The United States Copyright Office recently published its final rule for implementation of the procedures that are to govern the initial stages of a Copyright Claims Board (CCB) proceeding. The CCB will be a new forum where copyright small claims disputes can be heard.
It will have a significant impact on creators and technology businesses. Disputes previously too costly to bring to federal court can now be brought to the CCB, which allows claims up to $30,000 (no more than $15,000 per work). Many creators will either face disputes brought against them as respondents, or consider using the process as an enforcement mechanism.
The final rule establishes a process for bringing claims at the CCB, and directly cites New Media Rights’ comments, written by California Western School of Law 2L Mariana Perez, Executive Director Art Neill, and Assistant Director Erika Lee, multiple times. Our comments discussed law school clinic participation, concerns regarding how respondents receive adequate awareness of the claims against them, the need to collect data on CCB proceedings and revisit and improve CCB processes, and various grammar and typographical errors in the proposed rules. READ MORE
In a scholarly article, recently published in the University of Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal (Vol. 28, No. 1, p. 87-98, 2019), New Media Rights' Executive Director Art Neill and Staff Attorney Erika Lee consider some options for modernizing copyright registration. The Texas Intellectual Property law Journal is a top 15 ranked Intellectual Property Journal according to Washington & Lee's rankings.
The article, Fixing Copyright Registration For Online Video Creators: The Case for Group Registration of Published Videos, considers the history of published group registration since the Copyright Act of 1976 and argues that future modernization efforts should include group registration of video. The article also posits that current options for registering videos are ineffective and cost-prohibitive for online video creators, and proposes opening a rulemaking with the Copyright Office to establish group registration of published videos (which is currently not permitted). READ MORE
We are thrilled to announce that we joined the Free Expression Legal Network. Supporting journalists and nonprofit news organizations has always been an important part of our work. Journalists face many of the same intellectual property, privacy, and media law issues that challenge other creatives and entrepreneurs.
The Free Expression Legal Network is a nationwide coalition of school clinics, academics, and practitioners focused on promoting and protecting free speech, free press, and the free flow of information to an informed and engaged citizenry. The creation of the network was led by the Reporter's Committee for the Free Press and Yale Freedom & Information Access Clinic. Members work on media law, transparency, and/or access issues, either as their primary focus or as it intersects with their work on other issues. READ MORE
While a person doesn’t need to register their work with the Copyright Office in order to receive copyright protection, registration provides significant benefits when copyright owners need to enforce their rights against infringers. But our current registration system is a two-tiered system. It benefits large copyright holders with deep pockets, but can be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming for individuals who produce a lot of works (like video creators, bloggers, podcasters and more).
On January 15, 2019, New Media Rights filed comments with the Copyright Office requesting modernization of the online copyright registration process to level the playing field.
On June 11, 2018, New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works in filing a response to questions that the Copyright Office posed after the §1201 Anti-Circumvention hearings in April.
The Copyright Office inquired as to whether screen capture is an alternative to circumvention for educational uses of short film clips outside of the context of film studies courses. Our joint response reinforces our position that screen capture is not a sufficient alternative to circumvention for fair use of short clips of video.
On April 24, New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works to testify in support of a streamlined class 1 video exemption to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (17 USC § 1201).
Section 1201 outlines the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions that make it illegal to bypass technological protection measures (TPMs) (also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM)) that restrict access to copyrighted content. However, if the reason for breaking encryption on the content falls under an exemption to the statute, then the circumventor is relieved of liability for breaking the encryption.
Today, New Media Rights sent a letter to senators Ben Hueso and Mike Morrell, the chair and vice-chair of the California Senate Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications urging them to support SB 822.
New Media Rights has joined the National Cyber Security Alliance for the fourth year in a row in its international effort to support privacy awareness: Data Privacy Day. Each January 28th, hundreds of organizations and individuals collaborate to generate awareness about the importance of respecting privacy and safeguarding data.
For our part during the year, each year we respond to 500+ requests for legal services. Many of those assistance requests relate to either helping consumers deal with potential privacy violations or helping businesses/non-profits/creators understand and avoid violating user privacy in their projects.
Since Data Privacy Day is this Sunday, it's a time to bring focus our efforts to both prevent privacy violations before they happen as well as provide clarity and next steps to those who have suffered violations.
We've found many privacy-related legal issues can be avoided if the projects responsible for the violations -- the startup companies, app developers, and nonprofits who are collecting, tracking, and publishing user data -- start with a well-thought out game plan before collecting any data.
That said, formulating that game plan is expensive because it requires (a) access to expert knowledge that only a few attorneys are trained to provide and (b) a large time commitment from those attorneys who have to interface with the technical developers, managers, and key-decisions makers related to the project. READ MORE
New Media Rights recently filed a petition with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works to the Copyright Office requesting that the office provide better protection for the right of educators, libraries, filmmakers, remix artists, and others to use video excerpts under fair use through Section 1201 exemptions. Section 1201 outlines the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions that make it illegal to bypass technological protection measures (TPM) (also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM)) that restrict access to copyrighted content, unless specifically exempted through this rulemaking which takes place every three years. The strangest part about the anti-circumvention laws is that you may be making a fair use of material, but if you've circumvented, you could still be violating federal law. 1201 is broken, and we're working to fix it.
The 2015 Open Internet Rules preserved the internet as we know it at a time when Internet Access Providers were trying to change the internet forever for their own narrow profit motives. The rules ensured that the Federal Communication Commission could play a constructive role in ensuring competition, of ideas, products, and services
Recently, the FCC has done an about face, and now proposes an end to these successful net neutrality protections. This would be disastrous, so we recently submitted comments to the FCC addressing why the Open Internet Rules should remain and also highlighting the dangers of the proposed changes.
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