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June 25, 2014, 10:46 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: www.dmlp.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   June 25, 2014

digital-media-law-project-dmlp-cmlpThis is sad: Our Harvard colleagues down the street, the Digital Media Law Project — previously known as the Citizen Media Law Project — are shutting down.

We have some important news to share from the Digital Media Law Project. After seven years of providing legal assistance to independent journalism through various methods, the DMLP will soon spin off its most effective initiatives and cease operation as a stand-alone project within the Berkman Center. The upcoming changes will ensure that our work continues in a robust and sustainable fashion, and so, while those of us here are a bit melancholy to see the end of an era, we are hopeful for what comes next…

We are extraordinarily proud of the work the DMLP has done, but now that the experimentation phase of the project is over, we have determined that the best path forward is to identify the most useful elements of the DMLP’s operation, and make sure that they have permanent homes.

Of particular interest to online news organizations is the Online Media Legal Network, which has connected news orgs with lawyers willing to do pro bono or low-cost legal work on their behalf since 2009. A lot of new news orgs have benefited from OMLN’s work. Luckily, it will live on:

The Online Media Legal Network will find a new home outside of the Berkman Center with a non-profit organization that shares the DMLP’s commitment to providing legal services to online media (we have a very exciting prospect lined up, but it’s a bit early to report). While different aspects of the DMLP’s work will continue in different places, we expect that the organizations taking on this work will work closely together to provide a coherent set of resources that address the diverse legal needs of online media.

A very special thanks to everyone at DMLP, especially its two leaders — founder David Ardia and successor Jeff Hermes — for being such good friends to Nieman Lab over the years. You can see the 30 stories we’ve worked on together here and here.

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