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.
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.
The DMCA Section 512 is a critical protection for internet-based services large and small against copyright claims based on user infringement. However, Section 512 creates an easy, out of court process to remove speech from the internet through its notice and takedown provisions. This process is frequently abused to remove otherwise legal content from the internet. We recently proposed legislative reforms that would address key problems with section 512, and shared our firsthand experiences with clients dealing with section 512.
Following up on our recent comments requesting reform of section 1201 of the Copyright Act, last Friday April 1 NMR filed a reply comment with the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, Kartemquin Educational Films, and Indie Caucus.
Section 1201 unecessarily restricts all kinds of otherwise legal reuses of content, including by filmmakers, consumers, and remix creators.
This reply comment asks the Copyright Office to fix the ineffective section 1201 process, which does little to prevent actual copyright infringement. Our initial comment asks for a complete reform to section 1201 through legislative action. This is more focused on advising the Copyright Office of procedural changes it can make to section 1201’s rulemaking proceedings while we await legislative change.
Before the end of 2015 the Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry and Request for Public Comment on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Section 1201 outlines the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions that make it illegal to bypass any technological protection measure (TPM) (also known as Digital Rights Management (DRM)) that restricts access to copyrighted content. But simply put, it is a broken and flawed area of copyright law.
The Notice of Inquiry was intended to assess the operation of section 1201, along with the triennial (every three year) rulemaking process established under the DMCA to adopt exemptions to the prohibition against circumvention of TPM’s. Based on our long history of advocating for DMCA exemptions, New Media Rights (NMR) participated in this effort by filing a public comment on March 1, 2016. The comment addressed several questions laid out in the notice of inquiry, drawing directly from New Media Rights’s experiences from working with clients navigate 1201 on a regular basis.
Every three years the Copyright Office meets to reconsider exemptions to the DMCA Anti-Circumvention provisions. These exemptions are critical to ensuring creators and consumers’ ability to bypass technological protection measures on copyrighted works, allowing them to make fair use of works in a variety of circumstances. As we did in 2012, New Media Rights submitted extensive comments and testimony, working on behalf of creators and consumers to maintain and expand on the exemptions currently in place.
On October 27, the Copyright Office revealed the results of their 2015 Anti-Circumvention Rulemaking. Many of our recommendations were adopted, and we were cited repeatedly in the rulemaking.
This is usually the part where we say we’re proud to have been a part of making sure these vital exemptions were granted and expanded. We are proud of our contributions and we’ll highlight those below, but we also need to take amount to keep it real. The DMCA Anti-circumvention rulemaking is broken.
Today New Media Rights joined the Authors Alliance, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Knowledge Ecology International in calling for the US Trade Representative not to agree to measures in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTP) that could greatly reduced our ability to make orphaned works more accessible to the public.
Today, New Media Rights along with a broad coalition of more than 90 education, library, technology, public interest, and legal organizations, called on the White House to take action to ensure federally funded educational materials are made available as Open Educational Resources (OER) that are free to use, share, and improve!
Speaking out on wrongdoing in the military can be particularly challenging for service members who are trained to stay in line and follow orders. The stakes could not be higher for military whistleblowers who speak out against fraud, waste, abuse, and sexual assault in the military. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office noted a number of deficiencies in the protections offered to members of the military who report wrongdoing, and far too often, those whistleblowers are unfairly punished for their efforts to bring accountability to the armed services.
This is why New Media Rights recently joined with a variety of organizations, including Project on Government Oversight, Government Accountability Project, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation, Demand Progress and others, in sending a letter to Congressional leaders supporting critical protections f in sending a letter to Congressional leaders supporting critical protections for military whistleblowers. We've worked with various filmmakers and creators who bring light to issues in our military. These have included working on an important film about the treatment of workers in U.S. bases overseas, and a recently launched podcast on Veteran's issues.
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