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The top 10 legal issues today’s Journalists, Creators, and Entrepreneurs share

“For too many journalists, one lawsuit could bankrupt them or their newsroom.” -Josh Stearns, GR Dodge Foundation

In our 9 year history providing legal services on over 1400 individual matters, we’ve tracked a significant convergence in the legal needs of journalists, creators and entrepreneurs. This convergence is the result of the rise in the importance of nonprofit and independent projects and the common use of the internet as the means of distribution. As a result, a common set of core legal issues has emerged among journalists, creators, and early stage tech entrepreneurs.  We share the top 10 areas of convergence below.

Photo credit: "A Bridge to Nowhere" by Paolo Crosetto on Flickr, used via Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

Déjà vu: Viacom removes Jonathan McIntosh's Daily Show remix with 2nd abusive DMCA takedown notice

Recently, remix artist Jonathan McIntosh ( a New Media Rights client and Advisory Board member) has been facing off with Viacom. Viacom sent a second abusive DMCA takedown to the same video, despite withdrawing a DMCA takedown back in 2013.  With our help, Jonathan is appealing the takedown and working to restore the video. The incident highlights the many abusive DMCA and copyright related takedowns New Media Rights has seen over the years, often from large media companies like Viacom.  Read more about the case, and how we're helping Jonathan in this post.

Why the FCC's proposal to reclassify the Internet under Title II is a big win for the Open Internet

Recently, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed reclassifation of the internet as a Title II communications service.  The move gives the FCC the legal authority it needs to preserve and protect and preserve the Open Internet.

This is a good thing.  Here's a TV interview we did explaining what's going on.

 

KUSI News - San Diego, CA

You can also listen to a more in depth interview here.

Without this reclassification we face the trade-off of improved profits for already hugely profitable companies, in exchange for the internet as we know it. This trade-off is unacceptable to the creators and consumers we serve.

The nature of the internet as an open, accessible network has allowed individuals and businesses to create technologies and services that have transformed our world.  It also has allowed individuals and organizations to speak and communicate with audiences in unprecedented ways. 

New Media Rights files comments at the Copyright Office supporting the right to jailbreak mobile devices and lawfully reuse video content

New Media Rights has filed comments with the Copyright Office supporting four specific exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions that will protect both internet users and creators' rights under fair use. Exemptions are argued every 3 years, and ensure that accessing copyrighted material for purposes of fair use don't needlessly violate federal law.

Similar to our 2009 and 2012 comments to the Copyright Office, these comments offer direct evidence supporting the right of internet users and video creators to circumvent technological protection measures to a) allow individuals to take control of the apps and services they use on their mobile devices, and b) allow creators, internet users, and filmmakers to reuse video content for fair use purposes. Thanks to our legal intern California Western School of Law 2L Pat McManus for his assistance in preparing these comments.

New Media Rights to file comments supporting key Anti-Circumvention exemptions


We're taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what's at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation. Today's theme is "Owners Rights" and the upcoming Copyright Anti-Circumvention Exemption Proceeding.

Comments to the Copyright Anti-Circumvention Exemption Proceeding are due February 6, 2015.  As in past years (2012, 2009), New Media Rights will be offering direct evidence of the creators and consumers we work with who rely on these exemptions.  Here's a brief preview of our comment.

Top 5 mistakes startups make with their privacy policies

Privacy policies are a critical pre-launch step for many web based companies. But not all privacy policies are created equal. Here are the top five common mistakes we see startups make in their privacy policies.


5.    The company doesn't have a privacy policy.
Collecting information from your users without a privacy policy is remarkably risky. In some states it may even be illegal depending on the type of website you operate. For example in California, commercial websites that collect personally identifiable user information which includes information that is commonly collected by commercial websites like names, emails and addresses are required to have a privacy policy.  Even if you’re not in a state that requires your website to have a privacy policy, privacy policies are still helpful for setting consumer expectations regarding your use of their data.

Our 2014 accomplishments!

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

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.

November Newsletter: Giving Tuesday--Night Owl Edition

This Giving Tuesday, December 2, New Media Rights is running a one-day, 24-hour fundraiser where your donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000. So mark your calendar now and please pledge to give now by sending the dollar amount you want to pledge support@newmediarights.org.

Without your continued support, we can't do work like like helping local San Diego filmmaker Bill Perrine with his latest documentary film It’s Gonna Blow: San Diego's Music Underground 1986-1996.
 




Your donations help ensure we have the resources to reach a wide variety of clients to provide critical legal services, like the services we provided to Bill.
 
This year, we have a unique opportunity to double your impact to New Media Rights on Giving Tuesday. But there’s a catch. We’ll be competing will all of the other wonderful programs at California Western School of Law for that $10,000 match on a first come, first matched basis.
 
That means in order to maximize your impact we are asking
donors to give at 12:00am PST on December 2nd. As an added bonus, the first person to make a donation on Giving Tuesday at the Open Internet Defender Level or above will get a T-shirt from Bill Perrine’s latest documentary, It’s Gonna Blow.

 
Steps to help us rock Giving Tuesday:
Step 1:Pledge to give now by sending the dollar amount you want to pledge support@newmediarights.org.
Step 2 Click here to add a reminder to your calendar to give to New Media Rights on Giving Tuesday or join the facebook event!

Step 3: Don't forget to give on Giving Tuesday!

PRESS RELEASE: President Obama urges the FCC to adopt real net neutrality

New Media Rights is pleased to announce that this morning President Barack Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify the Internet under Title II. In plain language, the President came out in support of real net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally. New Media Rights has been advocating for reclassification in our recent Open Internet comments  to the FCC (and our reply comments) as well as in our letter to the President and his Office of Science and Technology Policy. We thank the President for his support of Title II reclassification and encourage the FCC to adopt the President's position. Here's the President's statement.

FCC Consumer Advisory Committee ends year with consumer privacy and disabled access recommendations

The Federal Communication Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee held its final meeting of the year October 20.  New Media Rights is a member of the Consumer Advisory Committee, and we are part of the Consumer Empowerment, IP Transition, and Broadband (as co-chair) Working Groups.

In our final meeting, the group passed two important recommendations,

1) Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security

The Recommendation Regarding Mobile Device Security provides the FCC with guidance on how it can provide leadership to ensure consumers have the information they need to make meaningful choices about their privacy, to encourage innovation in mobile device security, and to make sure companies adhere to best practices in protecting consumer's privacy, safety, and security when they are online using a mobile device.
 

2) Recommendation Regarding Access for Eligible Individuals with Disabilities to Lifeline Service

This recommendation encourages the FCC to take direct steps to make sure that the expansion of Lifeline to mobile devices includes accessible devices for the disabled.

Read more about these recommendations and New Media Rights work at the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee

 

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