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The Kentucky and Louisiana Legislatures Could Make Posting Your Concert Pictures Illegal

Imagine a government outlawing auto-color correction on a picture you took at a concert. While that may sound absurd, the Kentucky and Louisiana legislatures are currently considering bills that would do just that, with SB 317 in Kansas and SB 6 in Louisiana.

While lawmakers aim to safeguard individuals’ digital likenesses from AI generation, unfortunately, that would not be the effect of these proposals. 

The bills’ definitions are so overly broad and vague that they accidentally would catch innocent bystanders. With no clear definitions of terms like “synthetic media,” it would result in a legal free-for-all.

Imagine this: you post a picture of a famous singer at a concert on your social channels. But, boom! You’re slapped with a lawsuit because someone claims the singer’s “likeness” was used without their consent. It may sound absurd, but that is what the proposals do in effect.

Additionally, these bills could turn benign clicks into a legal landmine. If you were to click an “auto-edit” prompt on a photo on your phone to brighten the colors and these bills became law, you would now be legally obligated to slap a disclaimer on your masterpiece, warning the world about your “AI-assisted edits.”

There are better approaches to governing AI tools. 

Rather than leaping headfirst into this legal quagmire, Kentucky and Louisiana should focus on enforcing existing laws against deceptive practices. Fraud is already illegal as is deception. Misappropriating someone’s likeness is also enforceable under existing law.

Instead of passing these bills, Kentucky and Louisiana’s legislatures should consider passing bills like the Stop Deepfake CSAM Act to tackle the dark corners of AI-generated child exploitation material or the Stop Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Deepfake Media Act to put the brakes on AI-enabled revenge porn.

Let’s not turn Kentucky and Louisiana into legal battlegrounds where innocent social media posts become court summons. It’s time to stop throwing glitter on these bills and focus on real solutions to real problems.

Thankfully, the Tennessee legislature realized the errors of their ways and amended its version of these bills to eliminate these unintended consequences. By clarifying definitions and focusing the scope, Tennessee avoided the pitfalls that Kentucky and Louisiana are now facing. 

Tennessee should serve as a lesson to other states like Kentucky and Louisiana considering similar legislation – broad, vague bills may end up doing more harm than good. It’s crucial to craft targeted, well-defined laws that address specific harms without catching innocent parties in the crossfire.