Generative AI & Copyright - Tuesday, June 11th, 7:00PM-9:00PM CST

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Our speaker this month is Ed Cavazos. Ed Cavazos is a technology attorney and the managing partner of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Austin office. His practice focuses on intellectual property and cutting-edge issues in the internet, e-commerce, video game, and software industries. He routinely advises his clients on licensing and technology transactions, IP disputes, data rights and privacy issues. He has been involved in a wide variety of high-profile legal matters, including assisting on the Steve Jackson Games lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service while still a law student, successfully defending tech companies against patent and copyright trolls, and representing some of the earliest entrepreneurs developing NFT and Metaverse-related business models. As one recent example, Ed represented Larva Labs (the developers and IP owners of the CryptoPunks NFT collection) in the March 2022 sale of its underlying IP right to Yuga, the owners of Board Ape Yacht Club, in one of the most notable transactions in the nascent NFT industry. For the past three decades, Ed has been a thought-leader on the intersection of law and technology. His 1994 book, Cyberspace and the Law (MIT Press) was one of the first texts exploring internet legal issues and over the years he has written a number of law review articles exploring similar issues. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where he is currently teaching “The Law of Software, Video Games and Interactive Entertainment.” Ed was one of the founders of EFF-Austin in the early 1990’s and has, since then, served in various officer, board and advisory board roles.

One of the key legal issues currently being debated around Generative AI is whether or not tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney are in violation of copyright, namely, whether the act of using existing artistic content as training data to produce new content is a derivative or transformational use of the training data. In this talk, Ed will walk us through both what current copyright law has to say about the legal status of AI art, as well as what he believes the legal framework around AI art should be going forward.

Capital Factory is located at 701 Brazos Street, on the 1st floor of the Omni Hotel. We are in the Devvie meeting room. To locate Devvie, locate Capital Factory's main event room off the Omni lobby, Voltron, Suite 150. Once inside, there should be someone at the desk to direct you to our meetup, but, if no one is there, proceed to the left past the kitchen and down the hallway, Devvie is right around the corner. You may also message us on this event or message us at @EFFaustin on Twitter or @effaustin on Mastodon if you are having trouble finding us. Please note that the room will be locked and EFF-Austin will not have access until 10-15 minutes before 7:00pm CST. We will try to have someone in the Omni lobby earlier than that in front of the Voltron doors to greet you if you arrive early, but otherwise just wait in the lobby until you are let in.

Talk will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/austintechlive and will later be archived at https://www.youtube.com/user/effaustin. Questions for the speaker from virtual attendees may be submitted via the Youtube livestream chat, our Twitter account, @EFFaustin, or our Mastodon account, @effaustin.

Parking for the Omni Garage can be validated at the Capital Factory front desk inside room Voltron, Suite 150, reducing the cost to $8. If no one is at the desk, check with EFF-Austin meetup organizers, we can provide you with one. Attendees must park after 5pm and leave before 10pm to receive the discount, otherwise they will be charged full price, which is $3.25 for every 30 minutes. Affordable street park is also available nearby. Details: https://capitalfactory.com/parking/

Join us for the discussion from 7:00PM-9:00PM, followed by drinks and camaraderie from 9:00PM-10:00PM in the Omni Hotel lobby.


Activism, Creativity and Innovation, Free Speech, Government 2.0, Privacy, Security, Texas Legislature, Transparency

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EFF-Austin advocates establishment and protection of digital rights and defense of the wealth of digital information, innovation, and technology. We promote the right of all citizens to communicate and share information without unreasonable constraint. We also advocate the fundamental right to explore, tinker, create, and innovate along the frontier of emerging technologies.

Oral History of EFF-Austin

Joel Greenberg recorded an oral history with EFF-Austin early board members John Quarterman, Ed Cavazos, and Jon Lebkowsky. Link

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Our Meetups are usually the 2nd Monday of the month at Capital Factory (701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601) in Austin.

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