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.
The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is a new privacy law that was quickly passed by the California legislature to avoid certain consequences of enacting a voter-approved state ballot initiative. While the law won’t go into effect for another 2 years, it is a significant shift in privacy law.
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.
The Federal Communications Commission made a dangerous new proposal to end the hard-fought net neutrality protections that internet consumers, innovators, and creators fought for and won back in 2015.
The FCC, under President Trump and Chairman Pai, along with the cable and cell phone companies companies, are trying to mislead the public into believing that the open internet (aka Net Neutrality), and all the creative and competitive benefits that come with it, should be gotten rid of. Trump and Pai are advocating dropping Title II regulation that saved the internet in 2015. Instead of being honest, Chairman Pai and companies are saying they support net neutrality, just not through Title II. They know they are misleading the public, because courts already found that without Title II the FCC has no ability to protect the internet. That's why we had Title II classification in the first place.
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)
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.
New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill recently sat down with San Diego's KPBS to discuss new privacy laws signed by Governor Jerry Brown in California. The video interview is below, and here's a link to the longer form radio interview.
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.
“Our appointment to the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee gives us a place where we can share the concerns of internet users and consumers directly with regulators,” said Neill. “Good public policy starts with actually knowing what’s happening on the ground. New Media Rights focuses its efforts on helping a variety of consumers and creators often left out of conversations about public policy that affects them.”
New Media Rights is pleased to announce that this morning President Barack Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify the Internet under Title II. In plain language, the President came out in support of real net neutrality, the principle that says Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic equally. New Media Rights has been advocating for reclassification in our recent Open Internet comments to the FCC (and our reply comments) as well as in our letter to the President and his Office of Science and Technology Policy. We thank the President for his support of Title II reclassification and encourage the FCC to adopt the President's position. Here's the President's statement.
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