I am particularly excited by this report because it represents the
intersection of the two core functions of the Digital Media Law Project: (1) providing legal resources to digital journalists to help them to
thrive in the face of legal challenges; and (2) studying the nature of
the online journalism ecosystem and the legal issues that enhance or
inhibit its function. The staff of the DMLP (both past and present) and
the member attorneys of the Online Media Legal Network (who routinely
volunteer their time on a pro bono or reduced-fee basis) have made a
substantial difference in the future of news, by ensuring that hundreds
of new and innovative journalism projects did not fail because of legal
pitfalls unrelated to their merit. With this new report, we have been
able to leverage their tremendous efforts even further by using their
service as a basis for a survey that we hope will benefit a much broader range of journalists, attorneys, and researchers concerned with the
networked exchange of information online.
The DMLP is privileged to operate at the frontier of media law and
journalism, and we believe that we have a duty not only to serve the
needs of our particular clients but also to report back on what we have
seen to inform the efforts of others. Of course, there are limits on how we can use the data we have gathered. We protect the confidentiality of network clients; this new report is presented as a statistical analysis and does not identify any particular recipients of legal assistance
(except for certain of our clients kind enough to volunteer public
comments on the services that they have received from network
attorneys). Nevertheless, we believe that this analysis of legal issues
encountered at the frontier can provide important intelligence about the evolution of news.
We hope that you find the report interesting and helpful, and welcome
inquiries about our work. You can reach us by e-mail at staff (at)
dmlp.com, or through our contact form.