Public Domain

Copyright Week 2019: Modernizing Copyright & Expanding the Public Domain

New Media Rights responds to over 500 requests for legal services every year, and over two thirds of these involve copyright law.  Copyright law protects the work of these creators, but it also controls how the existing culture around us can be reused and commented upon.  That’s why it’s our mission to make sure that copyright related legal services are available to all regardless of ability to pay. This way we can assist creators who are facing unfair copyright takedowns from people who want to troll or bully them, and we can also work with artists whose rights have been infringed to get justice responsibility and without overreaching in their claims. Read more

 

New Media Rights Supports Copyright Registration Modernization in Copyright Office Study

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.

 

Urban Beats works to de-stigmatize mental health issues through creative expression

New Media Rights works with a variety of different local organizations that use the arts and media to make a social impact on their local community. One of these organizations is Urban Beats, located here in San Diego.

Urban Beats is a program for Transitional Age Youth (TAY) that works to de-stigmatize mental health issues and enhance wellness through creative expression. The program also provides a space for TAY to freely express themselves, and encourages members to explore the creative arts and job opportunities within the San Diego community. 

New Media Rights Staff Attorney Erika Lee and Student Fellow Brittany Hernandez recently spoke to Urban Beats staff about copyright, licensing, and fair use.

 

Event: San Diego Press Club Meeting

Executive Director Art Neill will be speaking at the San Diego Press Club meeting on September 12th at 6pm. The panel is called "Nuts and Bolts: Intellectual Property – Protecting Yours and Using Others," and will include a discussion of using third party content online, protecting your own intellectual property, freelancers’ rights related to unauthorized republishing of their work, and journalists’ and media outlets’ responsibilities regarding work sourced from third parties.

The meeting is being held at the Procopio building in downtown San Diego, and the panel begins at 6pm.

NMR client brings the story of the first all-women crew to row across the Pacific Ocean to Netflix in Losing Sight of Shore

Congratulations to our client Sarah Moshman whose documentary Losing Sight of Shore recently made it to Netflix.  The documentary tells the story of the first all women team to row across the Pacific from the United States to Australia.

Thank you to recent graduates Maresa Martin and Nathalie Garcia who provided legal services along with New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill.

Click through to read more about our work with this client.

Our new book: Don't Panic :) A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals

Ever wonder what sorts of issues you may encounter as a creator or entrepreneur, and when you might want to reach out to a real life lawyer? That’s what our book "Don't Panic: A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals" is all about. This book is designed to help you through the legal issues you may run into as a creator, entrepreneur, or innovator. We focus on issues you may encounter from the inception of your business to the moment (that hopefully doesn’t happen) you get a nasty lawyer letter for the first time. While this book is not a substitute for legal advice, it can serve as a helpful guide to preventing and resolving legal issues.

Event: Law 101 - The basics of Intellectual Property for Makers @ Fablab San Diego

Executive Director Art Neill & Advisory Board Member Kyle Welch,  a technology transfer attorney for San Diego State University (and a former NMR legal intern!) will discuss the basics of Intellectual Property at Fablab Wednesday June 29 at FabLab San Diego.  Come join us!

 

USPTO/NTIA offer up practical steps to sow the seeds of copyright reform

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)

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