Digital Updates – January


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News Media Alliance Files Comments on the Effects of Artificial Intelligence on the News Industry


The Alliance submitted comments on January 10, 2020, to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) regarding their request for comments on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the protection of intellectual property. The comments focused on USTPO’s question regarding the ingestion of large volumes of copyrighted material for AI training purposes, and whether such use constitutes fair use and is adequately addressed by existing statutory language and case law. The Alliance comments noted the existential threat to the news industry posed by the unlicensed use of news content for AI training purposes, and argued that while the current case law provides protections for news content against such use, stronger enforcement is needed. The comments also emphasized the importance of fair use analysis, including the market effect unauthorized copying has on news publishers. While the current legal framework, properly understood and enforced, should provide adequate protections for news content, legislative solutions may be useful if that is not the case. Read the full comments here.

Alliance Submits Opposition Letter to Facebook’s Updated Privacy Policy


Facebook updated its privacy policy in preparation for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to go into effect on January 1, 2020. Specifically, Facebook asserts itself as a Service Provider and that it does not share information other than for that specific Business Purpose as permitted by the statute. The policy also states that the publisher will remain solely liable for the publisher’s compliance with CCPA. The Alliance is concerned that, among other things, Facebook does not make clear they will not sell the personal information received from news publishers. If this policy stands, publishers have limited recourse, as they must do business with Facebook. The Alliance seeks to gain clarification by highlighting these concerns to Facebook as the law is now in effect and implementing regulations are expected to be released by the California AG before its July 1, 2020 deadline for guidance. Read the letter here.


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