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Spotlight on Kelsey's
AI Media Expertise

AI media - also known as synthetic media or generative AI - uses artificial intelligence algorithms to generate content ranging from text and static images, to complex, studio-quality sound and video. This technology represents a ground-breaking shift in content creation, as well as how we conceive, produce, and enjoy media more broadly.

The use of AI in the audiovisual sector is however not without risk. There are many serious legal, commercial, and social concerns, including intellectual property rights infringement, threats to electoral processes and political decision-making, and harms posed to individuals through image-based sexual abuse and reputational damage.  

My expertise lies in
navigating the risks and opportunities of using AI in this context. I offer legal advice that considers not just the technicalities of the law, but also pragmatic commercial drivers and creative aspirations - without losing sight of important ethical and human rights implications. Highlights of my work in this area are set out below.
Media Appearances

Media Appearances

In Dispatches: Deep Fakes: Can You Trust Your Eyes? Reporter Morland Sanders shone a light on tech’s dark side and interviewed me about regulating deepfake technology. 

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I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Future Will Be Synthesised to discuss the legal issues surrounding deepfakes used in the creative and entertainment industries.

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Channel 5 - News

I appeared on Channel 5 News to discuss the implications of the cheerleader deepfake.

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I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Positive Thinking: an end to deepfakes? to discuss the legal, social and technological consequences of deepfakes, and deepfake detection programs.

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Publications
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Major Publications

I authored a chapter in a special report on AI in the audiovisual sector. I provided a tour of personality rights issues across multiple jurisdictions, with with a focus on ghost acting, life and post-mortem personality rights, and infringement issues (notably deepfakes) across several jurisdictions, including California, England, France, Germany, and Sweden. The paper was commissioned by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

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This paper for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice was published in 2019 and is one of the earliest academic research pieces on the laws applicable to deepfakes. I considered  whether English law should adopt California’s publicity right in the age of the deepfake. Also available on SSRN.

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I authored the official practice note on deepfakes for LexisNexis, covering how  deepfakes work, applicable UK law, EU proposals of relevance to the UK, and what social media platforms and search engines are doing to counter risks. It also explores technological controls (future tech counters to deepfakes), problem areas concerning technological controls, and problem areas concerning legislative or common law controls.

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In this paper for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, I considered the legal and practical challenges of using someone's image and personal brand for commercial purposes (e.g. an actor as a brand ambassador), and offers advice on what contracts should cover.

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Projects
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Advisory & Projects

I am an advisory board member of vera.ai - VERification Assisted by Artificial Intelligence. Funded by Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, the vera.AI project focuses on disinformation analysis and AI supported verification tools and services. The ambition is to provide solutions that can be used by the widest possible community such as journalists, investigators, researchers and such like, while also setting the foundations for future research and development in the area AI against disinformation.

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The emergence of a new generation of digitally manipulated media capable of generating highly realistic videos – also known as deepfakes – has generated substantial concerns about possible misuse. In response to these concerns, this report assesses the technical, societal and regulatory aspects of deepfakes. I was interviewed by the European Parliament's Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and contributed to their policy paper, Tackling deepfakes in European policy  (PE 690.039 – July 2021), which identifies five dimensions of the deepfake lifecycle that policy-makers could take into account to prevent and address the adverse impacts of deepfakes.

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I attended an interdisciplinary expert workshop on deepfakes held by the EPFL International Risk Governance Center in Zurich, Switzerland, in September 2019. There, she contributed to the policy paper Forged Authenticity: Governing Deepfake Risks, which suggests a simple framework for categorizing and prioritizing potential deepfake risks, before providing an overview of 15 potential technological, legal and societal responses.

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I was asked to peer review a risk governance perspective on the deepfake phenomenon, arguing that it warrants greater attention. In this article, the authors distinguish between three levels of harm that synthetic media can lead to: individual, organisational and societal. The paper sets out a framework for prioritising among these harms before  discussing the technical, legal and wider societal efforts that are under way to protect against deepfake risks.

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Speaking
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Speaking Engagements

I am regularly invited to guest lecture at universities, give presentations at industry events, or otherwise offer training for clients, fellow legal professionals, and members of the public. Below are a few highlights of my speaking engagements.

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Doughty Street Chambers invited me to speak at their annual International Women's Day event on 2 March, 2024. I spoke on a panel entitled Generated harms: the rise of exploitative AI, and provided a high-level overview of the harmful ways that deepfakes can be used against women and girls: a transcript of my remarks is linked above.

I was a keynote speaker at FLOW:London, a day-long event put on by Pixelz, Inc., where professionals from the creative and post-production industries connect and inspire one another. My presentation, Generative AI And IP Rights – A Media Lawyer's Perspective, gave a high level overview of the challenges that generative AI poses to traditional copyright protections, and offered some practical tips for content creators.

I was a panellist for a Synthetic Futures event focused on creativity, AI, and the law. While many uses of synthetic media are covered by existing legal provisions, others, such as synthetic resurrection and the unauthorised commercial use of someone’s likeness, raise interesting questions relating to image rights, privacy, and intellectual property.

My colleague Kate Loxton and I presented a webinar for LexisNexis, covering an introduction to synthetic media, risks posed by deepfakes, various mitigations and laws, and opportunities and future gazing. View the full webinar on LexisNexis here (requires subscription).

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Copyright: Fair Use

I was a guest lecturer on the U.S. copyright doctrine of Fair Use for the Kings College London Copyright Law course designed for practising lawyers, regulators and senior level copyright professionals in the entertainment, media, publishing, software and cultural industries. 

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I was a guest speaker at the 2021 European Legal Security Forum in London. Her presentation focused on the key defences being prepared to preserve authenticity in our increasingly synthetic future. I also outlined the existing and emerging malicious uses of deepfakes law firms need to know about.

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Using deepfakes as a case study, I presented a webinar for the Society of Computers & Law, a UK charity for those interested in technology and internet laws and regulations. I explained how incredibly realistic digital versions of ourselves have the potential to disrupt our personal lives, certain aspects of the law, and society.

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Other Highlights


 

  • AI in Idea Generation and Content Creation: Providing legal, regulatory, and commercial advice on the use of AI for pitches, greenlighting, content creation and modification, and more.
     

  • Copyright Law: Advising on UK as well as U.S. and EU copyright laws, to include fair dealing, fair use, "sampling", transformative use, and infringements.
     

  • Intellectual Property Protection: Advising creatives on safeguarding their intellectual property and confidential information, especially during collaborations and pre-production stages.
     

  • Image and Persona Rights: Guiding clients on obtaining and using image rights (also known as publicity, persona, and / or personality rights) for both living and deceased individuals.
     

  • Talent Agreements: Negotiating and drafting endorsement deals and talent agreements - including those for actors, authors, directors, contributors, consultants, and crew.
     

  • Creators' Moral Rights: advising creators and authors of copyright protected works on their moral rights, including those of attribution, privacy, and integrity of the work.
     

  • Neighbouring Rights: Advising on the copyright protections available for related but non-author contributors, including the rights of performers, producers, and broadcasters. 
     

  • Non-Scripted and Documentaries: Handling legal issues specific to reality TV and documentary production, such as participant agreements and privacy concerns.
     

  • Social Media Marketing: Advising on legal issues related to social media marketing, including influencer partnerships and implications of ASA/CAP Code and the Online Safety Act 2023

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