MarqVision Raises $20 Million to Help Monitor and Protect IP

Intellectual property protection is leveraging the power of AI using search. MarqVision is a firm built around monitoring e-commerce and general content platforms policing IP rights, with particular attention to blockchain and NFTs. The Los Angeles-based startup has raised $20 million in Series A funding to further its goal of detecting counterfeits and having them removed from points of online distribution and sale. Originally incubated at Y Combinator, MarqVision has put together a client base that spans from luxury brands LVMH, Ralph Lauren and Baccarat to the more populist Pokémon. Continue reading MarqVision Raises $20 Million to Help Monitor and Protect IP

Legal Questions Loom as OpenAI Widens Access to DALL-E

OpenAI is expanding its beta outreach for DALL-E 2 by inviting an additional one million waitlisted people to join the AI imaging platform over the coming weeks. DALL-E users will receive 50 credits during their first month of use and 15 credits every subsequent month, with each credit redeemable for an original DALL-E-prompted generation (returning four images) or an edit or variation prompt (which returns three images). Additional credits may be purchased in 115-generation increments for $15. Starting this month, users get rights to commercialize their DALL-E images. However, the move highlights the legal implications of AI and possible copyright infringement. Continue reading Legal Questions Loom as OpenAI Widens Access to DALL-E

Diverse Groups Unite to Create Metaverse Standards Forum

The Metaverse Standards Forum is moving forward with plans to facilitate standards for an open, interoperable metaverse. The consortium, which announced this week it is open for business, emphasized it is not a new standards organization, but “will simply coordinate requirements and support for existing standards organizations developing standards relevant to the metaverse under their existing governance models and intellectual property frameworks.” It is backed by private firms including Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Adobe, Nvidia, Epic Games and Sony Interactive, as well as non-profits like the World Wide Web Consortium, Web3D and the Academy Software Foundation. Continue reading Diverse Groups Unite to Create Metaverse Standards Forum

IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

As blockchain projects diversify into sales marketplaces for creative works, many find themselves dealing with copyright problems due to uncertainty as to how existing law applies to things like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). For instance, while purchase of an NFT confers certain rights, copyright isn’t one of them, unless the buyer applies for a standard copyright license. Spice DAO spent $3 million to purchase director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970s illustrated pitch for an unfilmed version of “Dune,” only to have the “Dune” copyright holder block the ability to turn the storyboards into an animated film. Continue reading IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

TikTok Debuts Creator Crediting, Explores Adding Minigames

TikTok plans a gaming ramp-up and is adding a variety of improvements to enhance the platform and improve revenue. At present, gaming is extremely limited on TikTok, but the company is reportedly conducting tests in Vietnam preparatory to a big gaming push. TikTok is also introducing “Branded Mission” to connect creators with brands for possible remuneration. And, after years of controversy over attribution, TikTok is launching a button that lets creators add credits for their inspiration as part of the publishing process, tagging others upon whose work theirs is built. Continue reading TikTok Debuts Creator Crediting, Explores Adding Minigames

The U.S. and European Union Strategize Global Tech Policies

The U.S. and European Union are seeking to establish joint policies that advance cooperation and democratic approaches to trade, technology, and security on both sides of the Atlantic. The second meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) — May 15-16 in Saclay, near Paris — emphasized how Washington, Brussels and other free-market democracies should develop a joint response to the challenges presented by dictatorships and their controlled economies. In addition to semiconductor supply chain issues, topics including China’s digital clout, export controls for technology IP and human rights were discussed. Continue reading The U.S. and European Union Strategize Global Tech Policies

Sony and Kirkbi Invest $2 Billion in Epic Games’ Meta Vision

Epic Games has raised $2 billion in a funding round that will fuel the company’s ambition to build a metaverse. Investments of $1 billion each came from existing shareholder Sony Group and Kirkbi, the family-owned company that owns 75 percent of the Lego Group. Epic continues to have a single class of common stock outstanding and remains controlled by founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, who launched the company in 1991. The fresh funds — the largest game company raise since 2002, according to PitchBook Data — positions Epic’s post-money equity valuation at $31.5 billion, the company says. Continue reading Sony and Kirkbi Invest $2 Billion in Epic Games’ Meta Vision

Russia Invites Patent Theft, Paves the Way for Nationalization

Russia is pushing back against sanctions by encouraging intellectual property theft, declaring that “unfriendly” countries will not be compensated for the use of patented technologies. The government legislative commission also approved measures laying groundwork for the nationalization of property of companies exiting the country. Russian officials are also intimating that some trademark restrictions will be lifted, so as to maintain a presence for brands like McDonald’s that are pulling up stakes. In addition to inventions and trademarks, the Russian measures could affect computer software and other technology. Continue reading Russia Invites Patent Theft, Paves the Way for Nationalization

Microsoft Takes Its Case for Activision Purchase to Capitol Hill

Microsoft has begun laying the groundwork to gain regulatory approval for its $68 billion Activision Blizzard bid, assuring D.C. decision-makers the purchase will not improperly advantage its own platforms and services. In an effort at transparency, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith say they’re “sharing where we’re going with members of Congress” and meeting with think tank representatives to compile a best-practices road map to ensure lawmakers and stakeholders the deal presents no threat. Microsoft says it wants Activision’s IP not to dominate existing markets but to help stake its claim in the emerging metaverse. Continue reading Microsoft Takes Its Case for Activision Purchase to Capitol Hill

VPN Unlimited Settles with U.S. Filmmakers in BitTorrent Suit

VPN Unlimited has agreed to block BitTorrent traffic via sites such as The Pirate Bay as well as access to online pirate services on U.S. servers. The move is part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit brought by a consortium of independent film production companies. The complaint alleges that VPN Unlimited’s subsidiary KeepSolid Inc. has perpetuated widespread copyright infringement. BitTorrent sites YTS and RARBG are also targeted in the settlement. By failing to disconnect repeat offenders, VPN and KeepSolid are accused of encouraging copyright infringement. Continue reading VPN Unlimited Settles with U.S. Filmmakers in BitTorrent Suit

EU’s Data Governance Act Targets Growth of Digital Economy

The European Parliament and EU Member States have reached an agreement on the Data Governance Act, clearing the way for final approval on legislation. The Data Governance Act is a framework designed to encourage sharing under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), consumer protection laws and competition rules. The goal is to develop common European data spaces in areas such as manufacturing, cultural heritage and health. The Data Governance Act is the first of two steps. The EU’s Data Act — which promotes data sharing among EU member states, businesses and government — will soon be formally proposed. Continue reading EU’s Data Governance Act Targets Growth of Digital Economy

Miramax’s Tarantino Lawsuit Forges a Path for Industry NFTs

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets stored on the blockchain, hit $10.7 billion in trading volume during the third quarter. It’s a serious pot of money and Hollywood wants a piece. Quentin Tarantino’s efforts to sell NFTs associated with his 1994 feature “Pulp Fiction” and Miramax’s lawsuit to prevent him from doing so without its own financial participation could prove seminal. While studios have undoubtedly begun adding “NFT” to contracts in express terms, the rulings as this first-in-class lawsuit wends its way through the courts will impact NFT rights for all previously made films. Continue reading Miramax’s Tarantino Lawsuit Forges a Path for Industry NFTs

Ford, GM Seek Greater Supply Chain Control with Chip Deals

U.S. automakers are aiming to combat the global chip shortage by pursuing more decisive roles in their semiconductor supply chains. Ford CEO Jim Farley announced a relationship with GlobalFoundries that heralds Ford’s entre to chipmaking, describing the deal as “just the beginning, and a key part of our plan to vertically integrate key technologies and capabilities that will differentiate Ford far into the future.” GM president Mark Reuss emphasized North American manufacturing in unveiling seven companies with which his company will be working on the design and delivery of new processors. Continue reading Ford, GM Seek Greater Supply Chain Control with Chip Deals

Department of Justice Launches a Cryptocurrency Crime Unit

The U.S. Department of Justice has formed the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) to investigate the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes. The new unit will examine cases involving virtual currency exchanges and money laundering. Members will also investigate so-called “mixing and tumbling” services, which involve charging a fee to send cryptocurrency to an address while obscuring the source of funds. The group, which include experts from the offices of U.S. Attorneys, will also work on tracing and recovery of assets lost to fraud, hacking or ransomware extortion. Continue reading Department of Justice Launches a Cryptocurrency Crime Unit

Strider Shield Technology Aims to Protect Intellectual Property

Strider Technologies has debuted its Strider Shield platform that helps businesses better understand potential threats to intellectual property — including nation-state directed IP theft and supply chain threats — by combining online tracking tools often used by advertising agencies with data ingestion tools, natural language processing and various algorithms. Strider co-founder and chief strategy officer Eric Levesque said that Strider Shield allows an enterprise to collect thousands of data points such as email addresses, domain names and keywords to correlate against systems where the IP resides, in order to surface potential risks. Continue reading Strider Shield Technology Aims to Protect Intellectual Property