On January 1, 2020, IPWatchdog featured commentary from Lee Brenner on what to expect in the world of intellectual property in 2020. The following is an excerpt:
Lawsuits related to deepfakes as the legal theories in this area begin to emerge.
In October 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two deepfakes bills into state law. AB 730 makes it illegal to circulate doctored videos, images or audio of politicians within 60 days of an election. AB 602 addresses deepfakes and pornography, providing a private right of action against any person who “[c]reates and intentionally discloses sexually explicit material if that person knows or reasonably should have known the depicted individual did not consent; or [i]ntentionally discloses sexually explicit material that the person did not create if the person knows the depicted individual did not consent.” Critics of the legislation contend that it does not go far enough to protect people from the damage deepfakes can cause. First Amendment advocates have also criticized the laws based on concerns about its constitutionality. AB 730, for example, would likely prohibit the use of altered content to reenact true events that were not recorded and could bar a candidate’s use of altered videos of him or herself. AB 602 potentially imposes liability for content viewed solely by the creator and does not explain what happens when consent is revoked after creation or distribution. Recent activity in Congress also suggests federal lawmakers are considering potential federal regulation of deepfakes in politics. Stay tuned!