60 episodes

On UnCommon Law, legal issues, public policy, and storytelling collide. We'll explore the most important legal stories of the day: Is affirmative action in college admissions constitutional? Is it time to kill the bar exam? Should social media face special legal scrutiny? What are law firms doing to fix their lack of diversity? Produced and hosted by Matthew S. Schwartz. Winner of the 2023 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts.

UnCommon Law Bloomberg Industry Group

    • Society & Culture

On UnCommon Law, legal issues, public policy, and storytelling collide. We'll explore the most important legal stories of the day: Is affirmative action in college admissions constitutional? Is it time to kill the bar exam? Should social media face special legal scrutiny? What are law firms doing to fix their lack of diversity? Produced and hosted by Matthew S. Schwartz. Winner of the 2023 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts.

    AI Trained on Famous Authors’ Copyrighted Work. They Want Revenge – Part 1

    AI Trained on Famous Authors’ Copyrighted Work. They Want Revenge – Part 1

    Generative AI tools are already promising to change the world. Systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT can answer complex questions, write poems and code, and even mimic famous authors with uncanny accuracy. But in using copyrighted materials to train these powerful AI products, are AI companies infringing the rights of untold creators?
    This season on UnCommon Law, we'll explore the intersection between artificial intelligence and the law. Episode one examines how large language models actually ingest and learn from billions of online data points, including copyrighted works. And we explore the lawsuits filed by creators who claim their copyrights were exploited without permission to feed the data-hungry algorithms powering tools like ChatGPT.
    Guests:

    Matthew Butterick, founder at Butterick Law, and co-counsel with the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on class-action lawsuits against OpenAI and others

    Isaiah Poritz, technology reporter for Bloomberg Law

    James Grimmelmann, professor of digital and information law at Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School


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    • 27 min
    AI Trained on Famous Authors’ Copyrighted Work. They Want Revenge – Part 2

    AI Trained on Famous Authors’ Copyrighted Work. They Want Revenge – Part 2

    Generative AI tools are already promising to change the world. Systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT can answer complex questions, write poems and code, and even mimic famous authors with uncanny accuracy. But in using copyrighted materials to train these powerful AI products, are AI companies infringing the rights of untold creators?
    This season on UnCommon Law, we'll explore the intersection between artificial intelligence and the law. On episode one, we learned about the lawsuits filed against AI companies that trained their large language models on copyrighted work without permission. Now we'll learn about the legal defense that could give the AI companies a pass to continue scraping up whatever content they want, copyright-protected or not.
    Guests:

    Matthew Butterick, founder at Butterick Law, and co-counsel with the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on class-action lawsuits against OpenAI and others

    Isaiah Poritz, technology reporter for Bloomberg Law

    Matthew Sag, professor of law and artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science at Emory University School of Law

    Mark Lemley, professor of law at Stanford Law School and the director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, who is also representing Meta and Stability AI in the copyright cases against them

    James Grimmelmann, professor of digital and information law at Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School


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    • 27 min
    Can a Haunted House Go Too Far? 'Carrie' Scare Leads to Lawsuit

    Can a Haunted House Go Too Far? 'Carrie' Scare Leads to Lawsuit

    When Scott Griffin visited the Haunted Trail, he expected to be scared. But he did not expect what happened after he thought the scare was over.
    This special Halloween episode of UnCommon Law tells the true story of a man terrorized by a haunted house attraction. Griffin bought a ticket to a haunted house — but ended up getting more than he bargained for: two broken wrists. He sued for negligence and assault. Can someone who paid to be frightened sue when things go too far? 
    Guests:

    P. Christopher Ardalan, attorney at Ardalan & Associates, PLC

    Larry Levine, law professor at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law


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    • 26 min
    1. 'She Can't Own Me': Inside the FTC's Proposed Ban on Noncompetes

    1. 'She Can't Own Me': Inside the FTC's Proposed Ban on Noncompetes

    This season on UnCommon Law, we’re exploring one of the most expansive Federal Trade Commission proposals of the last half century: a near-total nationwide ban on noncompete clauses. We’ll examine arguments for the ban, and talk to workers who’ve had their livelihoods crushed by oppressive covenants not to compete. We’ll look at arguments in favor of keeping noncompetes, and talk with business owners who say they’re crucial for keeping trade secrets confidential and protecting business relationships. Finally, we’ll explore a more fundamental question: Does the FTC even have the legal authority to do this?
    Our first episode explores how this unprecedented proposal came to be. To understand just how out-of-the-ordinary this proposal is, we'll journey into the history of the agency, whose past rulemakings got them labeled the "national nanny" by the Washington Post, and led to threats of defunding.
    Guests:

    Emily Olson, hair stylist

    Leah Nylen, Bloomberg News reporter

    Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director of the Open Markets Institute

    Evan Starr, professor at the University of Maryland


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    • 20 min
    2. A Hair Stylist and Salon's Legal Battle: A Noncompete Case Study

    2. A Hair Stylist and Salon's Legal Battle: A Noncompete Case Study

    This week on Uncommon Law: the second episode in our podcast series about the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed nationwide ban on noncompete agreements. We’ll look at one Minnesota hair salon and see how noncompete agreements often play out in the real world. What happens when employees leave the hair salon and try to strike out on their own?
    Guests:

    Heidi Hautala, a hair stylist in Minnesota 

    Evan Starr, professor at University of Maryland

    Emily Olson, a hair stylist in Minnesota

    Kylee Simonson, owner of Simonson's Salon & Spa

    Chris Penwell, attorney at Siegel Brill


    The case discussed in this episode is Simonson's Salon and Spa vs. Heidi Hautala, Docket No. 27-CV-15-5647 (Minn. Dist. Ct. Apr 03, 2015)
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    • 34 min
    3. Did California's Noncompete Ban Fuel Silicon Valley Innovation?

    3. Did California's Noncompete Ban Fuel Silicon Valley Innovation?

    California is one of just three states where noncompete agreements are almost completely banned. California is also the home of Silicon Valley, the global hub of technological innovation. Is that just a coincidence? Or would Silicon Valley be as successful even if noncompete agreements were allowed?
    This week on UnCommon Law, part three of our ongoing series on the Federal Trade Commission's proposal to ban noncompete agreements nationwide. Is California’s ban on noncompete agreements really a key component to Silicon Valley’s success?
    Guests:

    Evan Starr, professor at University of Maryland

    Margaret O'Mara, professor at the University of Washington

    Ronald Gilson, professor emeritus at Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School

    David Schultz, host of Bloomberg Law's On the Merits


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    • 21 min

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