Professor Victoria Schwartz Presents "Virtual Influencers" -- University of Houston Law Center
Professor Victoria L. Schwartz presented "Virtual Influencers" for the 30th Annual Fall Lecture hosted by the University of Houston Law Center's Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law. Professor Schwartz spoke on the intellectual property and entertainment law implications, as well as legal and ethical questions, arising from the phenomenon of CGI created social media influencers. The lecture took place on November 16.
From the University of Houston Law Center:
Prominent media and entertainment law scholar Victoria L. Schwartz explored the emerging trend of virtual influencers engaging in brand endorsements during the 30th Annual Fall Lecture hosted by the University of Houston Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law this November. The Fall Lecture is sponsored by the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association.
Schwartz, a professor of law at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, elaborated on the intellectual property and entertainment law implications and other ethical implications that should be considered when virtual influencers are brought into play.
Schwartz teaches and writes in the fields of intellectual property, copyright, entertainment, and privacy law. Her work has been selected for the prestigious Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum and earned the competitive Dukeminier Award. She has held various leadership positions at her school, including serving as associate dean for Academic Affairs and serving as the co-director for the Caruso School of Law’s LLM and certificate programs in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law.
Summary of "Virtual Influencers"
Virtual creations are increasingly life-like, leading to the recent phenomenon of social media influencers who appear to be real people, but in fact are CGI creations. Often these CGI creations even have endorsement deals with well-known brands. This poses numerous legal and ethical questions, including various intellectual property and entertainment law implications such as whether a virtual influencer can have a right of publicity? Issues of copyright and branding are also implicated when virtual influencers are not wholly original creations but instead borrowed from other content. Does the answer to any of these challenging questions change if the virtual influencer is created by a human creator versus created by artificial intelligence? This talk discusses the intellectual property and entertainment law implications and other legal/ethical implications for this growing area of virtual influencers.
Additional information may be found at University of Houston Law Center