused on helping people avoid legal problems and lengthy court battles before they begin. In this case, however, we've joined in filing this Amicus Brief because the recent decision, if not reconsidered, will have negative consequences for free speech that will directly affect the creators and innovators we assist.

    As it stands, the court's decision threatens to create sprawling, poorly defined copyright protection in a variety of creative contributors, altering the way that copyright law protects contributions to film and video productions.

  • On Friday, March 28, the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee approved an important recommendation to modernize and improve the way we bring high-speed broadband to classrooms and libraries around the county.  New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, and Legal Interns Marko Radisavljevic and Kyle Welch were directly involved in the research, drafting, and proposal of this recommendation.

    New Media Rights’ Executive Director Art Neill is a member of the CAC, and co-chair of the Broadband Working Group. 

    New Media Rights conducted an extensive review of the FCC’s E-rate program, including analyzing a vast amount of input on the program from a variety of stakeholders. Based on this research, New Media Rights’ staff and interns helped lead the efforts to draft a recommendation encouraging the FCC to modernize and improve the 18 year old E-rate program for the 21st century.  The recommendations include both general priorities as well as specific process priorities that will improve the E-rate program. 

  • Today the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee approved an important recommendation to improve the FCC’s consumer complaint data reporting. New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, and Legal Intern Marko Radisavljevic were directly involved in the research, drafting, and proposal of this recommendation.

    New Media Rights’ Executive Director Art Neill is a member of the CAC, and co-chair of the Broadband Working Group. New Media Rights conducted extensive background work on the FCC’s current data reporting practices, the regulations that govern the FCC’s data reporting, and reporting practices at other agencies.

    Based on this research and conversations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on their widely recognized approach to complaint reporting, New Media Rights’ staff and interns helped draft a recommendation encouraging the FCC to improve the accessibility and transparency of consumer complaint data.

  • This week Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators will be asked to endorse a binding obligation granting copyright protection for 70 years after the death of an author.  New Media Rights joins Knowledge Ecology International, 26 other groups, and countless individuals from all over the world to tell TPP negotiators that adopting this term would be a mistake. As stated in the letter:

    There is no benefit to society of extending copyright beyond the 50 years mandated by the WTO. While some TPP countries, like the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore or Australia, already have life + 70 (or longer) copyright terms, there is growing recognition that such terms were a mistake, and should be shortened, or modified by requiring formalities for the extended periods.

     

    The primary harm from the life + 70 copyright term is the loss of access to countless books, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, films, sound recordings and other works that are “owned” but largely not commercialized, forgotten, and lost. The extended terms are also costly to consumers and performers, while benefiting persons and corporate owners that had nothing to do with the creation of the work.

  • On July 31, 2013 The United States Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.  On September 30, 2013 they released a request for comments on that paper. All three offices were particularly interested in how copyright law could be reformed to better promote the growing digital economy.  The request for comments was incredibly broad and ranged from questions about the first sale doctrine as it relates to digital goods to the role of fair use in remix culture.

    In our November 13, 2013 comment New Media Rights sought to address three of the most critical issues that affect the remixers, entrepreneurs, creators and internet users we work with every day. First, our comments addressed five key copyright law problems that need to be solved to help remix creators spend their time creating rather than fighting legal disputes including the current failure of 17 USC §512(f) to protect creators from content bullying. Second, we discourage the widespread implementation of intermediary licensing modeled off YouTube’s Content ID system because it is not, in fact, an intermediary licensing system. We also explain the implementation of such a system could be incredibly detrimental to users’ rights largely due to the lack of an effective appeals process and various design challenges in the system. Finally, we address the Department of Commerce’s question regarding how best to go about fashioning a multistakeholder process that would create a working set of best practices for the DMCA. We hope that our comments in these three areas will spark discussion and encourage badly needed copyright reform for the digital age. 

  • Today the Copyright Office released its formal report regarding the challenges of copyright litigation in Federal Court and recommended establishing a small claims court for copyright law. New Media Rights has been heavily involved in these proceedings and the report makes that obvious. New Media Rights is quoted six times and New Media Rights Executive Director is directly quoted by the Copyright Office twice.

    New Media Rights saw early on that a new small claims court would have a dramatic impact on independent creators, internet users, and entrepreneurs. We've shared our expertise with the Copyright Office in order to ensure that any new system respects fair use and provides a fair and just system for resolution of copyright disputes, not simply a new venue for content bullying.

  • Buffy vs Edward unfairly removed

    A new year brings new battles for independent creators to share their work.

    Pop-culture hacker and remix artist Jonathan McIntosh (RebelliousPixels.com) explains in this post how New Media Rights is fighting for him in his battle with Lionsgate over the copyright takedown of his well known Buffy vs. Edward remix video.

    New Media Rights is proud to be helping Jonathan fight this battle with Lionsgate over his video.  Asserting the right to make fair use of content simply shouldn't be this hard.

    It is part of a bigger picture development in the world of online video.

    His story, and our experience working with folks one-to-one suggests there are large media companies that intend to blindly monetize every reuse of content, even if it means steamrolling fair use and the freedom of speech. 

    Read the full story to learn more.

    Remember New Media Rights is a non-profit project doing this work on a shoe string budget, so if you support this work please donate now so we can keep advocating for creators like Jonathan!

     

  • In 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office began a process of considering creating a small claims court or system for small-scale copyright disputes.  This would affect the internet users and independent creators New Media Rights assists significantly.

    New Media Rights has been invited by the Copyright Office to participate in hearings taking place November 26 & 27 in Los Angeles on the topic.

    Executive Director Art Neill will be participating in panels discussing potential remedies and appeals, constitutional issues, and benchmarks for success of such a system.

  • The Copyright Office has begun a process of considering creating a small claims court or system for small-scale copyright disputes.  This would affect the internet users and independent creators NMR assists significantly.

    In our October 19, 2012 comments, we argue any small claims system will need to address misuse of copyright law, abuse of the DMCA takedown process, and the general discrepancy in how attorney’s fees and costs are awarded to prevailing defendants.

    Abuses of copyright law are rampant in the current system. Creators and internet users regularly face baseless content removals and settlement demands.  Right now, much of this misuse and abuse takes place outside of the formal court system.  A small claims system for copyright would naturally lower the bar for copyright bullies to bring formal actions against defendants. 

    Many of the defendants in the new system will be these same vulnerable independent creators and internet users already facing abuse in our informal system.  When considering such a significant change to the current copyright system, the Copyright Office must ensure that the new playing field that is created allows defendants an adequate opportunity to defend themselves and pursue those who abuse and misuse copyright law.
     

    Read our full comments to see our specific recommendations!

    You can also read our earlier comments in this proceeding here!

    Thanks to legal interns Alex Johnson and Kyle Welch for their assistance in drafting these comments.

  • New Media Rights filed comments April 30 with the Federal Communications Commission regarding intentional interruption of wireless services. This follows the August 2011 incident where BART chose to interrupt wireless services at its stations. This incident raised serious concerns regarding the authority of governmental agencies and other non-carrier third parties to disrupt wireless networks. The FCC opened a regulatory proceeding to review the issue.