Judge Orrick throws out most of the class action lawsuit against Stability.ai, Deviant Art and Midjourney. But the plaintiffs will be back with an amended complaint.
"copyright law is all about preserving the past at the expense of the future” This sounds great, but it isn’t true. Copyright law is definitely about preserving something at the expense of something. “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” It is about preserving the authors/inventors exclusive right [including their exclusive right to determine how their work will be used (with the Fair Use exception) and the right to transfer ownership] for a limited time [don’t get started on protesting the current implementation of ‘limited time’; we’re probably in agreement on that issue] AT THE EXPENSE OF someone unilaterally making use of their work without their permission within that limited time window [I believe you wrote about the consequences of that in an earlier post of your series on copyright] regardless of whether that someone profit from it.
This flows into your other statement which is also not true; "Copyright law is the first line of defense against technological disruption, but it doesn’t always work.” This is a misrepresentation of the history of negotiations between the copyright owners and the makers of VCRs, DVD players, DVRs, file-sharing, search engine indexing and streaming. No one stopped Napster from filesharing copyrighted IP voluntarily given to them by the owners of the IPs. They could have pulled a Netflix and established a whole new industry. Years of negotiations among the IP Industry, PC Industry, CE Industry, and public interest groups [including the EFF] were meant to find the balance between honoring copyright and allowing new consumer uses. But CE, PC, and public interest groups chose to release press statements about ‘progress being made’ and wait out the clock until the market penetration of their devices was so great that there was no way to implement technologies, which they fought, that would respect creators’ rights - including UGC creators.
But you understand all this, since you write: "At the core, copyright is a simple economic deal. A trade-off. The government agrees to grant a time-limited monopoly to an artist or author, but only in exchange for the right of the public to make use of the work in the specific ways defined as Fair Use.” But your statement is why Fair Use is just as much in play as Copyright. Fair Use is a defense, not a right. It was premised on it having de minimus impact on the Copyright owners ability to monetize the work. Since a Fair Use claim occurs after the release of the content in an environment where, now, once the IP is out it cannot be recalled, then Fair Use and Copyright need to be reconsidered as two sides of the same coin as these discussions move forward.
Of course all of this may be mute when the courts decide that, if photographs can be copyrighted, and digital cameras already are using AI to create the best shot, then why can’t the direct output of AI be similarly copyrighted. That will allow copyright and fair use to remain as legal constructs as the volume of content explodes to the point where enforcement is impractical - at least until an AI-based solution is proposed.
From The Verge: How to use the Pixel 8’s Best Take to pick your favorite faces in group photos
Best Take is available now on the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, but we expect it to come to older Pixel phones sometime in the near future. The way it works is simple. You take a bunch of shots of your group as you normally would and then edit your favorite facial expressions into a single frame after the fact. Sounds a little creepy, and honestly it is, but it’s a real lifesaver — especially if you’re taking pictures of kids.
Best Take will only work with images taken in a burst of very similar shots all captured within a 10-second timeframe. Faces need to be clearly visible and, for the best results, not obscured by objects or hands in any of your shots. Oh, and it only works with human subjects right now.