Photographic Copyright in the Age of Social Media and the Ever-Present Camera


By Silas Alexander

Every day, smartphone users collectively take more than three billion photos, millions (if not billions) of which are selfies, autobiographical captures of the human condition. But while our digital photo album continues to expand, few people understand the rights they may be giving up with the click of the share button.

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AI Ethical Regulations — A Not So Simple Task

By Sean Hyde

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems emerging today create unintended consequences that raise ethical questions. Unsurprisingly, these ethical concerns have led some to call for ethics regulations in AI development. Regulation of ethics is not unique to AI development, but a mechanism to enforce the standards proposed by various organizations helps in making effective regulations. It is important to note that enforceability is not necessary for regulations to be effective; even nonbinding regulations can make a significant difference if the industry follows them.

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The Complex Role of Public Innovation Capital


By Rob Philbrick

The notion that a state, county, or city should have a limited role in the development of local innovation economies stems from neoclassical economic theory, which advises that competitive markets be left alone so optimal outcomes can occur. I suggest a different notion: public commitment to invest across our local innovation chain is a desirable outcome.

Public investment plays an important role in setting foundations, while private finance is better suited for commercializing the innovative ideas born from these foundations. Neither one acting alone is sufficient. Continue reading “The Complex Role of Public Innovation Capital”

Under the Sea, Under the ©? Ninth Circuit Considers Art Inspired by Nature

Folkens (left) vs. Wyland (right)

By Yonah Reback

The intersection of copyright law and the animal kingdom reached new heights during the global phenomenon of Naruto v. Slater. When wildlife photographer David Slater traveled to the jungles of Indonesia in 2011, he surely expected to take snapshots of its native inhabitants. To Slater’s surprise, a macaque nicknamed Naruto grabbed his camera and took what soon became the infamous “monkey selfie.” Thus began a six-year legal saga as to whether Naruto or Slater owned the copyright for the photograph. Although the U.S. Copyright Office indicated that there was no basis for extending copyright ownership to animals, the case—filed by PETA in defense of the monkey—ultimately settled, leaving the public wanting for legal analysis of the issue.

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Deepfakes – A Disastrous Merger of AI and Porn


By David O’Hair

First appearing on reddit, a new trend called “deepfakes” has captured the public’s attention with one of the internet’s oldest promises – nude celebrity photos. Intimate celebrity images appearing online is nothing new in and of itself. A 2014 hack exposed hundreds of nude-celebrity images, while Gawker notoriously posted Hulk Hogan’s sex tape.

However, deepfakes present a novel issue in that the images, and often videos, of the celebrities are fake – but the underlying porn is real. Deepfakes use artificial intelligence mixed with facial-mapping software to essentially copy and paste someone’s face into preexisting porn content. The AI-software’s sophistication is such that content created by it, i.e., deepfakes, can be virtually indistinguishable from an authentic porn video featuring a specific celebrity. Celebrities are often the victims of deepfakes, because deepfakes require massive amounts of “raw footage” to import into the pornographic video. Chances are a celebrity has more time collected on video than the average person, but non-public figures can be the victims of deepfakes too. Continue reading “Deepfakes – A Disastrous Merger of AI and Porn”