Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Legal News for Thurs 5/23 - Copilot+ PCs Privacy Nightmare, FCC Proposal for AI Disclosure in Political Ads, DOJ Antitrust Suit Against Live Nation, J&J BK Games, Uni Leaders Testify on Campus Protest

Legal News for Thurs 5/23 - Copilot+ PCs Privacy Nightmare, FCC Proposal for AI Disclosure in Political Ads, DOJ Antitrust Suit Against Live Nation, J&J BK Games, Uni Leaders Testify on Campus Protest

FCC proposal for AI disclosure in political ads, DOJ's antitrust suit against Live Nation, J&J's alleged bankruptcy abuse over talc, university leaders testifying on campus tensions, Copilot+ privacy.
“All done going through the files, boss. Post to LinkedIn or email to address book?”

This Day in Legal History: South Carolina Ratified the US Constitution  

On May 23, 1788, South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution, marking its official entry as the eighth state in the newly formed union. This significant event took place amidst debates and conventions where federalists and anti-federalists argued over the merits and drawbacks of the proposed Constitution. South Carolina's decision to ratify was crucial, as it reinforced the momentum towards establishing a strong federal government under the Constitution. The state played a pivotal role in shaping the early political landscape of the United States, contributing to the foundational structure of American governance. This decision also reflected the complex dynamics of the time, balancing state and federal interests. As a predominantly agrarian society with a significant enslaved population, South Carolina's ratification highlighted regional economic and social considerations influencing constitutional acceptance. The ratification helped ensure a more unified stance among the original thirteen colonies, setting the stage for the eventual adoption of the Bill of Rights. South Carolina's entry into the union marked a step forward in the collective journey towards a cohesive and functioning republic, laying the groundwork for the nation's future growth and development.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a new rule requiring political campaigns to disclose the use of AI-generated audio, video, and images in their radio and TV ads. This initiative, introduced by Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, aims to ensure transparency by mandating that advertisements supporting specific candidates or issues flag any algorithm-created content. While the proposal does not ban AI-generated content, it seeks to make its presence known to the public. This move comes in response to growing concerns about deepfakes and their potential to spread disinformation, especially with the upcoming 2024 US election. 

The proposal must be approved by the FCC's five-member board before further discussion and finalization. Despite potential GOP opposition, highlighted by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's recent criticism of bipartisan efforts to regulate AI in federal elections, various state legislatures are also considering regulations on AI use in political communications. This step by the FCC represents a significant move towards managing the influence of AI in the political sphere.

AI Use in Campaign Ads Would Have to Be Disclosed Under FCC Plan

The U.S. Justice Department, along with several states, plans to sue Live Nation Entertainment Inc. for antitrust violations concerning Ticketmaster's dominance in concert ticket sales. The lawsuit, to be filed in the Southern District of New York, seeks to break up Live Nation. This move follows reports of Live Nation's stock dropping by 7% in premarket trading. 

The Biden administration has prioritized competition, bringing similar antitrust cases against major companies like Google and Amazon. Live Nation, the largest U.S. concert promoter, merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 under a settlement with the Obama administration that barred it from retaliating against venues not using Ticketmaster. However, the Trump administration found that Live Nation violated this agreement, leading to a modified settlement in 2019.

The current administration reopened the investigation in 2022, following public outcry over Ticketmaster's mishandling of Taylor Swift ticket sales. This lawsuit adds to the Biden administration's ongoing efforts to address monopolistic practices in various industries, exemplified by recent legal actions against tech giants like Google, Apple, Meta, and Amazon.

Justice Department Seeks Breakup of Live Nation-Ticketmaster (1)

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) faces allegations of abusing the bankruptcy system to avoid lawsuits related to its baby powder, which consumers claim causes cancer. According to a new lawsuit, J&J's two failed Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases aimed to settle current and future claims by improperly shifting assets among its units and delaying jury trials for cancer victims. The company is accused of using "fraudulent transfers" and bad faith bankruptcy filings to hinder and defraud former users.

J&J is seeking consumer support for an $11 billion settlement to resolve these claims, to be managed by a trust in a potential third bankruptcy filing. Despite these legal battles, J&J maintains that its talc-based baby powder, which it replaced with a cornstarch formula last year, does not cause cancer.

The ongoing litigation, which includes over 61,000 suits alleging ovarian and asbestos-related cancers, is impacting J&J's stock value. The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey, targets J&J's executives, accusing them of participating in fraudulent transfers and violating state fraudulent-transfer laws. Previous bankruptcy attempts by J&J's subsidiary LTL Management LLC were rejected by courts for failing to demonstrate financial distress.

Plaintiffs argue they are entitled to damages due to these fraudulent actions, and the lawsuit seeks class action status. The case highlights the complex legal strategies and significant financial stakes involved in J&J's efforts to manage extensive litigation over its talc products.

Johnson & Johnson Talc Bankruptcies Abused System, Suit Says (1)

The heads of three universities and an academic honor society are scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce about their responses to pro-Palestinian protests on campuses. This testimony is part of the committee's ongoing investigation into campus tensions following the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, which resulted in 1,200 deaths and over 250 hostages. The subsequent Israeli military offensive in Gaza has led to nearly 36,000 Palestinian deaths and 80,000 injuries, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Students at numerous universities have organized protests, demanding President Joe Biden take action to end the conflict and urging their institutions to divest from companies supporting Israel. The presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania resigned after facing backlash over their testimony on campus antisemitism in December.

The upcoming hearing will feature leaders from Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), along with the head of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, who will testify in a personal capacity. At UCLA, protests escalated into clashes with counter-demonstrators, leading to a significant police intervention and the arrest of 210 protesters. Chancellor Gene Block acknowledged the need for better preparation to ensure community safety.

In contrast, Rutgers and Northwestern universities reached agreements with student protesters to end the demonstrations, with Northwestern allowing protests to continue until June 1. Recently, a Northwestern student filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming the university has permitted widespread antisemitism, affecting Jewish students' educational experience.

University heads to testify before US House committee on campus tensions | Reuters

Microsoft's introduction of Copilot+ PCs, featuring high-performance Neural Processing Units (NPUs), has raised significant privacy concerns for professionals handling sensitive information. These new PCs, designed for AI capabilities, include a feature called Recall, which continuously captures screenshots of all activities on the device. This feature aims to help users retrieve information efficiently but poses potential privacy risks.

Recall is designed to create a searchable database of screenshots, allowing users to locate content across various applications and websites. Although Microsoft claims that the data is processed and stored locally to ensure privacy, the automatic activation of Recall and its extensive data capture capabilities may still pose a threat to professionals who handle confidential third-party information.

The ability to filter out specific applications and websites from being indexed by Recall is provided, but the effectiveness of this feature in safeguarding sensitive data remains questionable. Professions with strict confidentiality standards, such as law, accounting, and healthcare, may find the current privacy controls inadequate.

Another major concern is the capability of Recall to meet data deletion standards. While users can delete individual snapshots and time periods, ensuring that deleted data is permanently erased and unrecoverable is crucial for maintaining compliance with professional and legal standards.

Legal compliance is also a critical issue. Professionals must be able to handle legal obligations, such as subpoenas, without compromising other sensitive information. Whether Recall can balance these requirements effectively remains to be seen.

Overall, while Copilot+ PCs represent a significant advancement in AI-driven productivity tools, the privacy, security, and compliance challenges they pose must be rigorously tested to ensure they meet the needs of professionals handling sensitive information.

Copilot+ PCs Could Be A Privacy Nightmare For Professionals

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at