Proposed Calif. law would permit victims of deepfake sex vids to sue their creators

The sweeping bill would also grant individuals three days to retroactively revoke consent to the release of an “altered”video featuring their image.

A second proposed deep fake law, inspired by a doctored video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) appear drunk during a speech that went viral, would protect political candidates.

Despite First Amendment concerns, and likely because so many celebrities reside in California, Democrats in the state wish to ‘crack down’ on ‘deepfake’ sex vids that often target celebs. Assembly Bill 602, approved Friday by the state Legislature and is now headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s desk.

Shunning free speech concerns raised by civil liberties groups, the California Senate on Friday approved another bill, AB 730, which was promoted as a means to “protect” the electorate, and political candidates, from deceptive social media videos.

That bill specifically bars individuals and entities from sharing deepfake videos of candidates within 60 days of an election. Broadcasters would still be allowed to share the videos as long as they include a disclosure stating that it has been manipulated.

In addition, the bill provides that broadcast outlets would not be held liable for airing paid political advertisements that were deceptively edited.

The media exemptions weren’t enough to sway the California News Publishers Association and the California Cable and Telecommunications Association, which opposed AB 730. The groups argue that candidates can already pursue existing defamation and ‘false light’ causes of action to fight deepfakes, and have cast the proposal as a threat to free speech.

“Ultimately, better education and advances in technology will allow individuals to better understand whether an image or recording has been manipulated, without burdening First Amendment rights,” the publishers association stated in its opposition letter.

Sex vids

Assembly Bill 602 by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) would give anyone depicted in a digitally altered deepfake sex video the right to sue the person who created it or anyone who intentionally shared it if there is reason to believe the person depicted did not consent to its release or creation.

The measure is sponsored by the Screen Actor’s Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

“For our members in the film industry, this type of nonconsensual digital doubling is at its very core extreme worker exploitation,” the group said in support of Assembly Bill 602. “Unfortunately, the law hasn’t evolved as fast as technology to prevent this type of thing from occurring.”

“It’s a big relief,” Berman said moments after the bill passed its final vote. “Technology is being used in really terrible ways and taking advantage of people in ways that are having real harm. … We need to rein it in.”

Known as “deep fakes,” the technology has been used to digitally graft the face of a person into a pornographic film without the people involved knowing or consenting to it.

This is to be distinguished from ‘revenge porn‘, in which an actual intimate image of a person has been shared without their consent.

Last year, an Indian journalist was targeted in retribution for her investigative stories about a young girl’s rape. Websites advertise deepfake celebrity sex tapes while others try to pass them off as real.

The bill would also allow create a bizarre safety period, during which a person who consents to a digitally altered pornographic video being created up to three days to rescind their approval.

Three days to retroactively revoke consent. Think about the precedent this would create!

“Unfortunately, there appears to be a strong appetite for this content online, even when the viewer knows it is fake,” Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) said.

The bill passed the Senate 40-0 on Tuesday and 61-0 during Friday’s vote in the Assembly.

California has a history of passing laws to protect the wealthy “landed class” and the famous.

California, however, is the only state that offers both a regular public marriage license and a confidential marriage license. The original of the law date back to 1878, when it was meant for unmarried cohabitating couples in the state. Some of these couples lived in rural, remote areas that were inconveniently far from a church or court, but most simply “lived in sin” and/or gave birth to children out of wedlock. Confidential marriages were a boon to the California legal system because inheritance and property rights were more clear-cut when the majority of people cohabitating and raising children were married.

However, in the 1970s, the concept was repurposed to protect celebrities and the powerful from having the personal information on their marriage license to available to public view.

h/t Los Angeles Times

511720cookie-checkProposed Calif. law would permit victims of deepfake sex vids to sue their creators

Proposed Calif. law would permit victims of deepfake sex vids to sue their creators

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