RikiMusic is pirating dozens of articles from Hypebot as well as allegedly uploading tracks from indie artists to Spotify and Amazon Music without authorization….
Caleb Jackson Dills, who first wrote about the music theft for Artists Rights Watch, also noticed that the content on the RikiMusic blog looked familiar.
Virtually all of the dozens of posts on the RikiMusic site were pirated directly from Hypbot.com and illegally published verbatim without attribution.
The Federal Trade Commission issued Special Orders to five large technology firms, requiring them to provide information about prior acquisitions not reported to the antitrust agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. The orders require Alphabet Inc. (including Google), Amazon.com, Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. to provide information and documents on the terms, scope, structure, and purpose of transactions that each company consummated between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The Commission issued these orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the Commission to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose. The orders will help the FTC deepen its understanding of large technology firms’ acquisition activity, including how these firms report their transactions to the federal antitrust agencies, and whether large tech companies are making potentially anticompetitive acquisitions of nascent or potential competitors that fall below HSR filing thresholds and therefore do not need to be reported to the antitrust agencies.
“Digital technology companies are a big part of the economy and our daily lives,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “This initiative will enable the Commission to take a closer look at acquisitions in this important sector, and also to evaluate whether the federal agencies are getting adequate notice of transactions that might harm competition. This will help us continue to keep tech markets open and competitive, for the benefit of consumers.”
The Special Orders require each recipient to identify acquisitions that were not reported to the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice under the HSR Act, and to provide information similar to that requested on the HSR notification and report form. The orders also require companies to provide information and documents on their corporate acquisition strategies, voting and board appointment agreements, agreements to hire key personnel from other companies, and post-employment covenants not to compete. Last, the orders ask for information related to post-acquisition product development and pricing, including whether and how acquired assets were integrated and how acquired data has been treated.
The Commission plans to use the information obtained in this study to examine trends in acquisitions and the structure of deals, including whether acquisitions not subject to HSR notification might have raised competitive concerns, and the nature and extent of other agreements that may restrict competition. The Commission also seeks to learn more about how small firms perform after they are acquired by large technology firms. These and related issues were discussed during several sessions of the FTC’s 2018 Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, and this study is part of the follow-up from those Hearings.
The FTC has a statutory right under the HSR Act to review acquisitions and mergers over a certain size before they are consummated, and the study will help the Commission consider whether additional transactions should be subject to premerger notification requirements. The orders will also contribute broadly to the FTC’s understanding of technology markets, and thereby support the FTC’s program of vigorous and effective enforcement to promote competition and protect consumers in digital markets.
The Commission vote to approve issuing the Special Orders was 5-0. Commissioners Christine S. Wilson and Rohit Chopra issued a joint statement.
The Federal Trade Commission develops policy initiatives on issues that affect competition, consumers, and the U.S. economy. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Remember when China’s Xinhua News Agency debuted its first AI news presenter modeled after real Xinhua anchor Zhang Zhao (taking “fake news” to a whole new level)?
Not to be outdone, Amazon has taken fake presenters to a whole new level–fake endorsers! No more celebrity endorsers with their inflated fees for endorsing products they may or may not care about. Oh, no. Amazon goes all the way to fake on a one way trip to Minority Report-land. According to Venture Beat:
If Amazon has its way, companies will soon tap Amazon Web Services (AWS) en masse to create voices tailored to their brands. The Seattle tech giant today launched Brand Voice, a fully managed service within Amazon Polly, Amazon’s cloud service that converts text into lifelike speech, that pairs customers with Amazon engineers to build AI-generated voices representing certain personas….
But this is the most ridiculous part of the story:
Such technology has obvious commercial implications. Brand voices — such as Progressive’s Flo, who is played by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney — are often tasked with recording phone trees for interactive voice response (IVR) systems or e-learning scripts for corporate training videos. Synthesization could boost actors’ productivity by cutting down on ancillary recordings and pick-ups (recording sessions to address mistakes, changes, or additions in voiceover scripts) while freeing them up to pursue creative work — and enabling them to collect residuals.
Right. See, Amazon’s just trying to be helpful. Because the actors will still “collect residuals”. Really? And if that’s even true, how long to you think that’s going to last? It’s a rather selective fact choice anyway because the real question is how much longer until the actor is replaced altogether and how close can the fake AI actor get to the original before its a right of publicity case?
Even that issue will probably not be around for very long–the direction is to replace the actor altogether like Max Headroom.
So why is this man laughing at you?