New Media Rights files comments in Copyright Office music licensing rulemaking regarding Section 115 Compulsory Licenses

On July 16 the Copyright Office released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting commentary on various issues concerning the treatment of digital phonorecord deliveries with relation to compulsory copyright licenses. A major piece of the discussion was the characterization of buffer reproductions of digital sound recordings under copyright law, an issue which could have a profound effect on innovation in new media. We have issued our comments to the Copyright Office and have posted them here.

Congress Bows to Big Content, Scapegoats Higher Ed

Last week, after months of intensive wrangling, the House and the Senate finally agreed on a final version of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Buried in this massive bill, which touches on virtually every aspect of education, is a little provision requiring campuses to develop “plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through the use of a variety of technology-based deterrents.” Those deterrent include bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring, but also use of filtering technologies such as Audible Magic.

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You discover an up and coming band, and you want a copy of their music, but the band doesn't give the music away, what to do?

* Just Bittorrent it already! I'll go to their show and make up for it.
* Bittorrent it but ALSO buy it later, it's only fair!
* Buy it, it's the only way!
* Just record it at a show
* Just record it off Myspace or Youtube

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Senators Announce New Intellectual Property Enforcement Bill

Last week, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced S. 3325, the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008," a bill that proposes a number of alarming changes to copyright law. The bill is the Senate's gift to big content owners, creating new and powerful tools -- many of which will be paid for by your tax dollars -- for the entertainment industry to go after infringers.

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AP says it will set its own, "clear," fair use standards

The AP has sent an overreaching letter asking the Drudge Retort to take down quotations of its content, backpedaled, then announced it will propound its own version of fair use on all of us. We'll see what they come up with, but the chances are it will be a similarly overreaching.

UnPlug Firefox Extension

From the site:

UnPlug is an extension which lets you save video and audio which is embedded on a webpage - it's a video download tool.

UnPlug scans web pages and tells you where media players are getting their data from, and displays it as a simple hyperlink: in most cases, you can then follow the simple download link to save the media file.

UnPlug works for lots of sites including,,,,,, and lots, lots more.

Unlike many other extensions, UnPlug scans the page, and if it doesn't know there the data comes from it can guess - correctly most of the time.