61 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
    • 4.8 • 163 Ratings

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.

    You Can Create Award-Winning Art With AI. But Can You Copyright It?

    You Can Create Award-Winning Art With AI. But Can You Copyright It?

    The art world was rattled when Jason M. Allen won first place in the Colorado State Fair for "Théatre D’opéra Spatial" — digital artwork created with artificial intelligence.
    Allen had revised his text prompts hundreds of times before landing on the final work; Allen considers Space Opera Theater his creation. But some artists hated his victory. "They were saying I was falsely attributing authorship to something I did not create," Allen said. 
    After winning, he submitted the image to the US Copyright Office for a state-issued seal of approval, an official document certifying that the artwork was indeed his creation. Would the Copyright Office agree?
    We delved into the controversy surrounding the use of copyrighted material in training AI systems in our first two episodes of this season. Now we shift our focus to the output. Who owns artwork created using artificial intelligence? Should our legal system redefine what constitutes authorship? Or, as AI promises to redefine how we create, will the government cling to historical notions of authorship?

    Guests:

    Jason M. Allen, founder of Art Incarnate

    Sy Damle, partner in the copyright litigation group at Latham & Watkins

    Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and director of the US Copyright Office


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    • 37 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
    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
    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
    5. If Lina Khan's FTC Bans Noncompete Clauses, What Happens Next?

    5. If Lina Khan's FTC Bans Noncompete Clauses, What Happens Next?

    In the conclusion of UnCommon Law's season-long exploration of noncompete agreements, we look at the Federal Trade Commission's authority to ban the clauses nationwide.
    We’ve reviewed how the ban would work and explored the policy arguments for and against it. Now we delve into a more fundamental question: Does the FTC even have the power to make a substantive rule like this one?
    It's been 50 years since the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FTC has substantive rulemaking power. We’ll learn about that case — National Petroleum Refiners Association v. FTC — we’ll find out why it’s so important to the FTC, and we’ll hear why many believe it would not turn out the same way today.
    But that's not all! Even if courts follow National Petroleum, could the FTC get past the major questions doctrine?
    The season finale of UnCommon Law features:

    Richard Pierce, professor at the George Washington University Law School

    Dan Papscun, antitrust reporter for Bloomberg Law

    Sean Heather, senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director at the Open Markets Institute

    Orly Lobel, professor at the University of San Diego School of Law

    Matt's baby


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    • 47 min
    SPECIAL REPORT: The End of Affirmative Action in College Admissions

    SPECIAL REPORT: The End of Affirmative Action in College Admissions

    The Supreme Court has effectively ended the use of race as a factor in college admissions.
    In a 6-3 ruling, along ideological lines, the divided Supreme Court struck down the admissions programs of Harvard and the University of North Carolina, which both used race as a factor in their admissions process.
    Today, on this special edition of UnCommon Law, we’ll learn how the court came to its decision. And: Did the majority leave the door open for colleges to still consider race in some circumstances? We’ll learn why some supporters of affirmative action still have a glimmer of hope.

    Featuring:

    Ted Shaw — Professor at the University of North Carolina, and past president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund

    Michelle Adams — Professor at the University of Michigan Law School

    Lee Bollinger — Outgoing president of Columbia University, and former president of the University of Michigan

    Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions


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    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
163 Ratings

163 Ratings

CenturyTimeline ,

Legal analysis brought to life for lawyers and non-lawyers

Covering current issues in the law that are not covered similarly in other law focused podcasts, this show makes the subject matter easy to understand and extracts the marrow of the issues. Very well put together not only with respect to analysis and exposure to experts in the field, but also in terms of production and pacing. Lawyers will appreciate the methodical approach and non lawyers will have a window into how questions are decided and are evolving. Recommended.

russellbesq ,

Unbiased, balanced, and insightful

This podcast provides one of the best unbiased, balanced, and insightful discussions of legal issues that I’ve seen. The host, Matt Schwartz, gets behind the rhetoric and distills what could be boring legal issues into interesting compelling, easy-to-understand stories. Could not recommend more highly.

MattLed ,

Mindblowing content for not just law bound people!

This podcast seems to specialize in the life changing yet rarely covered issues in the world of law, but don’t let that scare you. Uncommon Law is both approachable and entertaining, while also remind us why to be ignorant of the law is to be like a bird without knowledge of the wind.

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