Decoded: Technology Law Insights: Volume 2, Issue 1 - January 2021

New Tribunal Created for Unauthorized Streaming Services -

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 and a law on penalties for certain digital transmission services that make unauthorized uses of copyright-protected works for profit.

How Far Can Facial Recognition Go in Finding Rioters in DC?

"Photos and videos from the riot are all over the internet, and law enforcement can use them to help find criminals; but one face doesn't make the case."

Why this is important: Facial recognition technology, while constantly improving, cannot be the basis for criminal conviction. Instead, the software can generate possibilities for law enforcement to further investigate. Between the leads generated by the algorithms and human eyewitness identification, criminals caught on camera or video can be identified and convicted for their crimes. Additional hurdles to using facial recognition software include limitations caused by the quality of the images and limitations caused by the size and contents of the database available for comparison. For the moment, facial recognition programs continue to serve as an investigative tool, but they are not expected to replace the investigative work of law enforcement professionals or the evidentiary value of eyewitness testimony. The 'jury is still out' on whether faulty facial recognitions used to obtain evidence could potentially poison the tree, and any evidence of wrongdoing recovered as a result, but the increasing reliance on the technology likely will lead to further legal precedents soon.

Please see full Newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

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