As innovative applications with integrated smart contract functionality emerge from blockchain technology platforms, there is an expanding list of digital currencies, tokens and peer-to-peer financial products and services. Abbreviations abound. There are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which, unlike fungible cryptocurrencies, are “one-of-a-kind’ digital assets stored on a blockchain platform, and can include images, videos, recordings, collectibles and tangible items in the physical world. There is decentralized finance (DeFi), the peer-to-peer transaction infrastructure for tokens and other software applications and contracts designed to replace traditional banking products and services and streamline transactions. Decentralized applications (dApps) are a relatively new technology similar to traditional web applications from a user perspective, but which run on distributed blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum, rather than on a single computer—dApps are typically open source, allowing software developers to improve features and functions quickly, and free from control by any single authority. Smart contract protocols permit dApps to access the blockchain platform and integrate with cryptocurrencies, NFTs and DeFi projects.
Joel Simon: Our discussion today is going to touch on a number of things that are a mystery to a lot of people. We’ll focus on non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, and in the process, can’t help but mention blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Cydney, I read recently that the technology for an NFT has existed since 2010. They went mainstream in 2017, and this year, NFTs have already generated more than $2 billion in sales. So this is definitely a topic that people should get up to speed on. Let’s start with the most basic question: What is an NFT?
As the use of biometric information such as fingerprints, iris scans, facial scans, and voice prints becomes more and more common, so, too, have the number of lawsuits brought for the unauthorized use of private information and for the violation of privacy laws—including class action lawsuits. In “The Duty to Defend a Privacy Claim Arises from Even Limited Publication of Biometric Identifiers,” our colleague Sandra Kaczmarczyk examines an important recent Illinois Supreme Court decision that is “likely to be at the forefront of future coverage litigation as other state courts grapple with the coverage afforded by business insurance policies for privacy claims.”
Brian Finch recently returned to Joel Simon‘s Industry Insights podcast to discuss the uptick in cyberattacks, data breaches perpetuating insider trading and strategies companies can employ to guard against these problems.
Joel Simon: It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 10 months since you joined us for a discussion of social engineering, fund diversion scams and a then recent escalation of state-sponsored cyberattacks. A lot has changed since then, but not surprisingly cyberattacks have increased and some of their aftereffects have had far-ranging implications. What are you seeing as the biggest threats today?
In our previous post we discussed the importance of conducting a thorough due diligence and procurement process with smart technology providers. Next up? The contract.
The price of a procured product is always important, but equally important are other contractual terms that reflect the commercial agreement. Ultimately, the contract should answer the fundamental question of “What are you buying?” The product itself is not the only feature being purchased. A customer is also buying certainty, service performance, risk mitigation, flexibility, security, compliance, and other similar “intangible” items of value.
It might be a little meta to have a blog post about a blog post, but there’s no way around it when the FTC publishes a post to its blog warning companies that use AI to “[h]old yourself accountable—or be ready for the FTC to do it for you.” When last we wrote about facial recognition AI, we discussed how the courts are being used to push for AI accountability and how Twitter has taken the initiative to understand the impacts of its machine learning algorithms through its Responsible ML program. Now we have the FTC weighing in with recommendations on how companies can use AI in a truthful, fair and equitable manner—along with a not-so-subtle reminder that the FTC has tools at its disposal to combat unfair or biased AI and is willing to step in and do so should companies fail to take responsibility.
Over the past few months, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity in the worlds of visual arts, sports memorabilia, bobbleheads, and now, music. We have recently seen multiple high-profile NFT releases from artists such as the Weeknd, the White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and Steve Aoki, kickstarting a trend as musicians reeling from over a year without touring seek new ways to engage with fans.
Earlier this month, in what many consider the copyright case of the decade, the Supreme Court released its much-anticipated decision in Google v. Oracle. In it, the Court ruled that Google’s copying of 11,500 lines of declaring code from Java SE for use in Google’s Android platform, was fair use. Having recently reviewed the history of the fair use defense in copyright infringement cases, we now turn to the case itself.
Last month, the Supreme Court released its much-anticipated decision in Google v. Oracle. The Court ruled that Google’s copying of 11,500 lines of declaring code from Java SE, for use in Google’s Android platform, was fair use.
While we examine the Supreme Court’s decision in another post, let’s first take a look at the history of the fair use defense in the software industry.
Just as video killed the radio star, so did the digital transformation kill (or at least convert) traditional media. While “going digital” became the bane of many traditional media companies that struggled to make the leap to an online world, NFTs may be the digital savior that some of these companies need. Imagine that you are a company with a known brand and sizeable catalog of media with potential historical and cultural significance. Yet, you’ve found it difficult to monetize these assets in a world that abhors paywalls and often takes an overly broad view of what constitutes “fair use.” If only there were a way to highlight the unique significance of these assets and tap into the latent collector in all of us. Anyone who follows us already knows that NFTs can serve this very function.