Happy Copyright Week! We respond to over 500 requests for legal services every year, and over two thirds of these relate to copyright law. Copyright law protects the work of creators, but it also controls how the culture around us can be reused and commented upon. This week a community of awesome organizations are offering our visions of a balanced copyright future.
Each day there will be posts on a specific theme. Since much of what we do day in and out is copyright law, we're going to link you to some of our best resources, new and old, on copyright law for the given topics.
Copyright Week image photo credit - EFF under a CC-BY 3.0 license
New Media Rights is proud to provide legal services to social impact films, including Dianne Griffin and Erica Jordan's new documentary film Painted Nails from DigAll Media. Painted Nails tells the story of a San Francisco nail salon owner's efforts to address public health challenges in the nail salon industry.
In the last year, New Media Rights has seen a drastic influx of filmmakers and nonprofits seeking legal advice related to 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 bring 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 discrimination, environmental degradation, public health issues, gun violence, and human trafficking, to name a few.
New Media Rights is thrilled to highlight some of the success that our client, Penn Road Productions, has had with their latest documentary, Company Town. The film, which offers an intense look into the health and environmental impact that one paper mill has had on the nearby town of Crosset, Arkansas, just finished a successful screening at the L.A. Film Festival and the Sheffield Doc’s Marker Player in the UK, and will be showing at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in October.
Ever wonder what sorts of issues you may encounter as a creator or entrepreneur, and when you might want to reach out to a real life lawyer? That’s what our book "Don't Panic: A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals" is all about. This book is designed to help you through the legal issues you may run into as a creator, entrepreneur, or innovator. We focus on issues you may encounter from the inception of your business to the moment (that hopefully doesn’t happen) you get a nasty lawyer letter for the first time. While this book is not a substitute for legal advice, it can serve as a helpful guide to preventing and resolving legal issues.
Executive Director Art Neill & Advisory Board Member Kyle Welch, a technology transfer attorney for San Diego State University (and a former NMR legal intern!) will discuss the basics of Intellectual Property at Fablab Wednesday June 29 at FabLab San Diego. Come join us!
How does copyright protect your work, how does it protect the work of others? When do you need permission, and when can you reuse a photo, video, or audio clip without permission? We’ll answer these questions and also leave plenty of time for Q&A.
Our client, the non-profit Brave New Films, has created a powerful, eye-opening documentary about gun violence in America entitled Making a Killing. The New Media Rights team, including law students Erin P. Murphy-Girard and Joshua Pedersen and Executive Director Art Neill, worked closely with Brave New Films providing key legal services necessary to complete the film.
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.
In our new book, we focus on issues you may encounter from the inception of your business to the moment (that hopefully doesn’t happen) you get a nasty lawyer letter for the first time.
You’ll learn how to form your business, protect your intellectual property, and avoid problems when launching your project. Taking a few simple steps upfront to protect your business or project can save time and money down the road. Don't Panic has also been used in undergraduate & graduate classes nationwide to teach business and legal concepts to non-lawyers. Professors can request a FREE evaluation copy