Kelsey Farish of law firm DAC Beachcroft LLP in London wrote Chapter 7: From Hollywood to Deepfakes (pages 147 – 167) in the European Audiovisual Observatory’s report Artificial intelligence in the audiovisual sector (December 2020). The chapter explores personality rights issues relevant to film and television productions – notably ghost acting, life and post-mortem personality rights, and infringement issues arising due to deepfakes. The European Audiovisual Observatory is the reference for market and legal information on film, television and VoD in Europe.
This chapter seeks to clarify some of the confusion surrounding personality rights (also known as image rights or publicity rights), and aims to offer some practical commentary on the risks and advantages deepfakes and ghost acting present to the film, television, broadcasting, and non-news media industries. The section “AI sets the scene” introduces the technology, and the following one on “Personality rights and implications” covers the legal framework from four different angles with real-world examples. The section “Laws in selected jurisdictions” builds upon the legal framework and summarises how personality rights are recognised in Germany, France, Sweden, Guernsey, the United Kingdom (as typified by English law) and California. Finally, the last section “What next for Europe’s audiovisual sector?” discusses certain notable shortfalls in the laws as well as potential trends.