Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA - February 2012 newsletter

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What an amazing time for digital rights!  Millions of internet users and creators like you put a stop to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in Congress.  These laws threatened free speech and innovation by allowing blocking of entire web services due to infringing content posted on a single webpage. 

You have the power to shape the future of a free and open internet, but Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA & PIPA. Wireless carriers, large media companies, and other gatekeepers continue to find ways to artificially limit your ability to access services and share content online.

New Media Rights has been working tirelessly in the New Year to protect digital rights by helping creators, wireless consumers, and other internet users one-to-one.  Policymakers need to understand these real-life, specific examples of how laws like SOPA affect internet users to make good policy. To this end, we've submitted comments that rely on our one-to-one experience to a series of important digital rights proceedings that are taking place at the Copyright Office (see below).  We've also joined a letter to Congress from 70 groups to ensure that SOPA and PIPA cannot happen again.  Read that letter here.

Check out our new video series

Consumer education is central to our mission at NMR. This means getting information out to the people that need it in the way they want to see it. The NMR Youtube channel is going to be revamped in the coming months to be the number one source for mobile broadband and intellectual property information for consumers and creators. Check out our first few test videos in the series:

In the Community at the LA Media Reform Summit

NMR will be at the LA Media Reform Summit on March 3rd at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. The event will start at 11:00AM with sessions all day until 5:00PM. Go here for more information or to register.

Art Neill and Shaun Spalding will be hosting a workshop on "Fair Use, Creative Commons and Other Ways Internet Law Empowers Media Creators." They'll be discussing the positive ways that the law actually empowers those who create and share online, rather than rehashing the usual disussions about how the law limits them. 

If you'd like to invite us to give an educational workshop on internet rights issues in California or elsewhere in the United States, contact us at

Our recent blogs

NMR made two new regulatory comments to the Copyright Office to protect your digital rights

1) Supporting the ability to take control of our wireless device and reuse video content legally

Every 3 years, exemptions that allow consumers, creators, and developers to legally access content and technologies must be reargued. This year, our ability to legally reuse video content in fair use, and to use the applications and services of our choice on our mobile devices, are on the line. Since we work with these communities first hand, we gathered input directly from consumers, creators, and technologists and provided specific examples to the Copyright Office to support key exemptions. 

Read our comments supporting the right to jailbreak mobile devices and reuse video content legally.

2) Regarding small copyright claims and the "settling culture" copyright law creates

Here we identified a key frustration afflicting small-scale defendants, the “settling culture” that has emerged within the current system whereby internet users and independent creators are intimidated into paying settlements and accepting DMCAi takedown requests rather than risk the high costs of federal litigation. Unfortunately, some copyright holders exploit the high cost of federal litigation to extract unwarranted settlements from small-scale defendants and impose improper DMCA take downs. 
NMR Testimonial: Susan Myrland
Susan Myrland, an internet user, ran in trouble when an unscrupulous advertising company recreated an old personal website of Susan's without permission, and then incorporated spam advertisements on the site. New Media Rights helped Susan respond to the abuse of her personal information and fix the damage this created. Read Susan's story here.
Thank you to the California Consumer Protection Foundation
Much of our funding throughout the second half of last year came from the California Consumer Protection Foundation. We would like to thank CCPF for having the foresight to see what a huge need California has for free legal resources for online artists, consumers, and startups. 
We need your Help
We need individual support more than ever this year. You can donate to support our work here!
We also ask that you share the word about supporting NMR through FacebookTwitter, and with your friends who are interested in media reform, and protecting their rights as internet users, creators, and consumers. 
Legal, Public Relations, and Web Development internships available
New Media Rights is now accepting applications for summer Law Clerks and has volunteer and internships opportunities in Public Relations and Web Development open. By effectively utilizing volunteers, interns, fellows, and donated advertising, we are expanding our ability to help people without actually raising any of our overhead costs. 
We welcome your assistance requests in the 2012, and we also hope that you will support our services knowing that each dollar you give will go even further. 

Ways to get involved with NMR without getting out of your chair!

Do you want to support our work protecting the rights of content creators online?

1, You can donate by visiting our secure donation page

2. You can retweet us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribte to our Youtube and Flickr accounts

3. Write articles for our blog. If you would like to become part of our blogger network, send an email to

4. Suggest new resources, projects, and advocacy efforts for us to participate in by using our contact us form



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