NMR policy resources

New Media Rights shines light on the importance of Sunshine Week and access to public information

The latest issue of San Diego's CityBeat featured New Media Rights and three projects featured at Drumbeat San Diego, in its article "Light of the day". The article highlighted our advocacy work which includes legal assistance and advocacy for access to public information, just in time for Sunshine Week.

Mozilla Drumbeat Festival - Learning, Freedom, and the Open Web has a posse

Johannes of the Hackbus

The Drumbeat festival was an intense but enjoyable 3 days.

The sheer amount of interesting people and projects that were available to immerse yourself in was a bit overwhelming at times. That said, the structure of the event made you a participant, not just an attendee, and kept you engaged from start to finish. Mozilla’s Mark Surman laid out a call to action for the event, which really involved applying a hacking, innovative, disruptive mentality to an educational and learning system in need of just that.

The most important take away for me will be the amount of meaningful connections that were made. Meaningful connections happen when people engage in building something together, whether its a tool for automatically attributing Creative Commons licensed material, or building a “sculpture” from a pile of “junk” in front of the hackbus.

Each individual’s Drumbeat experience will be unique, here’s how mine went.

Critics of Comcast-NBC merger expect widespread consumer frustration if merger is approved

Cablevision subscribers have been put through the ringer as FOX and Cablevision had a drawn out their most recent dispute. Many subscribers could not watch FOX sports and entertainment programming which led to a lot of frustration. Mera Szendro Bok explains why all Americans who watch TV as well as independent creators will share their frustration, if the Comcast-NBC merger passes.

Data portability policies to ensure and open and competitive internet - an idea whose time has come?

Data Portability Icon - CC-BY 2.0

I recently shared the concept of developing data portability policies, standards, and best practices as a potential project for New Media Rights' Drumbeat San Diego event, and as project that could fit within Mozilla's larger Drumbeat initiative fostering projects that celebrate and ensure and open web.

This project begins with the concept that user choice, and user control over their experience, should remain a distinguishing feature of the open internet.

To maintain a healthy competition amongst online services heavily reliant on user-submitted data, it will become increasingly important to make sure user data is easily portable. This will help ensure that popular services make changes according to the interests of their users, and that new services can compete on the basis of their merits and usability, without artificial barriers to competition. Keeping data in the hands of users, rather than allowing confusing legal and technological techniques to lock upconsumer data, will help ensure an open and competitive internet.

Copyright Office decision supports cell phone jailbreaking, encourages educators and remixers

Regardless of how one feels about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a whole, it’s clear that the Copyright Office's recent rulemaking process has appropriately further limited the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision. In February 2009, New Media Rights submitted comments in support of these changes that have now been enacted.

The Office's ruling attempted to clarify the DMCA's prohibition on “circumventing” digital rights management (DRM) and “other technical protection measures” -- a prohibition that, up until now, has given Apple the theoretical right to intimidate iPhone users with “jailbroken” phones with legal action. The Office ruled that this jailbreaking does not constitute violation of the DMCA. Although Apple has never prosecuted any iPhone jailbreaker under the DMCA, Apple did strongly object to any exemption to the anti-circumvention rule. This has led many general interest news sources to label these recent exemptions as a victory specific to iPhone jailbreakers which isn’t true.  The victory is a broader one, for cell phone users, video remix artists, documentarians, and educators, among others.

YouTube's victory over Viacom reinforces DMCA safe harbor protections for websites

On June 23, Viacom's claim for $1 billion in damages was shot down when the District Court for the Southern District of New York found YouTube and its owner Google not liable for copyright infringement in a much-anticipated decision. The two corporate giants have been at it since 2007, when Viacom joined with other plaintiffs including Paramount Pictures and sued YouTube, claiming that the online video service was legally responsible for copyright infringement when users posted clips of copyrighted material, including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, owned by plaintiffs.

FCC coming to Stanford University. Tell the FCC what you think about media consolidation and the future of journalism.

Please see the following from our friends at Free Press regarding the upcoming FCC meeting on media consolidation in Stanford, California. If you or someone you know will be in the area please share this with them.