The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Second Circuit in the case of Andy Warhol Found. for Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith in a 7-2 decision issued May 18, 2023, authored by Justice Sotomayor. The Court held that the first factor of the copyright fair use test favored respondent photographer, Lynn Goldsmith, rather than petitioner, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (“AWF”). The decision was limited to AWF’s commercial licensing of a silkscreen image of Prince, based on Goldsmith’s underlying photograph, to Condé Nast. Below, we have highlighted the key factual background in the case and some takeaways from the Court’s decision. For more information, please see Cleary Gottlieb’s client alert.
What You Need To Know
- From 1 June 2023, a new EU unitary patent system (UPS) will become fully effective. A unitary patent (UP) is a European patent granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) to which, at the patent owner’s request, unitary effect is given for the territory of the EU Member States that have ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement – currently, 17 EU Member States. UPs give patent owners uniform protection across participating EU Member States, removing the need for national validation procedures as well as individual national enforcement in each EU Member State.
As we continue to see the rapid development of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (“AI”) tools, legislators around the world are contemplating how best to regulate these technologies. In the UK, the Government has adopted a “pro-innovation” agenda, with the aim of making the UK “an attractive destination for R&D projects, manufacturing and investment, and ensuring [the UK] can realise the economic and social benefits of new technologies as quickly as possible.”
On 16 March 2023, the US Copyright Office (“USCO”) published guidance on the registration of works containing AI-generated content. The USCO’s policy statement was released against the backdrop of the proliferation of generative AI tools which are able to create content based on user prompts. The USCO ultimately concluded that the “authorship” requirement of US copyright law refers to “human authorship” (in line with prior case law) and appears to reject the extension of copyright to works generated with the aid of AI technology outside of the user’s control.
On 15 March 2023, the UK ICO published an update to its Guidance on AI and Data Protection (the “Guidance”), following requests from the UK industry to clarify requirements for fairness in artificial intelligence (“AI”). The Guidance contains advice on the interpretation of relevant data protection law as it applies to AI, and recommendations on good practice for organisational and technical measures to mitigate risks caused by AI.
In light of the increasing prevalence of automated “self-driving” vehicles, the Law Commissions of England and Wales and Scotland published a joint report on automated vehicles at the beginning of last year, which is currently before the UK Parliament for consideration. The report recommends the introduction of a new Automated Vehicles Act specifically to regulate automated vehicles and recalibrate legal accountability for their use.
In September 2022, the European Commission published its proposal for a new product liability directive (“PLD”), and a proposal for a directive on adapting non-contractual civil liability rules to artificial intelligence (“AILD”).