As COVID-19 lockdowns continue to restrict in-person production, advertisers are increasingly turning to digital technologies to produce new creative assets. Recently, there has been increased interest in using “deepfake” technologies to repurpose archival footage.  A “deepfake” is essentially a video or audio that has been manipulated in a way that is undetectable to people viewing or listening, resulting in a piece of media that appears authentic.
Continue Reading “Deepfake” Technology: Very Real Marketing Value … and Risks


User generated content (“UGC”) is the interactive marketing and promotion industry’s fixation du jour.  And for good reason – UGC is being monetized on the Internet in various ways, from building multi-billion dollar valuations for social networking sites to driving consumer awareness of and enthusiasm for such products as Mentos candy and the next music single from Shakira.  Other than the filters that users self-impose upon themselves, little stands in the way between users and the type of UGC that they post online in the first instance.  As a result, UGC is rarely cleared for legal purposes before it is posted for the whole world to see, and a lot of UGC consists of content lifted wholesale from television shows or content that otherwise infringes upon the rights of third parties.

That reality has prompted content owners to bring several high-profile lawsuits against social networking sites and other website operators whose users have posted allegedly infringing UGC.  As more websites allow users to post content to discussion boards, create assets in virtual worlds, post profiles on social networking and dating sites, or participate in UGC promotions, the number of lawsuits alleging defamation type claims and intellectual property claims (e.g., copyright, trademark, publicity, trade secrets) can be expected to multiply.  Recent court decisions interpreting the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) are helping draw the lines between when the website operators can rest easy, and when they can’t.Continue Reading User Generated Content Promotions: Are You As Safe As You Think You Are?