This week has been a busy week for copyright reform and New Media Rights has been in the thick of it to make sure that the voices of independent creators, entrepreneurs and internet users are represented.
Tuesday, Staff Attorney Teri Karobonik participated in the Los Angeles round of the USPTO/NTIA’s ongoing series of roundtables about copyright reform. Teri participated in both the statutory damages roundtable and the panel regarding laws around remixes. A recording of the roundtable can be found here. In addition to following our work in these proceedings, you can also keep up to date on the USPTO's website.
On Thursday, May 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a 4 month rulemaking asking for "public comment on how best to protect and promote an open Internet." For months, regulators, consumer advocates, and service providers have wrestled over what the next steps should be after a court decision that threw out the FCC's previous open internet rules, adopted in 2010.
Now its your turn to share your ideas with the FCC. How we can promote and protect the Internet as a vital resource for years to come?
Today the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee approved an important recommendation to improve the FCC’s consumer complaint data reporting. New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, and Legal Intern Marko Radisavljevic were directly involved in the research, drafting, and proposal of this recommendation.
New Media Rights’ Executive Director Art Neill is a member of the CAC, and co-chair of the Broadband Working Group. New Media Rights conducted extensive background work on the FCC’s current data reporting practices, the regulations that govern the FCC’s data reporting, and reporting practices at other agencies.
Based on this research and conversations with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on their widely recognized approach to complaint reporting, New Media Rights’ staff and interns helped draft a recommendation encouraging the FCC to improve the accessibility and transparency of consumer complaint data.
Today New Media Rights joined 17 other organizations in asking the United States Patent and Trademark Office to extend the amount of time the public has to reply to the request for comments on the Department of Commerce green paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation In The Digital Economy.” The Green Paper extensively outlines the current challenges regarding copyright enforcement in the new media age. The request for comments outlines five critical areas for comment including: the law around remixes; the first sale doctrine in the digital age; the reform of statutory damages in file sharing cases; the possibility of government organized licensing and improvement of the DMCA takedown system. Each of these topics deserves extensive discussion and asking stakeholders to provide comments on 5 broad areas of copyright law within 2 weeks is unrealistic. The initial comments period proposed only allowed 2 weeks before the first public hearing. New Media Rights is hopeful the request for changes to comment period and public meeting schedule will be granted. You can find the full text of the letter below.
New Media Rights is looking forward to continuing to be a vital part of the discussion surrounding the modification of copyright law for the new media era. We offer insight from front line work with independent creators and internet users whose perspective is too often missing from policy debates. We’re hope that reforms in the coming years can radically decrease the legal uncertainty around remixing and increase independent creators’ ability to stand up to content bullying.
Today the Copyright Office released its formal report regarding the challenges of copyright litigation in Federal Court and recommended establishing a small claims court for copyright law. New Media Rights has been heavily involved in these proceedings and the report makes that obvious. New Media Rights is quoted six times and New Media Rights Executive Director is directly quoted by the Copyright Office twice.
New Media Rights saw early on that a new small claims court would have a dramatic impact on independent creators, internet users, and entrepreneurs. We've shared our expertise with the Copyright Office in order to ensure that any new system respects fair use and provides a fair and just system for resolution of copyright disputes, not simply a new venue for content bullying.
Teenager posts a stupid/reckless/illegal/vulgar thing online, chaos ensues. It’s become a staple of court dockets and headlines across the country. It’s hardly surprising that lawmakers have picked up on this problem and set out to solve it. The latest attempt that has just become law is California’s Senate Bill No. 568. Best case scenario the bill merely fails to protect teenagers and worst case scenario it’s an entirely unenforceable waste of taxpayer money.
Unfortunately, New Media Rights has seen evidence in recent months that suggests that some large media companies have been able to override legitimate appeals and disputes by users regarding content takedowns. Today's guest blog from Patrick McKay of the Fair Use and Youtube watchdog FairUseTube.org, explains the problem in more depth.
We're monitoring the issue closely and trying to gather additional information to help address this issue, so feel free to contact us with additional information you may have regarding DMCA counternotices that fail restore disputed content on Youtube.
In 2012, the U.S. Copyright Office began a process of considering creating a small claims court or system for small-scale copyright disputes. This would affect the internet users and independent creators New Media Rights assists significantly.
New Media Rights has been invited by the Copyright Office to participate in hearings taking place November 26 & 27 in Los Angeles on the topic.
Executive Director Art Neill will be participating in panels discussing potential remedies and appeals, constitutional issues, and benchmarks for success of such a system.
Every three years the Copyright Office considers exemptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act’s Anti-Circumvention provisions. These exemptions are critical to protecting otherwise legal activity by internet users and independent creators alike, but they have to be reargued every three years.
We fought all year at the Copyright Office through comments and testimony, and we're proud to have been a part of making sure these important exemptions originally proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation were granted by the Copyright Office on October 26, 2012.
Check out this post to learn more about our work on these exemptions, and to read the Copyright Office's final rule.
New Media RIghts has joined a broad, international coalition of civil society groups calling on elected officials to sign the new Declaration of Internet Freedom and uphold basic rights in the digital world.
We encourage you to read and sign the Declaration, and encourage your elected officials to sign it as well.