Testify! Why anti-circumvention exemptions are important for ALL filmmakers


Filmmakers who want to reuse the culture around them for commentary and criticism need to understand fair use, but that's not the only legal issue they have to worry about. Even if their use is a fair use, the DMCA Anti-Circumvention provisions make it illegal just to bypass any encryption (also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) or Technological Protection Measures (TPM)) that restricts access to that content. This is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.  Simply accessing content to make a fair use can still be illegal under federal law, even when there is no copyright infringement!

Every 3 years, the Copyright Office considers exemptions to these anti-circumvention provisions.  The process is highly problematic, but right now its the only way to provide any relief from this overreaching law that's been on the books since 1998. This year we submitted comments on three important exemptions (regarding installing software of your choice on your devices, as well as your right to reuse video content under fair use).

On Wednesday May 20, we testified regarding Class 6, which is all about allowing filmmakers to bypass encryption on DVDs, Blu Ray discs, and online sources, to make use of content under fair use.   We want to thank California Western law students Emory Roane and Patrick McManus for their great work helping prepare comments and testimony in this proceeding.

2012 DMCA Anti-Circumvention Rulemaking: Final exemptions make progress but miss important opportunities


Every three years the Copyright Office considers exemptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act’s Anti-Circumvention provisions.  These exemptions are critical to protecting otherwise legal activity by internet users and independent creators alike, but they have to be reargued every three years.   

We fought all year at the Copyright Office through comments and testimony, and we're proud to have been a part of making sure these important exemptions originally proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation were granted by the Copyright Office on October 26, 2012.

Check out this post to learn more about our work on these exemptions, and to read the Copyright Office's final rule.


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


New Media Rights has filed comments with the Copyright Office supporting three exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions.  Similar to our 2009 comment to the Copyright Office, this comment supports the right to bypass anti-circumvention technologies to a) allow individuals to take control of the apps and services they use on their mobile devices, and b) allow creators and internet users to reuse video content for fair use purposes.  Our 2012 comment also supports recommendations that these exemptions should be extended beyond their 2009 counterparts in two very important ways – we argue that jailbreaking should also apply to tablets and that the bypassing of anti-circumvention technology should include non-DVD sources.

The exemptions provide an important safety valve for otherwise lawful behavior by consumers and creators.

New Media Rights protects another blogger from censorship and DMCA abuse


New Media Rights recently protected blogger Michael Petrelis' speech and commentary regarding another blogger who pretended to be a gay Syrian woman living in Damascus. 

Mr. Petrelis is just one example of the hundreds of individuals who rely on New Media Rights daily.  His story reminds us that we have the right to criticize and comment on the culture that surrounds us.

COICA v. 2.0: the PROTECT IP Act

The Senate is gearing up for another go-round on rogue websites legislation, and this time, they've jettisoned the "COICA" label in favor of calling it the "PROTECT IP Act." Like a summer blockbuster sequel, it tightens up some things, adds a few new villains, but in the end reprises the same general plot.

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Sheet Music Domain Goes Down Over Bogus Copyright Claim

Yesterday, IMSLP, a website dedicated to archiving public domain sheet music lost its domain name due to a complaint sent by the UK’s Music Publishers Association to the site’s registrar, GoDaddy. The notice incorrectly claimed that IMSLP’s copy of Rachmaninoff’s The Bells infringed copyright.

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