copyright

New Media Rights joins Knowledge Ecology International and others in cautioning against mandatory expanded copyright terms in the TPP

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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.

New Media Rights speaking at the 2013 California State Bar Intellectual Property Institute

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Photo courtesy of Berkeley Lab Creative Commons Attribution, noncommercial, No Derivatives 2.0 License

Are you a lawyer or just fascinated by intellectual property law? Then come join New Media Rights Art Neill and Teri Karobonik November 7-9 at the 2013 IP Institute in Berkley, California hosted by the Intellectual Property Law Section of The State Bar Of California.

New Media Rights Executive Director, Art Neill, will also be on a panel called Copyrights or Copywrongs: Is the Current System Working?

The rapid advance of technology has made the Copyright Act, drafted years ago in an analog
era, a difficult fit for digital times. Technology companies and Internet-savvy individuals are pushing the envelope of copyright law. Content holders, including so called “trolls”, are digging in and fighting back. Can we ever get along? And do we need to?

The panel will include other big names in the world of IP including Mitch Stoltz, Electronic Frontier Foundation; Gill Sperlein, Law Offices of Gill Sperlein; Karen Thorland, Senior Vice President Global Content Protection Counsel MPAA and George M. Borkowski, Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP.

You can find out more about the IP Institute and register here.

We hope to see you there!

New Media Rights joins 17+ groups in calling for an extension for public comment in critical copyright law review process

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Today New Media Rights joined 17 other organizations in asking the United States Patent and Trademark Office to extend the amount of time the public has to reply to the request for comments on the Department of Commerce green paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy.”  The Green Paper extensively outlines the current challenges regarding copyright enforcement in the new media age. The request for comments outlines five critical areas for comment including: the law around remixes; the first sale doctrine in the digital age; the reform of statutory damages in file sharing cases; the possibility of government organized licensing and improvement of the DMCA takedown system. Each of these topics deserves extensive discussion and asking stakeholders to provide comments on 5 broad areas of copyright law within 2 weeks is unrealistic. The initial comments period proposed only allowed 2 weeks before the first public hearing.  New Media Rights is hopeful the request for changes to comment period and public meeting schedule will be granted. You can find the full text of the letter below.

New Media Rights is looking forward to continuing to be a vital part of the discussion surrounding the modification of copyright law for the new media era.  We offer insight from front line work with independent creators and internet users whose perspective is too often missing from policy debates.  We’re hope that reforms in the coming years can radically decrease the legal uncertainty around remixing and increase independent creators’ ability to stand up to content bullying.

Copyrights And Copywrongs For Internet Content at Ansir

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San Diego Python Users, Sandiegojs and SD Game Art and Design Meetup Groups will be hosting New Media Rights Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik and California Western School of Law 3L Lauren Brady to talk about copyright for video game development. Join us at Ansir Innovation Center on 9/26/13 at 7PM. The event is free and open to the public. For more information check out the Meetup page here!

3D Printing Legal Advice Night

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Photo courtesy of fedcomitie under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License

New Media Rights in partnership with FAB LAB SD and Ansir Innovation center present an evening of one-on-one short legal advice sessions for 3D printer entrepreneurs and enthusiasts.  New Media Rights will help answer questions such as:

  • Is my design copyrightable?
  • May I make a design using my favorite character?
  • How do I respond to a DMCA takedown notice of my design?

New Media Rights will hold the event on September 19, 2013 from 4-8PM.  All legal advice session spots have been filled, but a waitlist is available here.

Help send New Media Rights to SXSW!

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SXSW movie from New Media Rights on Vimeo

UPDATE: Voting for SXSW is now closed. Thank you so much for your votes!

New Media Rights wants to teach you how to “Stand Up To Content Bullies, Know Your Copy Rights” at SXSW Interactive this year. We know copyright laws are complicated, and they're often the reason why your videos, mobile apps, and other content may get taken down. "Fair use" is complicated, but it's often the reason you can get your content back up. Our panel will teach real-world best practices to use the law, Youtube's rules, and practical steps to fight back against content bullies.

The Public Domain. Now available for only $165 an hour!- August 2013 Newsletter

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Its been a busy a summer at New Media Rights, but we're not done yet! When we weren't chatting with our post apocalyptic cyborg friends about the finer points of copyright law at FilmCon (see below), we've been providing creators and innovators with critical legal services.  Here's the latest.  

How we defeated Lionsgate's unfair takedown of Buffy v Edward, and our next battle

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As you may have heard, New Media Rights recently assisted pop-culture hacker and remix artist Jonathan McIntosh (RebelliousPixels.com) in his battle with Lionsgate over the improper copyright takedown of his well known Buffy vs. Edward: Twilight Remixed video.
 
Jonathan's story is most interesting, because Jonathan had recently shown the Copyright Office the video in a hearing about copyright exemptions last May where New Media Rights was advocating for your right to reuse video under fair use. In one of its findings, the Office praised the video as an example of innovative fair use that copyright exemptions are there to protect. 
 
Jonathan's battle, 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. 
 
Due to Jonathan's compelling post, and supporting coverage from ARS Technica and people like Mike Masnick of Techdirt, we were able to resolve his issues, and now Jonathan's Buffy Versus Edward: Twilight Remixed is back on Youtube, viewable without ads.  Forbes also covered this victory.
 
Read on to learn how we won this victory, how we can keep this work going, and about our next battle against unwarranted takedowns.

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