Artificial intelligence has brought a whirlwind of disruption to the entertainment industry, redefining the way we create, consume and connect. Behind the scenes, AI algorithms are revolutionizing production processes, enhancing visuals and, of course, sparking controversy. Let’s take a look at how artificial intelligence has recently disrupted the entertainment and sports industries and the legal ramifications that have come with it.
AI strikes again.
The Writers Guild of America is on strike for the first time in 15 years.The strike began on May 2ND, which continues to shut down key parts of the entertainment industry. Millions of people are already feeling the impact of the strike: TV shows are on hold, talk shows are darkened and red carpets are pulled. Among other requirements, the WGA is seeking industry-wide regulation of AI to prevent studios from artificially generating literature and source material, and to train AI on work created by WGA members.
In short, generative artificial intelligence systems use a combination of machine and deep learning algorithms to predict the next phrase in text based on source material. After training, the AI can sort through hundreds of thousands of pages of work from creatives in a fraction of the time and produce products in their original style.
as discussed in AI Image Generation: Drawing Infringement Claims, Not US Copyright ProtectionThe use of copyrighted material to “train” artificial intelligence (and thus create new works) poses challenges to the copyright arena. While the courts have yet to definitively answer whether such use constitutes copyright infringement, the WGA clearly wants the industry to take a stand.
The WGA strike is a reminder of how influential unions and industry groups are in shaping law and policy. Copyright issues aside, the outcome of the WGA strike could set a precedent for the treatment and regulation of AI across the entertainment industry and related fields such as journalism and graphic design.
All (obligatory) apologies.
While AI may be partially responsible for the actions of WGA members leave work, some speculate that Ja Morant has recently put arrive Work. The acclaimed Memphis Grizzlies player has been suspended pending an investigation for publicly holding a gun twice on Instagram Live. After the backlash, Morant issued an apology, which fans speculated was AI-generated.
If it’s not an apology from the heart, why do you have to apologize? Morant is a public figure whose actions have faced increased scrutiny because of his high profile and professional obligations. As a party to several multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals, he is likely contractually obligated to certain standards of conduct, known as “ethics” or “morality” clauses. Morant’s assisted apology may have been intended to prevent enforcement of remedies for violations of this provision.
Moral terms in the pre-AI era.
Ethics clauses allow brands to unilaterally terminate the contract or take other remedial action when the sponsored talent engages in behavior that could damage the brand’s image, such as showing off a pistol in a bar. In the age of cancel culture and an ever-evolving digital environment, clear and comprehensive ethics clauses have never been a more valuable tool for reducing brand risk, nor have they been more challenging to draft.
Although moral clauses are common, they are resisted by talent. Their concerns may include the broad scope of the conduct and the use of vague language that leaves room for arbitrary enforcement and unfair consequences. Additionally, the current phenomenon of cancel culture raises concerns that morality clauses may be used to silence dissenting voices or silence unpopular opinions. Opponents of broad ethics clauses insist on clearer definitions, greater transparency and fairer enforcement to ensure they are not used as a tool for censorship and discrimination.
exist Ethical terms in the age of social media scandals: What brands should know, we discuss several factors to consider when drafting thorough and purposeful ethics clauses, including when they should be triggered – based on when conduct or allegations are made public or only when they actually occur. In the age of social media, where historical online activity can resurface many years later, this timing consideration is critical. As a result, sponsors often insist on drafting ethics clauses that reflect past activities that would later become widely known.
Usually, the talent will counter this, arguing that past behavior should not be grounds for termination, since it is the sponsor’s job to do due diligence on everything the talent has previously posted online. While this might have been a daunting task in the past, thanks to artificial intelligence, the task is suddenly much easier to accomplish.
Due diligence and the future of ethical clauses.
AI is being developed like never before to detect prior behavior of brand affiliate candidates that may conflict with a brand’s values, beliefs and attitudes – this includes analyzing a talent’s social media pages for locations, mentions and even emoji usage . Even more impressively, by looking at a talent’s past social media behavior, AI tools can identify if a talent is likely to engage in activities that violate the terms of a contract, such as infringing third-party copyrights.
These promising advances in AI technology have the potential to reshape the landscape of ethics clauses as less urgent protections in contracts. In theory, past violations and controversial patterns of behavior will be identified before signing off, providing a full picture of an individual’s character and reputation (at least reflected online).
With AI-driven insights, brands can rely on more objective and data-driven assessments of potential talent, reducing the need for subjective provisions in the ethics clause. Additionally, AI-powered reputation management tools can proactively monitor and mitigate potential risks, enabling brands to address issues before they escalate.