Weekly Column: Managing Entertainment Artificial Intelligence and Beyond

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about legislative and other creative strategies to regulate artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry and beyond.    

You can read the full column below.


Artificial intelligence today is the preeminent issue affecting the entertainment industry and beyond. There are many ways in which artificial intelligence can be managed by law or contract. However, the ways in which that can be done are disputed, litigated, and negotiated.

The artificial intelligence debate is really about how important artificial intelligence will become? How often will artificial intelligence be used and where? How can or should artificial intelligence be regulated?

On the one hand, there is an argument to be made that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be challenged or changed to make platforms liable for content that appears on their platforms. A change to Section 230 would place it more in line with European standards, however the United States clearly has a Constitution and specifically a Bill of Rights and more specifically free speech in the First Amendment that in some sense allows for these platforms to display content that is either expressed by an individual or some other party. Nonetheless, there may also be an argument to be made that Section 230 has outlived its time and platforms should pay the price for copyright and trademark infringement. The answer to this dilemma is not an easy one. The answer to this dilemma is probably something to be debated and negotiated into some form of legislation or case law. SAG-AFTRA is currently negotiating similar protections with the studios.

The next solution to the problem of artificial intelligence in the creative world is to form some sort of legislation that requires the appearance of a person to be protected in all digital forms. A federal right of publicity law would restrict companies that use artificial intelligence to recreate a person in the digital form to sell a product, issue a statement, or do some other act without authorization.

When ChatGPT hit the marketplace, it was done so as open source code and technology. Meaning, ChatGPT can be used by anybody, for free. However, ChatGPT also offers paid services in exchange for additional artificial intelligence tools. Paid services may indeed be the foundation for finding a balance between the use of copyrighted and trademarked information in a ChatGPT-like database where the information that is uploaded into the system is either licensed, in the public domain, or with some other exception like fair use. Artists and intellectual property owners would then get paid from the license fees.

Unfortunately, the blessing and the curse of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence in general is that it makes or at least creates the opportunity to become more powerful than humans. On the one hand, the knowledge is infinite, but the experiment is unlimited without regulation, full and uninterrupted control, and oversight. Even with regulation, artificial intelligence has the potential to be overutilized by taking away from human ingenuity and even the work required to learn how to get from “a” to “b” with the joy of just working to learn and get to a solution. Then again, artificial intelligence could also improve ingenuity with the proper regulation.

An artificial intelligence bill of rights might be the best solution as a foundation for artificial intelligence regulations. At the top of the artificial intelligence bill of rights there might be something akin to the freedom of speech, but in the context of artificial intelligence it would be the freedom for humans to create artificial intelligence. The freedom for humans to lead artificial intelligence. The freedom for humans to control artificial intelligence.

Although it may seem like a sci-fi movie made in Hollywood, but artificial intelligence is a very powerful tool. A tool that if utilized correctly, could bring forth major changes in society that could benefit humans and the world in general. However, as history has shown time and time again, technology is often used for malicious reasons and things that they were never meant to do or even things that were never anticipated to happen as a result of its use.

So where does this leave society and artificial intelligence? There are clearly more solutions to artificial intelligence than what is written in this column. The three points above are just a starting point to what legislatures might consider. Recently, the president of the United States commented on new artificial intelligence rules that would require government approval prior to public consumption. Government approval would serve like the Federal Drug Administration in approving new products. It is not entirely certain that this is the best action to move forward, but it is an effort by the government to regulate a technology like artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence that has the opportunity and challenge to change the world.


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.  

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.