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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.

See you at SXSW 2016!

Thanks to your votes, New Media Rights is heading to SXSW interactive in Austin, Texas. On Tuesday March 17th at 2:00PM in room 5ABC of the Austin Convention Center we’ll be presenting our panel “Can We Just Play? The Legality of Let's Play Video”.

Let's play videos are more popular than ever, however, for many creators what's legally okay and what isn't is more unclear than ever. Come learn the basics of copyright and trademark law that you need to know to keep your videos and streams up. Also get a chance to hear from legal experts and video creators about hot topics like Easter Egg Videos, Esports and using in-game music.

Joining Art and Teri will be Wikimedia Legal Counsel and lifelong gamer Jacob Rogers, as well as Angelo Alcid attorney and writer of the Journal of Geek Law.

So if you'll be at SXSW come check it out! Don't have a badge? No worries! SXSW gaming is open to the public so if you happen to be in Austin and are willing to brave the SXSW crowds come on by! If you can’t make it, you can follow our panel on twitter using #NMR.

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)

YouTube's new Fair Use Protection Program

Today YouTube announced a new program to help its users stand up to bogus copyright threats from content bullies. Under the program YouTube will offer select users, with strong fair use cases, who have a video taken down under the DMCA two options:

  • Option 1: Users can follow the current process of filing a counter notice and have the video put back up worldwide in 10-14 days as required by law.
  • Option 2:  Under the new option, users will be able to keep the video up in the US. Google will also provide a vetted list seasoned copyright litigators and up to one million dollars to help with legal fees if they are sued.

While we wish the program didn’t make users choose between keeping the video up worldwide or just in the US, we understand that much of it is a result of the messy state of international copyright law. And we hope that as the program iterates it will be able to expand its scope and hopefully make some great case law reinforcing the legal consequences of sending a bogus takedown in the process. We also like the idea of having a "demo reel" of fair use examples to help YouTubers learn about fair use. You can see the first class of videos YouTube has selected for their fair use program over on YouTube here.

NMR launches law school IP and entrepreneurship clinics list!

As we've written about before there's a major justice gap when it comes to creators and entrepreneurs having access to critical legal services. While we do our best to provide free and low cost legal services, we’re only one organization. That's why we’ve created a national list of law school legal clinics as a resource to creators, entrepreneurs and even other lawyers to help find other legal clinics fighting to fill the justice gap. The clinics on the list typically provide completely free or low cost services depending on if you qualify and they have the capacity to take on new issues. Check out the complete list here.

 

Fair Use Resources

Print me a song emerging issues in 3D printing and copyright law

The San Diego Sports and Entertainment Sports Lawyers recently invited Staff Attorney, Teri Karobonik, to give a talk on 3D printing and copyright law. Below you can find parts I and II of the video of her presentation, as well as a bonus video where Teri talks about the copyright issues surrounding the now infamous Left Shark takedown.


Also below is the Prezi for her presentation if you’d like to follow along. If you want to learn even more about the legal aspects of 3D printing you can check out our guide here.

Special thanks to Jonathan Bewley for recording the presentation!


Part 1

Copyright & Fair Use Workshop for Filmmakers and Video Creators - A Doculink sponsored event in Los Angeles Saturday November 8

New Media Rights' Executive Director Art Neill is speaking in the Los Angeles area Saturday November 8, 2014 about Copyright, Fair Use, Music Licensing, and Creative Commons.  If you're in the LA area come on out and say hello!  The event is sponsored by Doculink and the Glendale Library, Arts and Culture Department.

Click for more details about the event!

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Don't Panic is used in undergraduate & graduate classes nationwide to teach business and legal concepts to non-lawyers. Professors & Teachers can request a discounted copy from support @ newmediarights.org