Policy/Legal

New Media Rights joins public interest coalition opposing fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Yesterday New Media Rights joined a broad coalition of 14 public interest groups asking lawmakers not to grant "fast-track" authority for trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a complex multi-national agreement that could rewrite international rules of copyright enforcement. If fast-track authority was granted Congress would not review the TTP at all, leaving no room for amendments, review or accountability for a treaty that was negotiated in near-total secrecy. As stated in the letter:

The American public has a right to know the contents of the international agreements its government is crafting. Corporations cannot be the only interests represented in this agreement, since they do not advocate for policies that safeguard or even represent the interests of the public at large. Given the administration's complete lack of transparency in negotiating the TPP, it is vitally important that democratically elected representatives are at least given the opportunity to conduct a review and push for fixes.

Right now the public has no way of knowing what the text of the TPP even says. The only reason we even have any idea what some of the agreement may end up saying is due to a leak of the "Intellectual Property" chapter in February of 2011. That leak contained some pretty scary stuff, including formalizing the U.S. ban on circumventing Digital Rights Management (DRM) software worldwide. The affect of exporting enforcement measures to parts of the world that don't have safety valves like fair use could be disastrous for remix creators.

New Media Rights features prominently in Copyright Office Small Claims recommendations

Today the Copyright Office released its formal report regarding the challenges of copyright litigation in Federal Court and recommended establishing a small claims court for copyright law. New Media Rights has been heavily involved in these proceedings and the report makes that obvious. New Media Rights is quoted six times and New Media Rights Executive Director is directly quoted by the Copyright Office twice.

New Media Rights saw early on that a new small claims court would have a dramatic impact on independent creators, internet users, and entrepreneurs. We've shared our expertise with the Copyright Office in order to ensure that any new system respects fair use and provides a fair and just system for resolution of copyright disputes, not simply a new venue for content bullying.

Why California’s new online privacy bill will cause more problems than it solves

For picture: Jenga Attribution Some rights reserved by lucidtech

Teenager posts a stupid/reckless/illegal/vulgar thing online, chaos ensues. It’s become a staple of court dockets and headlines across the country. It’s hardly surprising that lawmakers have picked up on this problem and set out to solve it.  The latest attempt that has just become law is California’s Senate Bill No. 568. Best case scenario the bill merely fails to protect teenagers and worst case scenario it’s an entirely unenforceable waste of taxpayer money.

Is Youtube refusing to honor DMCA counter-notices?

Unfortunately, New Media Rights has seen evidence in recent months that suggests that some large media companies have been able to override legitimate appeals and disputes by users regarding content takedowns.  Today's guest blog from Patrick McKay of the Fair Use and Youtube watchdog FairUseTube.org, explains the problem in more depth.

We're monitoring the issue closely and trying to gather additional information to help address this issue, so feel free to contact us with additional information you may have regarding DMCA counternotices that fail restore disputed content on Youtube.

 

Geek v Troll: New Media Rights stands up for the underdogs of the Internet

San Diego CityBeat, San Diego's alternative newsweekly, published a great cover story this past week about our work at New Media Rights.

It also has an amazing Street-Fighteresque illustration of a Geek punching a copyright troll. Check it out!

Read the whole story here!

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.

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.

 

New Media Rights files comments with the Federal Communications Commission on wireless service interruptions

New Media Rights filed comments April 30 with the Federal Communications Commission regarding intentional interruption of wireless services. This follows the August 2011 incident where BART chose to interrupt wireless services at its stations. This incident raised serious concerns regarding the authority of governmental agencies and other non-carrier third parties to disrupt wireless networks. The FCC opened a regulatory proceeding to review the issue.

Pages