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Reining in AI? The E.U. Act

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) is the craze. From pet shop owners to Fortune 500 companies, AI is being used to farm data and analyze facial gestures of consumers. But concerns are growing. The U.S. Surgeon General, for instance, has suggested a warning label be affixed to social media -- which often uses AI. As a result, the E.U. recently passed an Act regulating AI. The Act was adopted on March 21, 2024. Read more about Reining in AI? The E.U. Act

It's Groundhog Day at the European Commission

For the past two years, the European Commission has been pushing to radically change the internet and telecommunications market in the EU in order to benefit Europe’s largest telecom companies at the expense of innovation, net neutrality, and low broadband prices.

The policy prescriptions have continually included: Read more about It's Groundhog Day at the European Commission

Harmful 5G Fast Lanes Are Coming. The FCC Needs to Stop Them

The FCC is set to vote on April 25 to restore its authority over the companies we pay to get online, and reinstate federal net neutrality protections that were jettisoned by the Trump administration in 2017. 

Net neutrality protections are supposed to ensure that we, not the internet service providers (ISPs) we pay to get online, get to decide what we do online. Read more about Harmful 5G Fast Lanes Are Coming. The FCC Needs to Stop Them

Tool Without A Handle: Are You Not Trained? - Part 2

This post addresses whether, in light of what’s noted thus far, copyright law requires AI model builders to license all such content, and thus whether a mandatory licensing scheme to enable fair exchange of value between creators of protected content and the AI model builders should be created.

My answer is a caveated “no” – for the moment, no copyright claim has persuaded a court that licensing is required to avoid infringing the rights of copyright holders in scanned/scraped works used to train AI models.[3] There remain arguments that use of content to train AI models is protected by fair use principles, which permit use of a protected work for study and to create transformative new works, and many AI model builders continue to defend these arguments.

Nonetheless, I believe a voluntary (or regulatorily encouraged) comprehensive licensing regime is both likely and preferable, for at least three reasons:
1) Distribution models already fail to allocate a reasonable and sustainable share of revenue for creative works to compensate artists who invented the works (including the concepts underlying the work) and undertook the risks, time, and other expense in bringing them into existence; AI could tip the balance here such that it works a material harm on the pace and profit of creative work;
2) Misinformation concerns already constitute a compelling interest that government regulation can and should address. The fight against misinformation enjoys substantial advantages where content can be properly attributed to its true creator, including creators who build off of licensed content to create their own works (e.g., parody entertainment). Thus, a licensing scheme furthers both public and private interests related to reducing misinformation (and disinformation);
3) It’s easier to contract than to sue, and it’s preferable to contract than to operate against uncertainty about material issues such as the lawfulness of model training. Many firms will prefer to reduce such uncertainty, and many more deals will be struck, and more innovations launched, in its absence. There are strong commercial incentives for firms to create efficient and industry-wide tools and processes that enable such risk reductions. Read more about Tool Without A Handle: Are You Not Trained? - Part 2

How to Strengthen the FCC’s Proposed Net Neutrality Protections by Closing Loopholes and Matching the 2015 Open Internet Order

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to restore net neutrality for all Americans. The FCC published its proposal, a so-called Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in October 2023. The comments period ended in mid-January. A vote is expected in late April. Read more about How to Strengthen the FCC’s Proposed Net Neutrality Protections by Closing Loopholes and Matching the 2015 Open Internet Order

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