Our 2012 accomplishments, and what we're working on in 2013

A summary of New Media Rights in 2012

New Media Rights continued its non-profit work providing free and dramatically reduced cost one-to-one legal services in Internet, intellectual property, media, and technology law. We renewed our mission to stand up to internet censorship and those who use legal processes to bullies independent creators and average internet users.


How New Media Rights grew in 2012


  1. We assisted 400 tech & media law inquiries (copyright, free speech, media, and internet law matters) with free or reduced cost legal services while utilizing an annual budget of less than $150,000.
  2. An example of one of the issues we worked on in 2012, New Media Rights helped reinstate the popular Buffy vs. Edward video after it improperly monetized and then taken down by YouTube’s Content ID system.
  3. We released over 13 hours of educational video that has been cumulatively viewed more than 100,000 times including a series of videos explaining copyright law and LAGD, a series that features advice from established developers on how to avoid legal problems in the industry.  
  4. LAGD got #1 spot on Reddit games. We put together a fundraiser to support this work and these videos where we raised more than $4,000.
  5. We worked with the EFF in the recent DMCA “anti-circumvention” proceeding and provided the direct evidence needed to secure important exemptions for smartphone users and independent creators.
  6. We provided more than 15 workshops in California to independent creators and Internet users.
  7. We educated 5-6 law students per semester [Fall, Summer, and Spring] in public interest internet law issues
  8. By providing specific stories to the Copyright Office, we helped protect users’ rights to jailbreak or root their mobile phones and the rights of video creators on YouTube. We partnered with other organizations like EFF to ensure these rights were protected for another 3 years.


Looking Forward


While we are able to accomplish so much with a small staff of two full-time employees along with a few interns, volunteers, and fellows, we have high hopes for what we are able to achieve in 2013.

  1. Helping over 400+ individuals around the world with internet-specific legal matters, especially with unjustified takedowns prompted by YouTube’s Content ID system.
  2. Sponsoring and organizing more than 10 workshops and community events throughout the San Diego region and throughout the United States about digital rights. For example, in 2013, New Media Rights was a sponsor of San Diego’s Start Up Weekend.
  3. Working on policy initiatives to reform copyright law in a way that helps the Internet continue to be a thriving force of information and distribution for users and independent creators. This includes commenting on the direction of the proposed “copyright small claims court.”
  4. Considering litigation on behalf of Internet users and creators to correct abuses committed by legal bullies.


Significant events of 2012


  • May 17 - NMR testifies before the Copyright Office in support of Jailbreaking and Video fair use exemptions to DMCA.
  • July 1st - Partnered with California Western School of Law. This partnership was beneficial because the school provides administrative support, so 100% of all donations now go directly to program and core work.
  • October 30 - Copyright Office announces two DMCA exemptions advocated for by NMR are granted. NMR attended and testified at the Office's May hearings in Los Angeles.
  • November 12 - Launched educational video series for independent game developers (LAGD), which includes over 13 hours of free, openly licensed video content.
  • November 16 - New Media Rights sponsors local innovation event - Startup Weekend San Diego
  • November 21 - Indiegogo fundraiser launched to expand our services for game developers. More than $4,000 raised.
  • November 26-27 - NMR testifies at Copyright Office hearing in Los Angeles on potential copyright small claims court. Our input was recently covered on The Register and Techdirt.

Significant press in 2012

You can see all of our recent press on our press page.

  • Cover of San Diego Citybeat – Dave Maass details New Media Rights’ fight to defend the rights of bloggers, musicians, filmmakers and programmers.
  • Joystiq – Joystiq editor Jessica Conditt explains the free legal services New Media Rights provides to independent developers.
  • Techdirt – NMR Executive Director Art Neill explains how a small claims court for copyright infringements may seem appealing, but could actually hurt independent creators more than help them.
  • Comics Bulletin – Shaun Spalding, attorney for NMR, answers questions about General Partnerships.
  • Penny Arcade – Shaun Spalding provides advice to independent developers are starting a new studio.
  • Ars Technica – Remix video artist Jonathan McIntosh details how New Media Rights helped him reinstate his remix video
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