Just this week, a number of the major internet service providers in the United States, including AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner, began implementing the "Copyright Alert System."
What is the Copyright Alert System?
The system is an anti-piracy approach where your Internet Service Provider allows content partners, typically large media companies (i.e. Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA] and the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA] ) to police the ISP's networks for copyright infringement. This means they monitor Internet traffic, and when potential copyright infringement is identified, the copyright holder will send your IP address to the ISP and request that the ISP notify you. The ISP will engage in a series of escalating warnings and actions with internet subscribers intended to discourage digital "piracy."
Read our new FAQ to learn more about how the new system will affect you as an Internet user.
Everything you ever wanted to know about copyright law but didn’t know to ask
Why should anyone care about copyright law? Even if the only creative work you’ve ever done is upload your profile picture to Facebook, surprise! Your life has been affected by copyright law.
If you’re an artist or journalist who has asked the questions, “How can I get people to see my work?” or “How can I make money off of my work?” it may be helpful to take a look at this guide.
If you’re just an average person who is afraid of getting in trouble for downloading the wrong file, or uploading the wrong video to YouTube, it might also be helpful.
If you’re starting a business and you’re trying to figure out some of the legal issues that may affect your website, marketing materials, and promotional videos and photos, checking out this guide would be a great idea.
What you’ll find below is a plain English summary of U.S. copyright law along with answers to frequently asked questions about the practical ways the law affects your creative work. It’s written in an easy-to read manner, so even people without any legal training won’t have trouble understanding it. That said, we’re always looking for ways to improve it, so if you have suggestions, definitely include them in your comments.
You can read this guide from start to finish like a book, or if you have specific issues, you can consult the table of contents and skip through to the most relevant topics.
You may be a defendant, or may know a defendant involved in one of the “BitTorrent filesharing lawsuits.” These suits are also sometimes referred to as “Mass copyright lawsuits” because for the first time, hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals like yourself have been implicated in lawsuits alleging “copyright infringement.” Indeed, as of September 2011, there are over 200,000 individuals involved in such lawsuits.
New Media Rights has drafted the guide below to provide you with basic, practical information regarding these lawsuits.
Planning on creating a video game, or created one already? Our latest guide helps you understand some the frequent questions about copyright, trademark and intellectual property when it comes to video games.
Learn how video games are protected under copyright and trademark law, how to respond when your game is removed from the web or an mobile app store by a DMCA takedown notice, and the many ways the law affects the creative process of making a video game.
A big shoutout from New Media Rights to the entire team that has put together OpenAttribute.
OpenAttribute simplifies the process of attributing an openly licensed piece of content, by providing a quick link where you can get an HTML or plain text attribution. Paste this code or plain text whereever you are reusing the Creative Commons licensed work, and you can have a properly formatted attribution.
I encourage you to go install this right away and start improving your attributions today!
New Media Rights joined the Electronic Frontier foundation and over 30 other groups in sending an open letter to U.S. lawmakers today, calling on government officials to respect freedom of expression in the debate over the whistle-blower website Wikileaks.
In the wake of Wikileaks' recent publications of U.S. diplomatic cables, some lawmakers have attacked newspapers' rights to report on the information in those documents. Other government officials have cast doubt on Americans' right to download, read, or discuss documents published by Wikileaks and even the news reporting based on those documents.
Rash legislation was proposed that could limit the free speech of news reporting organizations well beyond Wikileaks. In the open letter sent Wednesday, 30 groups, including New Media Rights, urged lawmakers to remember and respect constitutional rights as Congress continues to discuss the issues at stake.