Policy Advocacy

New Media Rights' latest statements and filings to defend online rights and an open internet

  • On June 11, 2018, New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works in filing a response to questions that the Copyright Office posed after the §1201 Anti-Circumvention hearings in April.

    The Copyright Office inquired as to whether screen capture is an alternative to circumvention for educational uses of short film clips outside of the context of film studies courses. Our joint response reinforces our position that screen capture is not a sufficient alternative to circumvention for fair use of short clips of video.

  • New Media Rights recently filed a petition with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works to the Copyright Office requesting that the office provide better protection for the right of educators, libraries, filmmakers, remix artists, and others to use video excerpts under fair use through Section 1201 exemptions. Section 1201 outlines the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions that make it illegal to bypass technological protection measures (TPM) (also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM)) that restrict access to copyrighted content, unless specifically exempted through this rulemaking which takes place every three years. The strangest part about the anti-circumvention laws is that you may be making a fair use of material, but if you've circumvented, you could still be violating federal law. 1201 is broken, and we're working to fix it.

  • The 2015 Open Internet Rules preserved the internet as we know it at a time when Internet Access Providers were trying to change the internet forever for their own narrow profit motives. The rules ensured that the Federal Communication Commission could play a constructive role in ensuring competition, of ideas, products, and services

    Recently, the FCC has done an about face, and now proposes an end to these successful net neutrality protections. This would be disastrous, so we recently submitted comments to the FCC addressing why the Open Internet Rules should remain and also highlighting the dangers of the proposed changes.

  • The DMCA Section 512 is a critical protection for internet-based services large and small against copyright claims based on user infringement. However, Section 512 creates an easy, out of court process to remove speech from the internet through its notice and takedown provisions. This process is frequently abused to remove otherwise legal content from the internet. We recently proposed legislative reforms that would address key problems with section 512, and shared our firsthand experiences with clients dealing with section 512.

  • Following up on our recent comments requesting reform of section 1201 of the Copyright Act, last Friday April 1 NMR filed a reply comment with the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, Kartemquin Educational Films, and Indie Caucus. 

    Section 1201 unecessarily restricts all kinds of otherwise legal reuses of content, including by filmmakers, consumers, and remix creators.  

    This reply comment asks the Copyright Office to fix the ineffective section 1201 process, which does little to prevent actual copyright infringement. Our initial comment asks for a complete reform to section 1201 through legislative action. This is more focused on advising the Copyright Office of procedural changes it can make to section 1201’s rulemaking proceedings while we await legislative change.