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Why the Taylor Swift AI Scandal is Pushing Lawmakers to Address Pornographic Deepfakes

Last month, viral AI-generated pornographic pictures of Taylor Swift circulated on X (formerly Twitter), with one post remaining for 17 hours and receiving more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and hundreds of thousands of likes before the verified account was suspended for violating platform policy. The images, allegedly created using a company’s text-to-image tool … Continue Reading

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Enjoined

On September 18, 2023, NetChoice, LLC — a national trade association with members from the tech and social media industry — obtained a preliminary injunction from the District Court for the Northern District of California preventing the State of California from enforcing the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (“AADC” or the “Act”). The reason? The … Continue Reading

Generative AI Is Changing How We Do Business and How We Practice Law

The news about Steven Schwartz, the attorney who asked ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to find cases relevant to his client’s lawsuit only to submit a brief full of bogus caselaw, spread gleefully fast, as embarrassing news does. And although we shook our heads in disapproval, I suspect many attorneys were grateful to Mr. Schwartz. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds that Registration of a Single Photography Database Supports Award of Statutory Damages for Each Individual Photo in the Database

Reasoning that the form of a copyright registration does not really matter, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s ruling that real estate photography provider VHT was entitled to statutory damages for 2,700 photos infringed by Zillow even though VHT had registered all of the works at issue as part of a single database. … Continue Reading

The Rise of Influencer Marketing – Contractual Considerations

According to the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport report on influencer culture, the global sector is expected to grow from $6.0 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 32%. Influencer marketing offers brands a unique opportunity to target and connect with online communities, using … Continue Reading

Ghostwriter in the Machine: Copyright Implications for AI-Generated Imitations

A track called “Heart on My Sleeve” went viral recently on social media with lead vocals sounding eerily similar to a certain crooner known for his lovelorn lyrics. The pantomimed artist was Drake, no stranger to thirsty pining, backed by R&B artist The Weeknd. The song, however, was credited to Ghostwriter977, the alias of an … Continue Reading

District Court Rules Internet Archive’s Open Library Project is Not Fair Use

A federal district court in New York held that the Internet Archive’s Open Library project was engaging in copyright infringement by publishing digital copies of millions of books online. Even though the Internet Archive and participating libraries purchased print copies of the books and, for the most part, made them available to borrowers on a … Continue Reading

National Advertising Division’s 2022 Annual Report: An Advertising Compliance Roadmap for the Year Ahead

“[N]o legacy is so rich as honesty”1 might fairly summarize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s theme to the advertising industry for 2023, as gleaned from the National Advertising Division (NAD) 2022 Annual Report. “FTC leadership,” the NAD Report elaborates, “sent a consistent, strong message that national advertisers should take a hard look at their own … Continue Reading

Too Good a Deal? JC Penny Hit with Class Action Suit Over False Reference Pricing

Competition in the world of online sales is intense, but companies that used inflated original prices to lure customers face consequences. JC Penny, for example, has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of California over its alleged advertising practice of using “false reference pricing.” The three-count complaint claims the nationwide … Continue Reading

China: Design Patents and the Metaverse

The concept of Metaverse as an online framework for economic interoperability was born in and around 2020. Since then, giant companies all over the world ― especially in the IT, entertainment and fashion businesses ― have begun to launch products and solutions related to the ever developing Metaverse. Fashion brands, artists and entertainers, among others, … Continue Reading

ISPs and Anonymous Users Rejoice: DMCA 512(h) Subpoena Subjected to First Amendment Scrutiny

Last month, in an important ruling for Internet service providers, and anonymous users alike, a new defense is taking shape to subpoenas issued pursuant to the “unmasking” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Specifically, in In re DMCA § 512(h) Subpoena to Twitter, Inc., N.D. Cal. Case No. 20-mc-80214, district judge Vince Chhabria … Continue Reading

Smart Consumer Devices at the Centre of the EU Internet of Things (IoT) Sector Inquiry

The European Commission published the preliminary results of its IoT sector inquiry and tech giants come under pressure for the alleged “gatekeeper” role that their voice assistant apps (such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant) play in smart homes and with other connected consumer devices. The EU sector inquiry has so far collected over 200 … Continue Reading

Are Changes to the DMCA on the Horizon?

On June 2, technology companies and copyright holders testified before Congress about the effectiveness of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) “safe harbor” provision. These testimonies came after the U.S. Copyright Office released its long-anticipated May 21 report, which studied and discussed DMCA’s effectiveness and the safe harbor provision.… Continue Reading

CJEU: IP Addresses Are Not “Addresses” Under Enforcement Directive, Neither Are E-mail Addresses or Telephone Numbers

In the course of infringement proceedings, the right-holder may request an infringer and/or other involved persons (e.g. intermediaries such as an online video-sharing platform in this case) to provide name and address of users-infringers. But what does the notion of ‘address’ refer to? Would the provision of other than a postal address (such as email … Continue Reading

Spreading The Influence: FTC Issues New Guidance for Influencers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) continues to focus on influencer advertising, as part of its consumer protection mission.  On November 5, 2019, the FTC released an instructive “Disclosure 101” Guide and “Advice for Social Media Influencers” video to help influencers understand their legal obligations when they are spreading their influence through social media posts, … Continue Reading

Before The DST Settles: United Kingdom Pushes Ahead With Digital Services Tax

On Thursday 11 July 2019, the UK government confirmed that it will bring forward legislation for a new Digital Services Tax (DST) to take effect from April 2020. Squire Patton Boggs’ Tax team have prepared an alert, analysing the proposed legislation and assessing its possible impact and wider implications, which can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Jeff VanderWolk.… Continue Reading

Hungry for change: ASA and Government target junk food ads

With childhood obesity rates in the UK among some of the worst in Europe, the Government has set a national target to halve childhood obesity by 2030. Whilst the Government acknowledges that this is a multi-faceted problem, it has reported that evidence suggests that children’s exposure to advertising of products that are high in fat, … Continue Reading

The EU’s Digital Copyright Directive – where are we now?

In 2016 the EU proposed the “Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market” (the Directive). Since then, the Directive has been widely debated at EU level and has been the subject of intense campaigning and lobbying, with various interested parties writing numerous open letters to the EU Council’s Working Party on Intellectual Property, the … Continue Reading

New Jurisprudence Rendered By Spanish Courts Facilitates Closing Of Websites

Recent jurisprudence rendered by Spanish Courts establishes that in the case of copyright infringement over the internet, it is not necessary to sue the infringer, but rather the IT intermediaries that host the website. The Court of Appeal in Barcelona has now dismissed an appeal filed by several IT companies against the first instance Judgment … Continue Reading

Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to end unjustified geoblocking

The European Commission has issued a press release announcing that the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a political agreement to end unjustified geoblocking for consumers wishing to buy products or services online within the EU.   Geoblocking occurs when a customer is treated differently based on their nationality, place of residence or location … Continue Reading

FCC Consumer Broadband Privacy Rules Effective Early 2017

On December 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) published its Consumer Broadband Privacy Report and Order in the Federal Register.  The Report and Order, released by the FCC on Wednesday, November 2, 2016—just one week after adoption—imposes significant restrictions on the use of sensitive customer proprietary information by retail broadband internet access … Continue Reading

Keyword advertising – novel questions of honest concurrent use and passing off

Cases on trade mark infringement in the context of keyword advertising are rare. However, the UK High Court recently handed down a ruling on exactly that topic – in Victoria Plum Limited v Victorian Plumbing Limited. The decision is the first time a court has considered the ‘honest concurrent use’ defence to trade mark infringement … Continue Reading
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