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John Delaney advises clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies on licensing, intellectual property and technology-related matters. John routinely assists clients on matters relating to social media, mobile apps, cloud computing, AI, big data analytics, smart contracts, blockchain, AR, VR, and other emerging technologies. John’s experience also includes negotiating music and other media deals, software and content development agreements and licenses, complex outsourcing arrangements, joint ventures, and similar transactions.

The explosive growth of generative AI has been accompanied by a corresponding growth of contractual provisions addressing generative AI issues.

Website operators in particular are increasingly seeking to use their online terms of service to prohibit the use of content and information hosted on their sites to train AI systems. Disney, for example, recently updated its online Subscriber Agreement for its Disney+ service to clarify that content from the service may not be accessed, copied, or extracted “for the purposes of creating or developing any AI Tool.”Continue Reading Does Copyright Law Preempt Contractual Provisions Imposing AI-Related Usage Restrictions on Content?

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology becomes ubiquitous, news stories regarding the use (and abuse) of deepfakes—that is, AI-generated media used to impersonate real individuals—are increasingly common.

For example, in January, sexually explicit deepfakes of Taylor Swift proliferated on social media, prompting X (formerly Twitter) to temporarily lock all searches for the singer’s name on its platform to prevent user access to such deepfakes.Continue Reading AI-Generated Deepfakes and the Emerging Legal Landscape

In his prescient 1994 book, Copyright’s Highway, Professor Paul Goldstein of Stanford Law School popularized the term “the celestial jukebox” for his prediction of a future where consumers could stream on-demand over the Internet any music, film, TV show, or other entertainment work. Professor Goldstein’s foresight anticipated the rise of massive cloud streaming platforms like Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, well before their inception.

The celestial jukebox has been the governing metaphor for the media landscape’s transformation over two decades. However, with the recent explosive advances in generative AI technologies, we are on the cusp of a new era. It’s time to introduce a fresh metaphor better capturing the forthcoming wave of disruption in content consumption: the infinite loom.Continue Reading Will the Infinite Loom Displace the Celestial Jukebox?

With all of the hubbub surrounding the growing wave of generative artificial intelligence (AI) lawsuits, a recent court decision involving a generative AI-powered app has received surprisingly little attention, despite addressing issues that will be relevant in other, higher profile AI litigation.

The case, Kyland Young v. NeoCortext, Inc., involved a photo-editing app, called Reface, that uses generative AI technology to allow users to manipulate photos and videos, including to swap faces with celebrities within photos and videos. A celebrity sued, and, in rejecting the app developer’s motion to dismiss, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that the developer’s use of generative AI to superimpose user faces onto celebrity images could violate California’s right of publicity law. While this case is ongoing, Young illustrates the potential liability companies face when developing and using generative AI based on images and videos of celebrities.Continue Reading Reface/Off? Animating the Right of Publicity in the Dawn of Generative AI

The generative AI revolution has arrived. Will copyright law snuff it out?

Despite all the excitement surrounding generative AI tools, a cloud darkens the horizon. These tools need to be trained on massive amounts of ingested content and, according to press reports, this content is often scraped without authorization from third-party websites, raising significant copyright law issues.Continue Reading Known Unknowns: Key Unanswered Copyright Questions Raised by Generative AI

We recently attended the Annual Meeting of the Copyright Society of the USA, a two-and-a-half day, in-person conference focused on emerging issues in copyright law (perhaps the country’s largest annual get-together of copyright nerds like us). Here are our Notes from the Field on what was being discussed during—and after—the sessions that we attended.Continue Reading Notes From the Field: 2023 Annual Meeting of the Copyright Society of the USA

A surprising, unannounced collaboration between Drake and The Weeknda song called “Heart on My Sleeve”—went viral on social media a few weeks ago. It generated millions of streams across music and social media platforms, but it wasn’t Drake and The Weeknd singing on the track; rather, it was an AI-generated simulation of the two.

Here’s what happened: “Heart on My Sleeve” was written and produced by TikTok user ghostwriter977, who released the track on Spotify, YouTube, and several other platforms on April 4, 2023. The track really took off after a one-minute snippet of the song was shared on TikTok on April 15, where it would go on to receive over 15 million views. ghostwriter977 reported creating the track by using AI to replace their voice on the track with vocals that sounded like Drake and The Weeknd.Continue Reading Nice for What? AI Drake and Publicity Rights Limitations in Policing AI-Generated Content

As digital media continues to supplant physical media, e-commerce sites offering digital content have experienced unprecedented growth. These sites offer consumers access to video games, music, movies, e-books, and many other types of digital media at the click of a button. Although purchasing digital media—as opposed to physical media—has become commonplace for consumers, a recent case, McTyere et al v. Apple, Inc., suggests that consumers’ understanding of terms like “sell,” “buy,” and “purchase” have not fully caught up to our new digital reality. When a consumer buys a book in a physical bookstore, they own indefinitely the physical copy of the book that they purchased. However, when consumers click a “Buy” button on an e-book platform, they almost always receive a license to a copy of the e-book, a license that typically can be terminated by the e-book platform or the book’s publisher under certain circumstances. McTyere has highlighted this important legal distinction between buying physical and digital media and raises the question of whether it is deceptive to describe the licensing of rights to digital media using the same terminology as has traditionally been used to describe the sale of books, CDs, DVDs, and other physical goods.Continue Reading Buy Today, Gone Tomorrow: Is a “Buy” Button for Digital Content Deceptive?

The U.S. Copyright Office has again refused to recognize an artificial intelligence as the author of a work for copyright purposes.

This renewed rejection follows Steven Thaler’s request for the Copyright Office to reconsider its earlier refusals to recognize an AI algorithm, dubbed the “Creativity Machine,” as the author of a visual work entitled A Recent Entrance to Paradise, reproduced here:

A Recent Entrance to Paradise

Continue Reading AI Can Create a Painting but It Can’t Register a Copyright in the Painting