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Category Archives: Legal Research

Why The New York Times might win its copyright lawsuit against OpenAI

Ars Technica: “The day after The New York Times sued OpenAI for copyright infringement, the author and systems architect Daniel Jeffries wrote an essay-length tweet arguing that the Times “has a near zero probability of winning” its lawsuit. As we write this, it has been retweeted 288 times and received 885,000 views. “Trying to get everyone to license training data is not going to work because that’s not what copyright is about,” Jeffries wrote. “Copyright law is about preventing people from producing exact copies or near exact copies of content and posting it for commercial gain. Period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or simply does not understand how copyright works.” This article is written by two authors. One of us is a journalist who has been on the copyright beat for nearly 20 years. The other is a law professor who has taught dozens of courses on IP and Internet law. We’re pretty sure we understand how copyright works. And we’re here to warn the AI community that it needs to take these lawsuits seriously. In its blog post responding to the Times lawsuit, OpenAI wrote that “training AI models using publicly available Internet materials is fair use, as supported by long-standing and widely accepted precedents.” The most important of these precedents is a 2015 decision that allowed Google to scan millions of copyrighted books to create a search engine. We expect OpenAI to argue that the Google ruling allows OpenAI to use copyrighted documents to train its generative models. Stability AI and Anthropic will undoubtedly make similar arguments as they face copyright lawsuits of their own. These defendants could win in court—but they could lose, too. As we’ll see, AI companies are on shakier legal ground than Google was in its book search case. And the courts don’t always side with technology companies in cases where companies make copies to build their systems. The story of MP3.com illustrates the kind of legal peril AI companies could face in the coming years…”

Is Google Getting Worse?

Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines. Janek Bevendorff, Matti Wiegmann, Martin Potthast, and Benno Stein.”Many users of web search engines have been complaining in recent years about the supposedly decreasing quality of search results. This is often attributed to an increasing amount of search-engine-optimized but low-quality content. Evidence… Continue Reading

US Census Bureau purposely fudges location data in census to protect people’s privacy

Via Kottke – The U.S. Census Is Wrong on Purpose: “…Full census data is only made available 72 years after the census takes place, in accordance with the creatively-named “72 year rule.” Until then, it is only available as aggregated data with individual identifiers removed. Still, if the population of a town is small enough,… Continue Reading

This Tiny Website Is Google’s First Line of Defense in the Patent Wars

Wired: “TDCommons is a free space for inventors to lay claim to breakthroughs without having to file a patent. Why is it so off the radar? A trio of Google engineers recently came up with a futuristic way to help anyone who stumbles through presentations on video calls. They propose that when algorithms detect a… Continue Reading

Old’aVista

Remember the search engine Altavista? (I sure do). Via Wikipedia: “AltaVista was a Web search engine established in 1995. It became one of the most-used early search engines, but lost ground to Google and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, which retained the brand, but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine. On… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024

Via LLRX –  Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024 -Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

How the Smithsonian Is Helping Black Americans Trace Their Roots

Smithsonian Magazine – Free sessions hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer visitors advice on researching their genealogy..Genealogy researchers use military records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, wills, legal and court documents, and census records to help piece together the past. The resources referenced by NMAAHC’s team don’t currently… Continue Reading

OMB stands up first online database of all federal programs

Federal News Network: “It took 13 years — with some stops, starts and stumbles in between — but as of today, the federal government now has a single website designed to deliver detailed, searchable information about all federal programs. The Office of Management and Budget flipped the switch Thursday on the new Federal Program Inventory,… Continue Reading

Service Jobs Now Require Bizarre Personality Test From AI Company

404 Media: “Applying to some of the most common customer and food service jobs in the country now requires a long and bizarre personality quiz featuring blue humanoid aliens, which tells employers how potential hires rank in terms of “agreeableness” and “emotional stability.” If you’ve applied to a job at FedEx, McDonald’s, or Darden Restaurants… Continue Reading

Directory of Police Department Social Media Policies

Brennan Center for Justice – “While many departments have policies addressing the use of social media data, most are too permissive or provide little transparency about actual practices. Surveys and anecdotal reports suggest that the use of social media by state and local law enforcement is widespread, with a number of police departments reporting that they… Continue Reading