Our 2019 Accomplishments!

Whether you’ve joined us as a Student or Open Internet Defender, we’re stronger than ever thanks to support from individuals like you!

If you haven’t become a Supporter, we need your support more than ever this year. Please consider joining our community of supporters by making a donation and help us continue to fulfill our mission to:

  • Provide free and dramatically reduced fee one-to-one legal services to underserved creators and innovators that need specialized help with Internet, intellectual property, media, and technology law
  • Defend the Open Internet and push for badly needed copyright reform.
  • Create high quality legal educational materials and to educate the next generation of lawyers.

With your support we’ve done this and more in 2019:

  • Received $40,000 grant from the City of San Diego Economic Development Department to support our work with local San Diego small businesses.
  • Served clients working in healthcare, consumer technology, robotics, e-commerce, software, and nonprofit sectors, who had complex intellectual property, contract, and privacy law issues. This year we also worked with various creative professionals, including social media influencers, videogame developers, educational media services, and even podcasts, like Device.
  • Provided legal services to filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to their social impact films and projects, including films about: the effects of gender stereotyping in sports, WWII military heroism, racial and political conflicts related to birthright citizenship laws, cycles of activism and social change throughout history, sexual harassment in the workplace, gentrification within local neighborhood, racial and religious stereotyping, and voter suppression laws. In one specific example, we helped to bring the story of the important but relatively unknown farm workers' rights advocate Maria Moreno to PBS.
  • Joined the Free Expression Legal Network, a nationwide coalition of law school clinics, academics, and practitioners focused on promoting and protecting free speech, free press, and the free flow of information to an informed and engaged citizenry.
  • Spoke to Bloomberg Law about copyright, trademark, and trade dress in a recent dispute that involved the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets, Coogi, and Biggie Smalls; Money about the Vine compilation copyright wars; the San Francisco Chronicle and Business Insider about the new California bill that sets a stricter test to classify workers as independent contractors; and Bloomberg Law about the issues involved with trying to claim copyright protection over historical information in a Hamilton exhibit.
  • Filed comments with the Copyright Office advocating for modernization of the copyright registration system, addressing key issues with the current options available for registering videos, issues with the online registration system interface, and the usefulness of the public copyright catalogue.
  • Wrote an article about modernizing the copyright registration system for videos, which has been accepted for publication in the  Fall 2019 University of Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal!
  • Received a $40,000 grant from the Rose Foundation to support our work providing legal services and educational resources to individuals creating, working with and encountering consumer technology, and compliance with truthful online advertising practices.
  • Partnered with the Community Law Project to present a media and privacy law presentation at Hoover High School in San Diego, including topics like deceptive advertising online, data collection laws like the Children’s Online Privacy Act, and how social media sites comply with these laws.
  • Launched a new series of online videos for attorneys to receive continuing legal education with ALM, and West Publishing, one of the largest legal publishers in the world. This will also serve as an additional revenue stream for the program.
  • Reached our 1,300th sale of our book Don’t Panic :) A Legal Guide (in plain English) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals. This year, classes at UCSD, Berkelee College of Music, and the Rochester Institute of Technology started using Don’t Panic as part of their coursework, which brings the number of courses that use Don’t Panic to over 10! You can get your copy of Don’t Panic today
  • Signed on to an amicus brief supporting keeping the law free for all to access and use, and ensuring that private parties do not interfere with public access to the documents that govern our daily lives.
  • Launched a new guide that addresses copyright use while teaching in the classroom, walking through some important exemptions under copyright law for certain performances and displays of copyrighted works in the classroom (and certain limited online learning situations). 
  • Brought our legal knowledge to the community with presentations and workshops at the Bioneers 2019 Conference, KPBS Explore Local Content Program, Arts for Learning San Diego’s Kickstart the Arts, SD Film Week, California Lawyers for the Arts, the SD Media Pros, Otis College of Art and Design, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego State University.

In 2020 with your support, we plan to:

  • Continue to provide free and dramatically reduced fee one-to-one legal services to 500+ underserved creators and innovators.
  • Sponsor and organize various workshops, clinics, and community events throughout the San Diego region and the United States about privacy law, copyright law and digital rights.
  • Work on policy initiatives, including fighting to preserve net neutrality.


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