#FairUseWeek 2017 - Fair use is copyright law's safety valve for free speech

Fair use is critical to protecting free speech about social, political, and cultural issues. Here are projects and stories from our work that show how important defending fair use is to protecting freedom of speech.

  • We've defended hundreds of individuals who have faced unreasonable overreach from individuals and companies trying to use copyright to squelch fair use and free speech. Read the stories of our defenses of remix creators, including of Jonathan McIntosh, the Media Literacy project, and Shannon Sun-Higginson are good examples, including middle school kids attacked for making a fair use video.  You can enjoy Jonathan McIntosh's Buffy v Edward remix right here.


  • In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to fair use in their social impact films and online videos. New Media Rights is working to ensure those making social impact films have the legal services they need to understand and utilize fair use, bringing their stories to the public with confidence in the face of intimidation from powerful interests. We’ve helped with important social impact films that address gender and racial discriminationenvironmental degradationpublic health issues, gun violence, and human trafficking, to name a few. Watch these films and videos from our clients to see fair use in action.
  • The Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act process for exempting particular circumvention is broken. We have a brand new article just published in Tulane's IP & Tech Law Journal that discusses how to fix section 1201 at both the regulatory and legislative level. At its essence, the reforms acknowledge that any fair use should simply be exempted from the anti-circumvention laws.
  • We are also proposing extensive legislative fixes to problematic pieces of the DMCA Section 512 safe harbor, which can be abused by coyright holders to squelch fair use and free speech. In addition to comments directly to the Copyright Office, we've written an article outlining our proposed reforms that will be published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Law Journal's May 2017 edition.
  • We built and maintain an interactive app that helps video creators to understand when they can reuse music, photo, or film clips from other sources. The Fair Use App is an interactive way to learn about copyright, fair use, licensing, Creative Commons, and the public domain.


Also, don't miss our new book, Don't Panic, which covers all sorts of copyright issues you may want to know about, from music and open source software licensing, to fair use, to the DMCA safe harbor provisions. Enter the code "EHCBPZHD" at this special link for $3 (20%) off our new book.

And remember... our work to keep copyright law balanced, and provide direct legal services to over 500 creators and internet users each year, is supported by individuals like you, so consider supporting us today. 

You can check out all the posts over at this website.

Happy #FairUseWeek!


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