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Governor Hochul Proposes New AI Rules as Part of NY Budget


Late last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul proposed a package of new laws addressing AI. She plans to include the new AI package in the budget. As a result, she is looking to include the new provisions when the budget is voted on in early April. The legislative package covers a variety of situations where AI can impact both criminal and civil laws. In announcing the package, Governor Hochul stated:

 "Governor Hochul’s actions include new legislation, presented as part of her FY 2025 Executive Budget, which would add a misdemeanor for unauthorized uses of a person’s voice; allow for a private right of action to combat digitally manipulated false images; update the Penal Law to account for unauthorized uses of artificial intelligence; and require disclosures on digitized political communications published within 60 days of an election. The new legislation builds on the Governor’s vision of putting New York at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and development — including through her transformative Empire AI proposal to establish a consortium of leading New York institutions to unlock AI opportunities focused on public good."

The deployment of AI can both help and harm broadcasters. We have three overarching concerns. First, we do not want entities taking our content without payment. Second, it is nearly impossible to determine when a content creator has illegally used AI. As distributors, we should not be held responsible for content created by another entity. The liability should rest on the entity creating the content, not the broadcaster. Finally, with respect to political advertising, federal law prevents broadcasters from editing or modifying political ads from a candidate’s campaign committee. Federal law provides immunity for local stations with respect to campaign advertising from the candidate's committee. Accordingly, we should not be held liable for advertisements from a candidate's committee that improperly uses AI. (Of course, broadcasters are liable for the content appearing in ads purchased by third parties such as unrelated PACs or political parties.)  

 

We are working with legislators and the Governor’s office to make sure broadcasters are not unduly burdened by this new legislative package.

 

You can see Governor Hochul’s statement regarding the new AI legislation here.

 

You can see the text of the proposed legislation here.

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