Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

New Media Rights invited to participate in Copyright Office panels considering potential small claims system for copyright law

In 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office began a process of considering creating a small claims court or system for small-scale copyright disputes.  This would affect the internet users and independent creators New Media Rights assists significantly.

New Media Rights has been invited by the Copyright Office to participate in hearings taking place November 26 & 27 in Los Angeles on the topic.

Executive Director Art Neill will be participating in panels discussing potential remedies and appeals, constitutional issues, and benchmarks for success of such a system.

2012 DMCA Anti-Circumvention Rulemaking: Final exemptions make progress but miss important opportunities

Every three years the Copyright Office considers exemptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act’s Anti-Circumvention provisions.  These exemptions are critical to protecting otherwise legal activity by internet users and independent creators alike, but they have to be reargued every three years.   

We fought all year at the Copyright Office through comments and testimony, and we're proud to have been a part of making sure these important exemptions originally proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation were granted by the Copyright Office on October 26, 2012.

Check out this post to learn more about our work on these exemptions, and to read the Copyright Office's final rule.

 

New Media Rights files follow-up comments in Copyright Office inquiry into remedies for small copyright claims

The Copyright Office has begun a process of considering creating a small claims court or system for small-scale copyright disputes.  This would affect the internet users and independent creators NMR assists significantly.

In our October 19, 2012 comments, we argue any small claims system will need to address misuse of copyright law, abuse of the DMCA takedown process, and the general discrepancy in how attorney’s fees and costs are awarded to prevailing defendants.

Abuses of copyright law are rampant in the current system. Creators and internet users regularly face baseless content removals and settlement demands.  Right now, much of this misuse and abuse takes place outside of the formal court system.  A small claims system for copyright would naturally lower the bar for copyright bullies to bring formal actions against defendants. 

Many of the defendants in the new system will be these same vulnerable independent creators and internet users already facing abuse in our informal system.  When considering such a significant change to the current copyright system, the Copyright Office must ensure that the new playing field that is created allows defendants an adequate opportunity to defend themselves and pursue those who abuse and misuse copyright law.
 

Read our full comments to see our specific recommendations!

You can also read our earlier comments in this proceeding here!

Thanks to legal interns Alex Johnson and Kyle Welch for their assistance in drafting these comments.

A video to our community: Big news about our future!

We want to share some big news about the future of New Media Rights and make a few simple requests of you.

Click here to watch the announcement
Click here to watch the video!

We recently finalized a partnership with California Western School of Law.  We’ll still be providing the same quality one-to-one legal services and educational guides for internet users and independent creators, but now, as part of the California Western community, we’ll be able to expand what we do more than ever before.

We’re really excited to be part of the California Western community. The broader internet community will benefit from the increased availability of free and reduced fee legal services, and Cal Western Students will get real-world experience in internet and media law.

We are still completely independently funded, so please support us in starting this partnership off on the right foot

Click here to donate now!

Join New Media Rights in signing the Declaration of Internet Freedom to uphold basic rights in the digital world

New Media RIghts has joined a broad, international coalition of civil society groups calling on elected officials to sign the new Declaration of Internet Freedom and uphold basic rights in the digital world.

We encourage you to read and sign the Declaration, and encourage your elected officials to sign it as well.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright law

Everything you ever wanted to know about copyright law but didn’t know to ask

Why should anyone care about copyright law? Even if the only creative work you’ve ever done is upload your profile picture to Facebook, surprise! Your life has been affected by copyright law.

If you’re an artist or journalist who has asked the questions, “How can I get people to see my work?” or “How can I make money off of my work?” it may be helpful to take a look at this guide.

If you’re just an average person who is afraid of getting in trouble for downloading the wrong file, or uploading the wrong video to YouTube, it might also be helpful.

If you’re starting a business and you’re trying to figure out some of the legal issues that may affect your website, marketing materials, and promotional videos and photos, checking out this guide would be a great idea.

What you’ll find below is a plain English summary of U.S. copyright law along with answers to frequently asked questions about the practical ways the law affects your creative work. It’s written in an easy-to read manner, so even people without any legal training won’t have trouble understanding it. That said, we’re always looking for ways to improve it, so if you have suggestions, definitely include them in your comments.

You can read this guide from start to finish like a book, or if you have specific issues, you can consult the table of contents and skip through to the most relevant topics.

Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA - February 2012 newsletter

What an amazing time for Internet rights!  Millions of internet users and creators like you put a stop to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in Congress.  These laws threatened free speech and innovation by allowing blocking of entire web services due to infringing content posted on a single webpage. 

You have the power to shape the future of a free and open internet, but Internet rights battles don't end with SOPA & PIPA. Wireless carriers, large media companies, and other gatekeepers continue to find ways to artificially limit your ability to access services and share content online. Our February newsletter explains how NMR has been working tirelessly on behalf of internet users, creators and consumers in the new year.

Read the entire newsletter!

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 three exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions.  Similar to our 2009 comment to the Copyright Office, this comment supports the right to bypass anti-circumvention technologies to a) allow individuals to take control of the apps and services they use on their mobile devices, and b) allow creators and internet users to reuse video content for fair use purposes.  Our 2012 comment also supports recommendations that these exemptions should be extended beyond their 2009 counterparts in two very important ways – we argue that jailbreaking should also apply to tablets and that the bypassing of anti-circumvention technology should include non-DVD sources.

The exemptions provide an important safety valve for otherwise lawful behavior by consumers and creators.

New Media Rights signs open letter sent to Congress regarding SOPA, PIPA, and internet freedom with 70 other groups

February 6, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Art Neill, Executive Director, New Media Rights, (619) 591-8870

On February 6, 2012, New Media Rights joined approximately 70 grass-roots groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, human rights groups, communities of color, and Internet companies in sending a letter asking Congress to stop its work on intellectual property issues in the wake of massive public protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

Read the letter in its entirety

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