CLBR #251: New Media Rights’ Legal Guide for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals

New Media Rights’ Legal Guide
for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals


New Media Rights’ founder, Art Neill, returns to CLBR to discuss his new book: Don’t Panic:  A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals.  

Art is the founder of New Media Rights and a law professor at California Western School of Law, specializing in the areas of internet, intellectual property, privacy, and media law. Art has provided and overseen legal services to nearly 2000 small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creators, and is a 3 time appointee to the Federal Communication Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee.

The book is co-written by Teri Karobonik who is a former Staff Attorney at New Media Rights where she worked with all manner of creative individuals on a daily basis on preventative, transactional and pre-litigation matters. In 2015 Teri was appointed as an Internet Law & Policy Foundry Fellow in recognition of her work as an early career leader in the tech law and policy space.

Don’t Panic:  A Legal Guide (in plain english) for Small Businesses and Creative Professionals description:

Don’t Panic 🙂 will prepare you for legal issues you’ll encounter as a creator or entrepreneur.

Whether you are a startup, filmmaker, musician, author, or other creator, this book will help you understand what you need to know, and how to avoid getting sued.

The book covers a range of legal situations that may arise, from the inception of your business, or the creation of your work, to that dreaded 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 valuable guide to preventing and resolving legal issues.

The book is organized to help you quickly jump to specific information that will help you through that stage of your work. There are short, straight to the point summaries throughout called “The Bottom Line” providing the essentials you need to know.

You’ll learn how to form your business, protect your intellectual property, understand E&O insurance, and avoid problems when launching an App or internet-based service. Often, you can take a few simple steps upfront that will protect your business or creative works, and ultimately save time and money down the road.

Topics Covered:

  • Getting Started
    Business Formation – intellectual Property – Employee v independent Contractor – NDA’s – Insurance – Getting Funded – Launching an App
  • Creating, Licensing and Distributing Content
    How to License – Open Licensing – Fair Use – Disclaimers – Truth and Accuracy – Privacy – Watch Your Back
  • Crisis Mode
    Nasty Lawyergram – Responsible Enforcement

This new book is a super useful (plain English!) legal guide to a variety of issues that face both creative artists and small businesses. Besides being super understandable for the non-lawyer artist or developer, it also reinforces that the issues both face are fairly similar. — Tech Dirt.

Fair Use - The App

Art last appeared on the show in 2015 to discuss New Media Rights’ Fair Use App and its Citizens Guide to Creative Commons.

New Media Rights

Founded by attorney Art Neill in 2007, New Media Rights is an independently funded non-profit program of California Western School of Law 501(c)(3),that provides critical, preventative, one to-one legal services to creators, entrepreneurs and internet users whose projects require specialized internet, intellectual property, privacy, media, and communications law expertise.. In addition to direct, one-to-one legal services, New Media Rights turns what we learn into hundreds of freely available video and written legal education guides.

New Media Rights also turns what we learn into policy work before the Copyright Office and the FCC, to ensure that new regulations reflect the current needs of creators and small entrepreneurs. Finally, through our partnership with California Western School of Law,  New Media Rights trains the next generation of attorneys in cutting edge areas of the law, with an emphasis on the public interest to ensure the next generation of lawyers can help the next generation of creators and entrepreneurs thrive.

For questions about New Media Rights, contact Art Neill at 619-591-8870 or


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