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Policy Reports

FEPP provides empirical research and analysis on free expression issues through detailed policy reports. Since 2001, we have published six such reports.

Listed here are also reports on our 2006 survey on how online service providers are coping with cease and desist letters and takedown notices, our 2005-06 survey of the legal needs of media reform organizations, and our 2006 white paper on why states shouldn't bar their cities, towns, and public power companies from offering high-speed Internet access.

Internet Filters, Revised and Updated
(May 2006) -Internet filters categorize expression without regard to its context, meaning, and value. Yet these sweeping censorship tools are now widely used in schools and libraries. This fully revised and updated report surveys nearly 100 tests and studies of filtering products through 2006. An essential resource for the ongoing debate.

Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control
(December 2005) - The product of more than a year of research - including many firsthand stories from artists, scholars, bloggers, and others - Will Fair Use Survive? paints a striking picture of a system of intellectual property that is perilously out of balance.

The Information Commons
(June 2004) - In the face of dramatic media consolidation and new laws that increase corporate copyright control, the emerging information commons offers new ways for producing and sharing information, creative works, and democratic discussion. FEPP's policy report describes the growing movement for democratic alternatives to for-profit control of information and ideas.

Free Expression in Arts Funding: A Public Policy Report
(2003) - A survey of free-expression policies among state and local arts agencies, including ways of anticipating and dealing with attacks on controversial art. Includes background on the arts funding wars of the 1990s, and candid interviews with agency officials.

"The Progress of Science & Useful Arts": Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom
(2003) - Music swapping - encryption - the frozen public domain - where should we draw the line between rewarding creativity through the copyright system and society’s competing interest in the free flow of ideas? FEPP's policy report covers "fair use," copyright term extension, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and more - without legalese.

Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship
(2002; second edition, 2003) - FEPP's survey of educational initiatives in media literacy and why they are preferable to TV ratings, Internet filters, "indecency" laws, and other efforts to censor the ideas and information available to the young.

White Paper to the Nebraska Broadband Task Force: The Need to Permit Broadband From Public Entities
(May 22, 2006) - The Brennan Center and six other groups have filed a brief explaining why states shouldn't bar their cities, towns, and public power companies from offering high-speed Internet access.

Intellectual Property and Free Speech in the Online World
(January 2007) - A new report from the Fair Use Network surveys how online service providers are coping with cease and desist letters and takedown notices.

The Legal Needs of Media Reform Organizations: Report of a National

(June 2006) - This report summarizes FEPP's national survey of media reform groups to gauge their needs for pro bono legal assistance. Conclusions are that local media democracy groups need legal help on multiple issues, ranging from cable franchising to low-power radio.


For copies of Internet Filters, Media Literacy, The Progress of Science and Useful Arts, or Free Expression in Arts Funding, email margeheins at

We are all out of printed copies of Will Fair Use Survive? and The Information Commons.


The Free Expression Policy Project began in 2000 as a project of the National Coalition Against Censorship, to provide empirical research and policy development on tough censorship issues and seek free speech-friendly solutions to the concerns that drive censorship campaigns. In 2004-2007, it was part of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Past funders have included the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Open Society Institute, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

All material on this site is covered by a Creative Commons "Attribution - No Derivs - NonCommercial" license. (See You may copy it in its entirely as long as you credit the Free Expression Policy Project and provide a link to the Project's Web site. You may not edit or revise it, or copy portions, without permission (except, of course, for fair use). Please let us know if you reprint!