I am delighted to announce the public launch of the Berkman Center’s Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), a new pro bono initiative that connects lawyers and law school clinics from across the country with online journalists and digital media creators who need legal help. Lawyers participating in OMLN will provide qualifying online publishers with pro bono and reduced fee legal assistance on a broad range of legal issues, including business formation and governance, copyright licensing and fair use, employment and freelancer agreements, access to government information, pre-publication review of content, and representation in litigation.

The idea for the network came out of CMLP’s work over the last 3 years helping online journalists understand their legal rights and responsibilities. During this time period, we’ve published and updated our legal guide and legal threats database, blogged on topics of interest to online publishers, partnered with like-minded organizations on a variety of educational projects, and filed amicus briefs in cases with significant implications for online speech. While we are proud of the impact we’ve had and the success of the CMLP website, we also recognize that many online journalists and bloggers need more than generally applicable legal information—they need their own lawyers to tackle their own individualized legal issues.

The new Online Media Legal Network aims to fill this need by making it as easy as possible for online publishers to find legal help.  If you know of anyone that could use our help, please direct them to the OMLN website.  Conversely, if you are a lawyer and you want to help, please sign up!

More info on the launch is available here.