On October 4, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on the “Creative Economy and Generative AI.” This event included speakers from the FTC, including Chair Lina Khan, and panelists representing various creative industries, including authors, voice actors, models, and visual artists. Although the panelists expressed concern about Generative AI’s (“GenAI”) potential impact on creative industries, many also expressed optimism that GenAI could augment, rather than replace, human creativity.

Chair Khan opened the event by stating that the FTC is looking closely at how GenAI tools could “turbocharge fraud, entrench the dominance of firms that control the necessary raw inputs like cloud services and computing power, and potentially lock in business models that incentivize the endless surveillance of our personal data.” Chair Khan also noted that the FTC has been “very clear that…there’s no AI exemption to the laws on the books” referencing “laws that already prohibit unfair methods of competition, or collusion, or discrimination, or deception.”

The panelists expressed concern about GenAI’s current and potential impact on their various industries while also recognizing that GenAI could support human creativity. For example, panelists expressed particular concerns about the use of their creative works to train GenAI tools. Panelists generally agreed that an opt-in consent model for the use of creative works as inputs for training GenAI is in the creative industry’s best interest. The panelists also discussed the difficulty artists face when competing against GenAI tools. In general, the panelists stated the importance of greater transparency, credit to original creators, compensation for works used to train GenAI, and labeling of GenAI outputs.

FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya closed the session expressing concern about AI fraud and how creative works could be used by GenAI. He stated that the FTC needs to be “free to meet the innovations of large powerful entities that will stifle competition in American industry in whatever corner it may be found.”

A recording of the event can be found here.

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Photo of Yaron Dori Yaron Dori

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the…

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the firm’s eight-person Management Committee.

Yaron’s practice advises clients on strategic planning, policy development, transactions, investigations and enforcement, and regulatory compliance.

Early in his career, Yaron advised telecommunications companies and investors on regulatory policy and frameworks that led to the development of broadband networks. When those networks became bidirectional and enabled companies to collect consumer data, he advised those companies on their data privacy and consumer protection obligations. Today, as new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being used to enhance the applications and services offered by such companies, he advises them on associated legal and regulatory obligations and risks. It is this varied background – which tracks the evolution of the technology industry – that enables Yaron to provide clients with a holistic, 360-degree view of technology policy, regulation, compliance, and enforcement.

Yaron represents clients before federal regulatory agencies—including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce (DOC)—and the U.S. Congress in connection with a range of issues under the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and similar statutes. He also represents clients on state regulatory and enforcement matters, including those that pertain to telecommunications, data privacy, and consumer protection regulation. His deep experience in each of these areas enables him to advise clients on a wide range of technology regulations and key business issues in which these areas intersect.

With respect to technology and telecommunications matters, Yaron advises clients on a broad range of business, policy and consumer-facing issues, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things;
  • Broadband deployment and regulation;
  • IP-enabled applications, services and content;
  • Section 230 and digital safety considerations;
  • Equipment and device authorization procedures;
  • The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA);
  • Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) requirements;
  • The Cable Privacy Act
  • Net Neutrality; and
  • Local competition, universal service, and intercarrier compensation.

Yaron also has extensive experience in structuring transactions and securing regulatory approvals at both the federal and state levels for mergers, asset acquisitions and similar transactions involving large and small FCC and state communication licensees.

With respect to privacy and consumer protection matters, Yaron advises clients on a range of business, strategic, policy and compliance issues, including those that pertain to:

  • The FTC Act and related agency guidance and regulations;
  • State privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act, the Colorado Privacy Act, the Connecticut Data Privacy Act, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Utah Consumer Privacy Act;
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
  • Location-based services that use WiFi, beacons or similar technologies;
  • Digital advertising practices, including native advertising and endorsements and testimonials; and
  • The application of federal and state telemarketing, commercial fax, and other consumer protection laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to voice, text, and video transmissions.

Yaron also has experience advising companies on congressional, FCC, FTC and state attorney general investigations into various consumer protection and communications matters, including those pertaining to social media influencers, digital disclosures, product discontinuance, and advertising claims.

Photo of Jayne Ponder Jayne Ponder

Jayne Ponder is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Jayne’s practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, and technology issues. She provides ongoing privacy and data protection…

Jayne Ponder is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Jayne’s practice focuses on a broad range of privacy, data security, and technology issues. She provides ongoing privacy and data protection counsel to companies, including on topics related to privacy policies and data practices, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and cyber and data security incident response and preparedness.

Photo of Conor Kane Conor Kane

Conor Kane advises clients on a broad range of privacy, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and emerging technology matters. He assists clients with complying with state privacy laws, developing AI governance structures, and engaging with the Federal Communications Commission.

Before joining Covington, Conor worked in…

Conor Kane advises clients on a broad range of privacy, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and emerging technology matters. He assists clients with complying with state privacy laws, developing AI governance structures, and engaging with the Federal Communications Commission.

Before joining Covington, Conor worked in digital advertising helping teams develop large consumer data collection and analytics platforms. He uses this experience to advise clients on matters related to digital advertising and advertising technology.