The Archives

Everything written by Kristian Stout on law, economics, and more

ICLE/ITIF Amicus Brief Urges Court to Set Aside FCC’s Digital-Discrimination Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted sweeping new rules designed to prevent so-called “digital discrimination” in the deployment, access, and adoption of broadband internet services. But an amicus brief filed by the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of ... ICLE/ITIF Amicus Brief Urges Court to Set Aside FCC’s Digital-Discrimination Rules

Systemic Risk and Copyright in the EU AI Act

The European Parliament’s approval last week of the AI Act marked a significant milestone in the regulation of artificial intelligence. While the law’s final text is less alarming than what was initially proposed, it nonetheless still includes some ambiguities that could be exploited by regulators in ways that would hinder innovation in the EU.  Among ... Systemic Risk and Copyright in the EU AI Act

Navigating the AI Frontier, Part I

The European Union is on the verge of enacting the landmark Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), which will—for better or worse—usher in a suite of new obligations, and hidden pitfalls, for individuals and firms trying to navigate the development, distribution, and deployment of software. Over the coming months, we will be delving into the nuances ... Navigating the AI Frontier, Part I

The FTC’s Misguided Campaign to Expand Bayh-Dole ‘March-In’ Rights

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now gone on record in comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that it supports expanded “march-in rights” under the Bayh-Dole Act (Act). But if NIST takes the FTC’s (unexpected, but ultimately unsurprising) contribution seriously, such an expansion could lead to overregulation that would ultimately hurt ... The FTC’s Misguided Campaign to Expand Bayh-Dole ‘March-In’ Rights

EU’s Cybersecurity Draft Shifts Toward Hard Protectionism

A year ago, we cautioned that the EU Cybersecurity Certification Scheme for Cloud Services (EUCS) threatened to embed ill-conceived economic protectionism into the EU’s cybersecurity rules. And, indeed, the European Commission, which has made clear its commitment to pursue “digital sovereignty” for the European Union, can claim some preliminary successes on that front. A recent ... EU’s Cybersecurity Draft Shifts Toward Hard Protectionism

Biden’s AI Executive Order Sees Dangers Around Every Virtual Corner

Here in New Jersey, where I live, the day before Halloween is commonly celebrated as “Mischief Night,” an evening of adolescent revelry and light vandalism that typically includes hurling copious quantities of eggs and toilet paper. It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that President Joe Biden chose Oct. 30 to sign a sweeping executive order (EO) ... Biden’s AI Executive Order Sees Dangers Around Every Virtual Corner

Competition in the Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Industry

Amazon on Friday launched its first two prototype satellites for its planned Project Kuiper internet-satellite network. It was the latest milestone in the rapid evolution of the low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite industry, with companies like SpaceX and OneWeb joining Project Kuiper in launching thousands of satellites to provide broadband internet access globally. As this nascent industry ... Competition in the Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Industry

The Modern Video Marketplace Does Not Need Help From the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is no stranger to undertaking controversial and potentially counterproductive regulatory projects. The commission’s digital-discrimination proceeding is expected to continue in November, and FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel just announced that the FCC will revive the warmed-over corpse of the 2015 Open Internet Order. This latter item highlights how the FCC’s Democratic ... The Modern Video Marketplace Does Not Need Help From the FCC

The AI Act and Regulatory Overaggregation

It appears that the emergence of ChatGPT and other artificial-intelligence systems has complicated the European Union’s efforts to implement its AI Act, mostly by challenging its underlying assumptions. The proposed regulation seeks to govern a diverse and rapidly growing AI landscape. In reality, however, there is no single thing that can be called “AI.” Instead, the category comprises ... The AI Act and Regulatory Overaggregation

Twitter v. Taamneh and the Law & Economics of Intermediary Liability

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law will host a hearing this afternoon on Gonzalez v. Google, one of two terrorism-related cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court that implicate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. We’ve written before about how the Court might and should rule in ... Twitter v. Taamneh and the Law & Economics of Intermediary Liability

A Few Questions (and Even Fewer Answers) About What Artificial Intelligence Will Mean for Copyright

Not only have digital-image generators like Stable Diffusion, DALL-E, and Midjourney—which make use of deep-learning models and other artificial-intelligence (AI) systems—created some incredible (and sometimes creepy – see above) visual art, but they’ve engendered a good deal of controversy, as well. Human artists have banded together as part of a fledgling anti-AI campaign; lawsuits have ... A Few Questions (and Even Fewer Answers) About What Artificial Intelligence Will Mean for Copyright

Does the DOJ’s Approach in Gonzalez Point the Way Toward Section 230 Reform?

Later next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google LLC, a case that has drawn significant attention and many bad takes regarding how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be interpreted. Enacted in the mid-1990s, when the Internet as we know it was still in its infancy, ... Does the DOJ’s Approach in Gonzalez Point the Way Toward Section 230 Reform?