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Art has always been considered an area that does not pay handsomely, unless a person has the great fortune to break through, or the constancy to continue. It is no news that artists starve and need to practice an external profession in order to maintain their passions.
Following the introduction of Artificial Intelligences, such as ChatGPT, Dall-E and MusicLM, the situation seems irrecoverable. The idea that digital services can replace human work is not that far from reality, especially following recent developments.
Big companies have decided, as if it weren't enough, to "train" these AI services using the works, lyrics, melodies and designs of living, human artists, obviously without any kind of acknowledgment or compensation to the original creators.
This article discusses the need to establish new laws and safeguards aimed at protecting the world of human art.
In April 2022 a painting of considerable importance, depicting San Gennaro, was repatriated from Malta and destined for public fruition. Entrusted to the Diocesan Museum of Benevento, the subject in question went through a process of assignment of custody and faculty of use carried out by the Police for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Udine.
The search for the painting was carried out through a precise investigation, finally finding it on the site of a Maltese online auction house. Further investigations are still underway aimed at discovering the identity of those who possessed the work during the years of its disappearance.
This situation fundamentally underlines how extremely important the constant monitoring and protection of cultural heritage is, within any artistic field.
1. Louis Vuitton loses Copyright Infringement case.
The French Court of Appeal has ordered Louis Vuitton to pay designer Jocelyn Imbert €900,000 following plagiarism of a padlock design she created.
2. Streaming pirates sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In the UK, 4 people were arrested following their participation in an illegal streaming service specifically dedicated to the reproduction of material from SkySports.
3. Youtube rippers appeal an $83 million piracy verdict.
Originally cooperative during the lawsuit, the site operators subsequently stopped cooperating and communicating, thus resulting in a default judgment. The RIAA will receive $83 million in damages.
Riot Games, the creator company of League of Legends and Valorant, was the victim of a hacker attack during January 2023. Through an email, the culprits asked for 10 million dollars in exchange for their silence regarding the source code of the games mentioned above.
If paid, the hacker group promised to erase the information they hacked, and to show the company how they were able to breach their security system. In the communication sent to Riot Games, they included the link for a Telegram channel, necessary to be able to speak freely.
Riot Games gave their opinion on Twitter, specifying that they had no intention of paying the ransom demanded of them.
Apparently, declaring a game "abandoned" doesn't give you the right to sell it via blockchain.
In early 2022, the "Retro Arcade" game collection was presented as a method to preserve abandoned games, incorporating a series of video games in the form of NFTs, without however any type of authorization from the original creators of the software in question. After a short period of time, the NFTs in question were removed, following different reports.
More precisely, in April the "Retro Arcade" collection was launched, aimed at demonstrating the ability of the Metagravity platform to support executable software inside a non-fungible token. Right from the start, doubts arose regarding the right (or lack thereof) to republish and modify to such an extent the source of the video games used in the project, created and published by minds outside the situation.
In his recently published "Walled Culture - How Big Content Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Keep Creators Poor," author Glyn Moody makes this bold statement. The book focuses on the history of copyright, going back more than 300 years, to then underline how the transition from analog to digital has changed the parameters of the procedure.
Moody proposes two options that society can undertake: it can continue as it always has, suffering the negative consequences caused by a law aimed at benefiting only a specific privileged group, or it can decide to maximize the potential of the digital sphere for the benefit of humanity - copyright or the internet?
The article continues with the transcript of an interview carried out with the author of the subject in question, in which they discuss what this sort of a change would mean in practical terms, were society to undertake it.
In the first months of 2022, the OpenSea site was subject to an accident regarding a quite dangerous glitch, a situation that led to the loss of various NFTs by users. As a result, the company has decided to provide refunds to those affected by this situation.
The glitch in question was caused by an error within one of the most famous digital markets ever, causing very serious losses in NFTs. The lost tokens subsequently ended up in the wallets of scammers, for a measly fraction of the original price.
Within a month, several users turned to online platforms, such as Discord and Twitter, to express their dissatisfaction. It turned out that some had been lucky enough to receive full refunds, while others were offered meager options. It goes without saying that a large number of users did not receive a response to their complaints.
In these last few months there has been a great deal of attention dedicated of the comic "Zarya Of The Dawn": a project whose images were generated entirely by the AI Midjourney, later curated and composed by the artist Kristina Kashtanova.
By now it has been established that the US Office dedicated to the protection of copyright does not consider the images of the comic as a valid subject to be protected, but rather takes into consideration and protects the texts written within the latter. That being said, the selection, visual composition and coordination of the work fall within specifications protected by copyright as well.
In this article we read the first-person opinion of the artist's legal team, in which they specify the big mistake made by the US Office in formulating the judgment: one must not focus on the output of the AI, but on the input by the author.
Today, we're speaking once again of "Zarya of the Dawn", the comic completely composed of images generated by Artificial Intelligences. As previously discussed, the work has been defined as unsuitable to be protected by copyright laws, as it was produced through Midjourney.
Written by Kristina Kashtanova, the project is in any case subject to the protection of Copyright when it comes to the sections of text present within, as they were created by human hand.
In September 2022, the artist had applied for the complete protection of her work, without however specifying the origin of the images included. The request was originally approved, only to be withdrawn once the use of Midjourney was discovered.
Reddit, the platform dedicated to online discussions and pillar of user-generated information for more than 15 years, recently released a Transparency Report regarding the increase in subscriptions, but also notices of removals for copyright infringement.
The total of the latter had exceeded the sum of 2021 already in the first months of 2022, increasing further during the year. Reddit doesn't offer an explanation for this development, but it does point out that not all notices are blindly accepted, and as a result content may not always get removed.
Yuga Labs, the parent company of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, said it does not have Copyright Registration for the 10,000 images used within the Bored Ape NFT collection. The news came to light following a batch of new documents provided for the ongoing lawsuit with artist Ryder Ripps.
Last June, Yuga Labs itself sued Ripps for false advertising, trademark infringement and cybersquatting; the artist had rejected the accusations, claiming that the goal of his collection in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club (called RR/BAYC) had always been clear: the provocation of thought regarding the use of NFTs.
The situation becomes more complex as the lawsuit develops, as Yuga Labs could run into serious problems, if in the Terms of Service of the Bored Ape NFT collection there was language related to the possession of the Copyright.
Recently, Google researchers announced a new generative Artificial Intelligence service: MusicLM. The subject in question is able to generate music starting from "rich descriptive captions", and can transform a mumbled melody into an effective piece, even of different genres.
The service has been "trained" though the use of a database of unlabelled music, together with a sustainable amount of sound descriptions extrapolated from MusicCaps, a new dataset made up of thousands of "song - description" pairs.
The idea of generating music via AI isn't exactly new, but previously the composed melody was then further processed by human hand; with MusicLM this step is not necessary.
The creators of the service have recognized some potential problems that may arise as a result of using MusicLM, and have already stated that they are working to remove these doubts.
Many want to immerse themselves in the metaverse, but to make it attractive to the mass it's necessary that the content within it is interesting, fun and engaging. In South Korea, that content is K-pop.
A large number of members of K-pop groups already have digital counterparts (Karina, a singer of the band "Aespa", uses her virtual avatar "Ae-Karina" on Youtube), but the South Korean company Kakao Entertainment wants to take the next step.
Their project is to create a k-pop group present only in the cyberspace. It will be called "Mave" and the 4 members of the group will interact with fansin real life, from all over the world. The company wants to make the singers human enough to amaze and entertain, but without reaching a point of eventual confusion: it's important to remember that the group exists only in the metaverse.
The collection of NFTs called the "Bored Ape Yacht Club" has been the target of investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in recent months. In addition, not only has the collection in question seen its value decrease exponentially, it has also become the target of a series of fundamental questions and queries regarding the protection of Copyright.
2022 was marked by a notable boom in the NFT sector, the main subjects of which can be identified within the Bored Ape collection. The monkeys depicted in the tokens in question immediately gained enormous fame, especially following media movements by various celebrities. Nonetheless, the latter were sued in the last months of last year for allegedly artificially inflating the value of these NFTs.
As previously mentioned, the protection of Copyright remains an extremely influential topic within the field, and the regulation of the subject in question is confirmed to be increasingly complex every time.
A forgotten database.
This is exactly the kind of stuff we're observing in nowadays IT unmanaged DevOps and development activities.
Thousands of Cloud services, S3 buckets, computing instances, containers are being deployed daily to speed up deployment and development of new (old) solutions, not assessed, not tracked, not recorded anywhere. Consequences are devastating in the mid-long term:
As in the case from 2021 where a prominent DNA testing facility suffered a massive databreach after a "forgotten database" has been breached with biological data from 2.1 million individuals exfiltrated.
A - FORGOTTEN - DATABASE.
I can't even start listing the amount of failures there were:
The company will now pay $400.000 in fines and is committing to "beef up their security".
What caught me about this story (nothing new) is what the Attorney General said:
"Negligence is not an excuse for letting consumer data get stolen"
Be well, be safe, be aware.
"Another step towards making AI fair and ethical for all."
AIs have become quite popular in the last period, but it isn't universally known that they are virtually "trained" to generate results through the use of images taken online, obviously without asking for any consent from the original owners. What's more, as a result of this practice, AIs are now able to replicate an artist's specific style, and they do not limit themselves to only those who have passed away.
As a result, it doesn't seem unfair that three artists have sued the developers of Stable Diffusion, Midjourney and Deviantart for allegedly infringing Copyright rights. Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz argue that the AI development method is a real violation of Copyright, and therefore require compensation for the damages caused and an injunction to prevent any such results in the future.