Executive Director Art Neill will be speaking at Intersections: Art and Law at the Border on Saturday, April 6 at 10am! He will be discussing intellectual property for artists in the digital age, including copyright, fair use, licensing, and some of the key issues that artists face on a global spectrum.
There are many situations, particularly in a classroom environment, where you might want to use copyright-protected material but you can’t obtain permission from the copyright holder. A common example would be a teacher who wants to read a poem from a book or show an educational cartoon to her class. Thankfully, copyright law addresses these particular types of uses directly, in 17 U.S.C. § 110. Section 110 provides important exemptions for certain performances and displays of copyrighted works in the classroom (and certain limited online learning situations) that would otherwise be considered infringement.
New Media Rights responds to over 500 requests for legal services every year, and over two thirds of these involve copyright law. Copyright law protects the work of these creators, but it also controls how the existing culture around us can be reused and commented upon. That’s why it’s our mission to make sure that copyright related legal services are available to all regardless of ability to pay. This way we can assist creators who are facing unfair copyright takedowns from people who want to troll or bully them, and we can also work with artists whose rights have been infringed to get justice responsibility and without overreaching in their claims. Read more
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.
Let's play videos are more popular than ever, however, for many creators what's legally okay and what isn't is more unclear than ever. Come learn the basics of copyright and trademark law that you need to know to keep your videos and streams up. Also get a chance to hear from legal experts and video creators about hot topics like Easter Egg Videos, Esports and using in-game music.
Joining Art and Teri will be Wikimedia Legal Counsel and lifelong gamer Jacob Rogers, as well as Angelo Alcid attorney and writer of the Journal of Geek Law.
So if you'll be at SXSW come check it out! Don't have a badge? No worries! SXSW gaming is open to the public so if you happen to be in Austin and are willing to brave the SXSW crowds come on by! If you can’t make it, you can follow our panel on twitter using #NMR.
Over two years ago when we submitted comments in the United States Department of Commerce, United States Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration copyright reform proceedings and again in our roundtable testimony, we advised a cautious approach that avoided the collateral damage that can come with hasty reforms. The final report takes a cautious balanced approach and shows support for many of the points we emphasized including:
The importance of developing a flexible criterion to help judges and juries determine the amount of statutory damages awarded. Particularly criteria that: consider whether the defendant use was non-commercial, had reasonable fair use argument and the financial means of the infringer. With flexible standards Copyright Trolls are much less likely to be able to exploit small-scale defendants’ lack of sophistication and resources to extract inappropriate settlements from them. (see pg 75 of the report for some of our thoughts)
The need for more public education on matters of copyright law, including fair use, to promote creativity.
The creation of easy to read fair use best practices developed within specific creative communities by creators, lawyers and other practitioners working in that specific area to help creators make informed decisions about fair use.
Recognizing the importance of having a small claims copyright court to help independent creators resolve disputes that doesn’t sacrifice important copyright safeguards, like fair use, in the process.(see pg 78 of the report for some of our thoughts)
Today YouTube announced a new program to help its users stand up to bogus copyright threats from content bullies. Under the program YouTube will offer select users, with strong fair use cases, who have a video taken down under the DMCA two options:
Option 1: Users can follow the current process of filing a counter notice and have the video put back up worldwide in 10-14 days as required by law.
Option 2: Under the new option, users will be able to keep the video up in the US. Google will also provide a vetted list seasoned copyright litigators and up to one million dollars to help with legal fees if they are sued.
While we wish the program didn’t make users choose between keeping the video up worldwide or just in the US, we understand that much of it is a result of the messy state of international copyright law. And we hope that as the program iterates it will be able to expand its scope and hopefully make some great case law reinforcing the legal consequences of sending a bogus takedown in the process. We also like the idea of having a "demo reel" of fair use examples to help YouTubers learn about fair use. You can see the first class of videos YouTube has selected for their fair use program over on YouTube here.
As we've written about before there's a major justice gap when it comes to creators and entrepreneurs having access to critical legal services. While we do our best to provide free and low cost legal services, we’re only one organization. That's why we’ve created a national list of law school legal clinics as a resource to creators, entrepreneurs and even other lawyers to help find other legal clinics fighting to fill the justice gap. The clinics on the list typically provide completely free or low cost services depending on if you qualify and they have the capacity to take on new issues. Check out the complete list here.
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