Changes Ahead for the Citizen Media Law Project

On May 20, 2007, I wrote my first blog post. It also happened to be the first post on this blog. Entitled "Time to Launch," I agonized for days over what to write and struggled with the fear of putting my words out to the entire world (if you remember your first time blogging, you know exactly how I felt). Fortunately, nobody came after me with a pitchfork and I gradually learned to control that fear. I also learned that if I surrounded myself with bright and talented lawyers they would make me look good. (Hint: that's been the secret to all my successes.) 

Four years and 220 blog posts later, it's time for me to move on. This fall, I'll be joining the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Law. I'll also become the co-director of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. While I am sad to leave the Berkman Center, I'm excited about the opportunity to focus more on teaching and scholarship.  Jeff Hermes, the CMLP's Assistant Director, will be taking over the project. I'm confident that under Jeff's leadership the project will continue to find creative ways to address the growing legal needs of online and citizen media. 

As part of this transition, we will be changing the name of the project from the Citizen Media Law Project to the Digital Media Law Project, which is more in keeping with the broad diversity of online publishers and digital media creators we have been helping. The move to the new name will occur over the next few months, as we update this site and develop a new logo for the project. The focus of the project will remain the same: to provide legal assistance, training, research, and other resources for individuals and organizations involved in online and digital media.

To say that the last four years have been rewarding would be a gross understatement. One aspect of our work, however, really stands out for me. In December 2009 we launched the Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), a legal referral network that seeks to provide free and reduced-fee legal services to qualified online media ventures. OMLN currently has more than 200 firms, individual lawyers, and law school clinics participating in the network. In a mere 18 months of operation the network has helped 135 clients with more than 270 matters, including litigation defense, business and non-profit formation, subpoena defense, prepublication review, preparation of licenses and independent contractor agreements, media insurance coverage, auditing and drafting of terms and conditions for websites, and intellectual property counseling and registration. 

It has been tremendously gratifying to see the CMLP grow from an idea into a vibrant part of the Berkman Center. I could not have done it without the support and encouragement of all of you. Thank you.

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