Our recent accomplishments: 2011

We want to update you, our community, on our recent successes and what the future holds for New Media Rights.  Since July, we have been supported by a grant from the California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF).

By partnering with New Media Rights, CCPF took a leadership role in ensuring that consumers and creators have a source of assistance for the difficult questions that arise with the use of the Internet, mobile applications, and other new communications technologies.  CCPF support has provided consumers / creators free, expert one-to-one assistance for digital rights issues, so CCPF should be recognized as an innovator in the digital rights field and we thank them for their support.

In addition to our free assistance, we have produced cutting edge guides addressing problems actually faced by internet users.  This educational material has already reached thousands and will continue to help people for years to come. Through our policy comments on the AT&T-T-Mobile merger (here and here) and other issues, we’ve communicated the issues that independent media creators and consumers face to policy makers.

We thank the CCPF, and our many generous individual supporters for supporting this important work.

We particularly thank those who have recently supported us through our Founder’s program.  
 
We're trying to raise $25,000 by December 31. Please help us by donating to our Founders campaign, please visit this page.

For other ways to support New Media Rights, visit this page

Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act

Congress is once again considering passing new laws regulating piracy on the Internet. The House of Representatives is currently considering passing the Stop Online Piracy Act. But many oppose the Act—and you should too. If it becomes law, as one Congresswoman exclaimed, it “would mean the end of the internet as we know it.” Similarly, Internet companies like Google and Facebook also openly oppose it. The Act even prompted online protests by Tumblr, Reddit and Firefox. Why do so many oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act, and why should you be concerned? Read our coverage to find out.

Are parents liable for children’s illegal filesharing?

If you’re reading this, you may be a parent who has received a notice that your Internet account has been flagged for alleged illegal filesharing, and your child has admitted to illegally uploading/downloading the music or movie in question. The extent that you as a parent are liable for the “copyright infringement” of your children is still up for legal debate. New Media Rights has created this guide for parents to along with the “Mass Copyright Lawsuit” guide to help you understand what you or your child may be accused of.

Become a Founder of New Media Rights!

It's the time of year to give thanks, and we are thankful for all those who have supported our work over the last four years.

New Media Rights is at a crossroads, and we need your support today to make sure we can continue to provide our services.

By giving today, you can help ensure that hundreds of creators, innovative new media projects, and internet users like you will get the quality legal help they need to keep creating their work, avoid lawsuits, and resist attempts to silence free speech on the internet.

We are looking for donations to help us meet a goal of $25,000 raised by the New Year.  We would greatly appreciate any amount that is appropriate for you. Anyone donating $250 or more will be entitled to have their name placed on a prominent, permanent Founders page on our website.
 
Please visit our Founders Campaign page to donate now, and track the progress of the NMR community in raising these funds! Every donation counts!

Net Neutrality Rules: Illogical logic governs what ISPs can block

Net Neutrality Illogical logic thumbnail

As we recently discussed, the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rules forbid Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking access to certain materials. These rules make clear that “fixed broadband” ISPs (AKA cable and DSL Internet providers) cannot block access to lawful materials. But, illogically, whether they can block access to unlawful materials is not at all clear.

Guide for defendants in mass copyright lawsuits (Bit Torrent Filesharing cases)

You may be a defendant, or may know a defendant involved in one of the “BitTorrent filesharing lawsuits.” These suits are also sometimes referred to as “Mass copyright lawsuits” because for the first time, hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals like yourself have been implicated in lawsuits alleging “copyright infringement.” Indeed, as of September 2011, there are over 200,000 individuals involved in such lawsuits.

New Media Rights has drafted the guide below to provide you with basic, practical information regarding these lawsuits.
 

Is the gatekeeper model of information access the new normal?

On the surface, gatekeepers can look like new services enabling communication with the world around us. However, gatekeepers like Apple or Youtube, whether acting deliberately, recklessly, arbitrarily, or incompetently, can pose significant hurdles to independent creators. 

The FCC's Net Neutrality Rules: A tale of two internets

Support Net Neutrality - shared under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

The FCC's rules regulating Network Neutrality split the Internet. No more is it the Internet, singular; it’s the Internets, plural. Or more precisely, it’s the two Internets: The wired and the wireless. And the new rules leave the latter virtually unprotected. With the rules soon to come into affect this fall, and public interest and industry groups aligning for lawsuits, here's what the fight is all about.

Cloud Music Services Defend Their Right to Exist Against Record Labels

MP3tunes decision - Screenshot of MP3tunes.com homepage

In August, supporters of cloud music services had a victory when MP3Tunes.com prevailed over EMI Group Ltd. in a lawsuit. One of the biggest concerns of musicians today is how they can monetize their music. With MP3Tunes.com’s recent success in the courtroom, other sound cloud websites like Grooveshark and Spotify are now able to maintain the integrity of their business model without fear of litigation. Read more about the case and find the whole text of the 2011 decision on the New Media Rights blog...

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