Intellectual Property, Technology & Media Newsletter – December 2023

19 December 2023

Welcome to our Newsletter, bringing you the latest in Intellectual Property, Technology and Media Law news.

Could you be defamed by a robot? A snapshot of the defamation allegations faced by ChatGPT this year

Amidst the novelty (and controversy) surrounding ChatGPT’s ability to generate a new hit song and an award-winning photograph, concerns have been raised about the accuracy of the statements that ChatGPT produces.

The responses generated are sometimes inaccurate, known as ‘hallucinations’ and have resulted in ChatGPT publishing incorrect statements about individuals, leading to defamation claims against the developer of ChatGPT, OpenAI.

In this article we discuss the developing cases and how they could provide helpful insight into the emerging legal landscape in relation to generative AI.

Click here to read more.

“Is that true?” Australian Government closes in on releasing new misinformation and disinformation Bill

The Australian Government released the draft Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023 for public consultation in June this year, aimed at combatting the spread of misinformation and disinformation online.

Under the proposed reforms, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) would be provided with powers aimed at minimising and preventing harmful misinformation and disinformation on digital platforms. The powers will, amongst other things, allow the ACMA to act in circumstances where it considers that a digital service provider does not have adequate measures in place for minimising and preventing misinformation and disinformation online.

Click here to read more.

A reminder about Spam: Ticketek case

In October 2023, Ticketek was found by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to have breached the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (Spam Act) for sending ‘commercial electronic messages‘ to people without their consent.

As a result, Ticketek was found to be in breach of the Spam Act and issued an infringement notice with a penalty of $515,040.

ACMA’s decision highlights the importance of ensuring that all communications comply with the Spam Act. In particular, caution should be exercised when sending communications that are largely factual but also contain social media links.

Click here to read more.

Have online dating customers been catfished by eHarmony?

Social media and digital networks have transformed the way that we form relationships, including romantic relationships. It has been reported that, in 2023, over three million people in Australian alone use dating apps to meet new people and even find love.

Following hundreds of complaints from consumers, the ACCC commenced proceedings against eHarmony for allegedly making misleading statements in relation to their membership subscriptions.

The proceedings against eHarmony come as a timely reminder to all businesses using digital platforms to advertise or provide services to consumers, of the importance of complying with their digital marketing obligations.

Click here to read more.

In case you missed it, the following articles were recently written and published by our team:

I spy with my little ‘.ai’: navigating the tricky waters of domain name deception

In the fast-evolving world of new AI startups such as, Elon Musk’s and OpenAI, a new challenge has emerged for businesses: the increasing use of the ‘.ai’ domain name. This trend, while indicative of the AI boom, has unfortunately led to a rise in AI-themed scams.

Cybercriminals are exploiting the ‘.ai’ domain name and its increasing popularity with AI developers to create cybersquatting and typosquatting scams.

The situation underscores the urgent need for businesses to proactively safeguard their online presence, brand identity and domain names.

Click here to read more.

Revealing confidential sources in defamation claims: Al Muderis v Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd & Ors FCA NSD917/2022

​An interesting twist in a current defamation trial has occurred with a separate hearing undertaken to determine whether a journalist should reveal their confidential sources.

The nature of the application puts to the test a number of issues concerning how a journalist needs to confirm confidentiality with a source and the ways that might occur.

Normally such applications are made prior to the final hearing of defamation proceedings. This is the first time such an application has been made during a trial and goes to the very heart of the media’s public interest defence.

Click here to read more.

Moving on from Voller? Stage 2 defamation reforms on the horizon

Substantial changes to Australian defamation laws are set to commence on 1 July 2024.

The reforms will provide more protection to “digital intermediaries” (a new concept), which captures persons and entities who run websites, social media platforms and search engines, by creating new exemptions and a new defence to liability.

The reforms are designed to address concerns about the decision of the High Court in Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v Voller regarding the potential liability of media companies for third party comments on their social media platforms.

Click here to read more.

Rocketing through regulations: developing a technology security plan for space launches and related activities

As cyberspace and outer space become more integrated and interdependent, the security of space infrastructure is only growing more critical to national security.

The cyberattack on Viasat’s satellite network in Ukraine highlights the security risks affecting the commercial space sector. Businesses intending to undertake space launches or related activities in Australia must obtain appropriate approvals from the regulator.

Organisations applying for a permit in Australia must submit a technology security plan for approval, setting out certain procedures and arrangements to protect space technologies, including a cybersecurity strategy.

Click here to read more.

Amendments to section 33 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld): transfer of personal information overseas

The Information Privacy and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 was introduced to the Queensland Parliament in October.

The primary purpose was to introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme to QLD Government Departments and Agencies, however there has also been a subtle change to section 33 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) which regulates the transfer of personal information to entities outside of Australia.

In this article we provide an update on these changes, highlighting some of the key considerations for QLD Government Departments and Agencies moving forward.

Click here to read more.

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