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      Microsoft offers legal protection for AI copyright infringement challenges / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 22:40

    A man in an armor helmet sitting at a desk with a protective glowing field around him.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images / Benj Edwards )

    On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it will provide legal protection for customers who are sued for copyright infringement over content generated by the company's AI systems. This new policy, called the Copilot Copyright Commitment, is an expansion of Microsoft's existing intellectual property indemnification coverage, Reuters reports .

    Microsoft's announcement comes as generative AI tools like ChatGPT have raised concerns about reproducing copyrighted material without proper attribution. Microsoft has heavily invested in AI through products like GitHub Copilot and Bing Chat that can generate original code, text, and images on demand. Its AI models have gained these capabilities by scraping publicly available data off of the Internet without seeking express permission from copyright holders.

    By offering legal protection, Microsoft aims to give customers confidence in deploying its AI systems without worrying about potential copyright issues. The policy covers damages and legal fees, providing customers with an added layer of protection as generative AI sees rapid adoption across the tech industry.

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      Judge issues legal permaban, $500K judgment against serial Destiny 2 cheater / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 15:57 · 1 minute

    Artist's conception of the judge getting ready to legally blast the defendant into <em>Destiny 2</em>'s version of non-existence.

    Enlarge / Artist's conception of the judge getting ready to legally blast the defendant into Destiny 2 's version of non-existence. (credit: Bungie)

    Just over a year ago, Bungie went to court to try to stop a serial Destiny 2 cheater who had evaded multiple account bans and started publicly threatening Bungie employees. Now, that player has been ordered to pay $500,000 in copyright-based damages and cannot buy, play, or stream Bungie games in the future.

    In a consent judgment that has apparently been agreed to by both ides of the lawsuit (as dug up by TorrentFreak ), district court judge Richard Jones agrees with Bungie's claim that defendant Luca Leone's use of cheat software constitutes "copyright infringement" of Destiny 2 . Specifically, the cheat software's "graphical overlay" and use of "inject[ed] code" creates an "unauthorized derivative work" that violates federal copyright law. The judgment imposes damages of $150,000 for violations on each of two infringed works (seemingly encompassing Destiny 2 and its expansions)

    Leone also created new accounts to get around multiple ban attempts by Bungie and tried to "opt out" of the game's license agreement as a minor in an attempt to do a legal end run around Bungie's multiple account bans. This made each of Leone's subsequent Destiny 2 logins unlicensed violation of Bungie's copyright, according to the judge's order, which tacks on $2,000 in damages for each of "at least 100" such logins.

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      Sony copyright claims for Bewitched spell trouble for group that preserves old TV / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 September - 19:45

    Promotional art for the 1960s television show, Bewitched

    Enlarge / Everyday witch Samantha Stephens and the rest of the Bewitched crew. (credit: Sony)

    A nonprofit that preserves classic television videos may have its YouTube channel shut down tomorrow over copyright claims for Bewitched episodes that originally aired in the 1960s.

    The Museum of Classic Chicago Television has about 5,000 videos, including many decades-old commercials and news shows, posted on its YouTube channel and its own Fuzzy Memories website . President and chief curator Rick Klein's "quest to save vintage Chicago TV shows and commercials" was featured in a WBEZ story two years ago.

    But after 16 years of Klein and his group, who rely on donors and volunteers, archiving old videos, the TV museum's YouTube channel on August 30 received six copyright strikes for posting 27 Bewitched episodes owned by Sony Pictures Television. Copyright complaints were sent by MarkScan , a "digital asset protection" firm that content owners hire to enforce copyrights. MarkScan has been sending copyright complaints on Sony's behalf since at least 2014 .

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      US judge: Art created solely by artificial intelligence cannot be copyrighted / ArsTechnica · Monday, 21 August, 2023 - 17:37

    AI-generated image looks like a painting of a train track running through a tunnel overgrown with flowers.

    Enlarge / AI-generated art titled, "A Recent Entrance to Paradise." The image cannot be copyrighted, a judge ruled.

    Art generated entirely by artificial intelligence cannot be copyrighted because "human authorship is an essential part of a valid copyright claim," a federal judge ruled on Friday.

    The US Copyright Office previously rejected plaintiff Stephen Thaler's application for a copyright because the work lacked human authorship, and he challenged the decision in US District Court for the District of Columbia. Thaler and the Copyright Office both moved for summary judgment in motions that "present the sole issue of whether a work generated entirely by an artificial system absent human involvement should be eligible for copyright," Judge Beryl Howell's memorandum opinion issued Friday noted.

    Howell denied Thaler's motion for summary judgment, granted the Copyright Office's motion, and ordered that the case be closed.

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      Film companies demand names of Reddit users who discussed piracy in 2011 / ArsTechnica · Friday, 7 July, 2023 - 18:24

    Illustration of a laptop with the skull-and-crossbones pirate symbol on the screen.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | natatravel)

    Reddit is fighting another attempt by film companies to unmask anonymous Reddit users who discussed piracy.

    The same companies lost a previous, similar motion to identify Reddit users who wrote comments in piracy-related threads. Reddit avoided revealing the identities of eight users by arguing that the First Amendment protected their right to anonymous speech.

    Reddit is seeking a similar outcome in the new case, in which the film companies' subpoena to Reddit sought "Basic account information including IP address registration and logs from 1/1/2016 to present, name, email address and other account registration information" for six users who wrote comments on Reddit threads in 2011 and 2018. Reddit wrote in a court filing on Wednesday :

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      Spotify ejects thousands of AI-made songs in purge of fake streams / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 9 May, 2023 - 13:20

    Spotify on a phone with headphones

    Enlarge (credit: Thomas Trutschel via Getty )

    Spotify has removed tens of thousands of songs from artificial intelligence music start-up Boomy, ramping up policing of its platform amid complaints of fraud and clutter across streaming services.

    In recent months the music industry has been confronting the rise of AI-generated songs and, more broadly, the growing number of tracks inundating streaming platforms daily.

    Spotify, the largest audio streaming business, recently took down about 7 percent of the tracks that had been uploaded by Boomy, the equivalent of “tens of thousands” of songs, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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      Authors risk losing copyright if AI content is not disclosed, US guidance says / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 16 March, 2023 - 20:36

    Authors risk losing copyright if AI content is not disclosed, US guidance says

    Enlarge (credit: StudioM1 | iStock / Getty Images Plus )

    As generative AI technologies like GPT-4 and Midjourney have rapidly gotten more sophisticated and their creative use has exploded in popularity, the US Copyright Office has issued guidance today to clarify when AI-generated material can be copyrighted.

    Guidance comes after the Copyright Office decided that an author could not copyright individual AI images used to illustrate a comic book, because each image was generated by Midjourney—not a human artist. In making its decision, the Copyright Office committed to upholding the longstanding legal definition that authors of creative works must be human to register works. Because of this, officials confirmed that AI technologies can never be considered authors.

    This wasn’t the only case influencing new guidance, but it was the most recent. Wrestling with the comic book's complex authorship questions helped prompt the Copyright Office to launch an agency-wide initiative to continue exploring a wider range of copyright issues arising as the AI models that are used to generate text, art, audio, and video continue evolving.

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      Musk suspends “overzealous” rightsholders for “weaponizing” DMCA on Twitter / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 7 March, 2023 - 21:04 · 1 minute

    Musk suspends “overzealous” rightsholders for “weaponizing” DMCA on Twitter

    Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

    Yesterday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk declared that Twitter will now be temporarily suspending any accounts found to be “engaging in repeated, egregious weaponization” of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Musk’s tweet came at the same time that an intense copyright dispute was unfolding that resulted in the suspension of a rightsholder’s Twitter account. The suspension came after a professional photographer and Twitter user, @NightLights_AM, submitted a takedown notice to a hobbyist Twitter user, @Rainmaker1973, who posted one of the photographer’s videos without permission.

    It’s difficult to track down the full story here because the suspended account’s tweets are unavailable, and some of the hobbyist account’s tweets have been deleted. And it’s unclear if Musk was aware of this particular dispute or the subsequent account suspension of the rightsholder. But TorrentFreak documented the DMCA Twitter saga in great detail, gathering archived and cached tweets to piece together what happened.

    According to TorrentFreak, @NightLights_AM is run by Norway-based nature and astrophotographer Adrien Mauduit, whose Twitter feed was full of colorful videos and photos that he took as an “Aurora chasing specialist.” In early March, Mauduit uploaded a video of a geomagnetic storm that was then embedded in a tweet sent by @Rainmaker1973, which is run by an Italy-based Twitter user named Massimo.

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      How one musician took on the world’s biggest TV network over copyright—and won

      Ars Contributors · / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 14:00 · 1 minute

    A dramatic moment from Glee maybe isn't the first thing you expect to see in an Ars story, but promise there's a point here.

    You’ve heard Kerry Muzzey’s work ( Bandcamp , Spotify) , even if you haven’t heard of him. The 50-year-old classical music composer from Joliet, Illinois, who now lives in Los Angeles, produces haunting orchestral scores that soundtrack some of the most poignant moments in film and television. When Finn Hudson kissed Rachel Berry for the first time on TV’s Glee , it was Muzzey’s stripped-back piano playing in the background. Some of his works have been choreographed and performed on So You Think You Can Dance?, too.

    The use of Muzzey’s music across pop culture has no doubt brought the veteran composer some success and acclaim. And around 2012, he decided to see for himself, searching for his name on YouTube. Muzzey recalls the site’s algorithm surfaced 20 or 40 videos. The majority were fan compilations that teenagers obsessed with Glee had painstakingly put together to memorialize their two favorite character’s love story–and they were all soundtracked to the full version of Muzzey’s music.

    “It was really kind of cool and validating, especially for someone who was a complete independent, to have a kid finding a piece of instrumental music, which is the most uncool kind of music for a kid to find, and to make a tribute montage using it,” he explains. “It was stuff nobody would have a problem with.”

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