Blog

10 Tactics film screening inspires ideas for Drumbeat San Diego

In an effort to inspire widespread local collaboration and new Drumbeat San Diego projects New Media Rights has hosted the screening of the globally viewed film, 10 Tactics. This film was created by the Tactical Tech Initiative. The film was created during an info-activism camp and shows 35 various projects where advocates around the world used online tools to create social change.

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.

Let the Wookie Win: A Short History of Star Wars Litigation

San Diego Comic Con has arrived again! Although New Media Rights provides assistance to creators and internet users nationally, we are firmly rooted in San Diego and supporting local San Diego arts and culture.

Every year, Comic Con brings Storm Troopers fraternizing with Bounty Hunters back to downtown San Diego, and grown women huddled up in Tauntaun sleeping bags back to the Convention Center’s hallways.

To celebrate Star Wars Day and Comic Con returning to San Diego, and to prove learning about the law can be fun (sometimes), we present to you a short history of Star Wars trademark litigation: two cases in which Lucasfilm took people to court over Star Wars and lost.

New Media Rights FCC comments on Broadband Legal Framework and the "Third Way"

New Media Rights' comments to the FCC on the broadband legal framework and the "Third Way" include:

Discussion of concerns regarding content level regulation and its affect on the generativity of the internet as well as copyright regulation.

Classification of terrestrial wireless broadband services and its impact on Consumer Protection.

Legal and Procedural Considerations Regarding the “Third Way”

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.

An Introduction to Drumbeat San Diego: A Collaboration of Mozilla Foundation and New Media Rights

New Media Rights and Mozilla Foundation are working together to create a San Diego Drumbeat event. This event aims to bring together artists, filmmakers, musicians, citizen journalists, lawyers, software developers and other groups dependent on an open Internet. We are seeking input from those interested in participating on how we can make this an excellent event.

Bros Icing Bros - A Case for Copyright Bullying by Overreacting Smirnoff Lawyers

"Smirnoff Ice" by Fernando Ariotti (Released Under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic )

On the morning of July 16, my bros on Twitter noticed something totally un-chill: BrosIcingBros.com, the epicenter of the icing phenomenon, had been taken down. Instead of user-submitted photos of young brosephs and bro-ettes, on their knees drinking bottles of Smirnoff Ice, the website displayed an unceremonious, one-sentence farewell: "We had a good run Bros..."

At NewMediaRights, our pro-bono IP attorney Art Neill regularly deals with individuals being bullied by large copyright/trademark owners into taking down their sites, even when those sites don't actually violate copyright and trademark law. To bring this practice to light, we wanted to publicly discuss how strong/weak Smirnoff's legal arguments to take down BrosIcingBros.com really are, and whether Smirnoff had good faith when chose to take the site down.

By the end of our analysis, we’ll conclude that

(A) Smirnoff’s arguments for both copyright and trademark infringement are weak at best;

(B) Even though Smirnoff did have good faith to send a cease and desist letter to BrosIcingBros for some instances of infringement, it was not within reason for Smirnoff to require that the entire site to get taken down.

(C) If BrosIcingBros was, in fact, taken down because of legal problems with Smirnoff, then this is a classic example of a large brand’s legal department overreaching with cease and desist letters and bullying individuals into compliance without sufficient legal arguments to back their claims up.

Pages