Policy/Legal

The Internet is counting on you Senator Wyden

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On January 27, 2015, New Media Rights, along with 6 other organizations and 7,550 concerned Internet users, signed a letter calling on Senator Wyden for his assistance opposing the renewal of “Fast Track" authority [also known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA].

Particularly, this letter urges Sen. Wyden to stand up to the recently proposed Fast Track bill.  If this bill passed and Fast Track were renewed, Congress would lose its power over trade policy. That power would go directly into the hands of the White House. This would deny Congress the opportunity to review and amend treaties negotiated entirely in secret like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).This lack of meaningful review could lead to more extreme regulations which threaten Internet freedom and many of the efforts to reform Intellectual property law in the US. 

As a Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Wyden has significant influence on the future of FastTrack. And as a long-time defender of digital rights and outspoken critic of the TTP, it is critical Sen. Wyden knows that once again we need his support. The letter concludes:

Users urge you to stand strong and oppose any new version of trade authority that does not include these critical guarantees of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability…


We are counting on you, as a pioneer in the digital rights movement, to oppose any TPA bill that does not truly address these troubling procedural issues.


Please do not support TPA. The Internet is counting on you.


The coalition of 7 public interest groups signing onto the letter include: Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Archive, Knowledge Ecology International New Media Rights, Open Media International, Public Knowledge. The full text of the letter is attached to this post.

New Media Rights files comments at the Copyright Office supporting the right to jailbreak mobile devices and lawfully reuse video content

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New Media Rights has filed comments with the Copyright Office supporting four specific exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions that will protect both internet users and creators' rights under fair use. Exemptions are argued every 3 years, and ensure that accessing copyrighted material for purposes of fair use don't needlessly violate federal law.

Similar to our 2009 and 2012 comments to the Copyright Office, these comments offer direct evidence supporting the right of internet users and video creators to circumvent technological protection measures to a) allow individuals to take control of the apps and services they use on their mobile devices, and b) allow creators, internet users, and filmmakers to reuse video content for fair use purposes. Thanks to our legal intern California Western School of Law 2L Pat McManus for his assistance in preparing these comments.

New Media Rights joins Electronic Frontier Foundation in urging court to reaffirm the denial of a dangerous preliminary injunction in the case of Garcia v Google

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New Media Rights has joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and others in filing an Amicus Brief urging the court to reaffirm the district court’s denial of a dangerous and over reaching injunction that forced Google to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video while a copyright lawsuit is pending.

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 Garcia v Google decision, if not reconsidered, will have negative consequences for free speech that will directly affect the creators and innovators we assist.

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

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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.

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

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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.

Read more about these recommendations and New Media Rights work at the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee

 

Letter to the President's Office of Science of Technology: Net Neutrality and Copyright reform are key to 21st Century innovation

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New Media Rights sent this letter to the President of the United States' Office of Science and Technology Policy in response to the White House's recent call for comments regarding updating the Strategy for American Innovation. We focus our comment on the importance of 1) protecting an open Internet through reclassification of broadband under Title II, and 2) copyright law reform for the 21st Century.

 

New Media Rights joins Sunlight Foundation in calling for openness of state legislature data

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This week is Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW), and New Media Rights has joined the Sunlight Foundation and many other public interest groups in calling on state legislatures in the United States to improve the availability and accessibility of state legislative data.

Here's the full text of the letter.  You can learn more about the letter and GLOW on the Sunlight Foundation's website.

 

Our reply to large cable and wireless companies in FCC's Open Internet proceeding; we won't just take your word for it

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Today we filed our reply comments in the FCC's Open Internet proceeding.  We focused on a series of claims by broadband providers that are simply not supported in the record, and amount to a "take our word for it" approach.  As with our initial comments, our goal is meaningful, defensible protections for the Open Internet under Title II of the Communications Act.

New Media Rights joins global coalition of access to research, science and education organizations to call on STM to withdraw new model licenses.

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Today, New Media Rights joined a global coalition of access to research, science and education organizations to call on STM to withdraw their new model licenses.  The new model licenses are not only largely incompatible with other open licenses systems but are also internally inconsistent. This new licensing system will also likely cause substantial confusion and do more to impede the flow of critical scientific research than it will to foster knowledge.   Finally the new licenses will also create substantial legal uncertainty, which could only be resolved through costly litigation in multiple jurisdictions all around the world.

A complete list of signatories as well as the full letter can be found here.

Policy update: New Media Rights files amicus brief in Capitol Records vs Vimeo & participates in Los Angeles copyright roundtable

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This week has been a busy week for copyright reform and New Media Rights has been in the thick of it to make sure that the voices of independent creators, entrepreneurs and internet users are represented.

Tuesday, Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik participated in the Los Angeles round of the USPTO/NTIA’s ongoing series of roundtables about copyright reform. Teri participated in both the statutory damages roundtable and the panel regarding laws around remixes.  A recording of the roundtable can be found here. In addition to following our work in these proceedings, you can also keep up to date on the USPTO's website.

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