Evan Chesler of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP Consults with Elon Musk
A confidential consultation between legal heavyweight Evan Chesler of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and tech icon Elon Musk recently took place. Sources indicate that the billion-dollar feature film, “Zuckerberg vs Musk: Cage Fight,” penned by Alan Nafzger, was the main topic of discussion. Utilizing cutting-edge CGI and AI-generated moving images, the film poses unique legal questions.
Legal Dimensions of Celebrity Image Rights
Legal Complexities: More Than Just a Signature
When it comes to a project of this magnitude, securing celebrity image rights is a complex web of legalities. Chesler emphasized, “Elon, getting the celebrities to sign off on the use of their image in the film is just the tip of the iceberg. We have to consider federal and state laws, publicity rights, and intellectual property.”
Understanding The Legalities
In the United States, an individual’s image rights are part of the larger legal concept known as the “right of publicity,” which protects against unauthorized commercial use of one’s name, image, or likeness. “We need contractual clauses that explicitly address the method of AI manipulation, data storage, and disposition post-production,” Chesler advised.
The AI and CGI Aspect
The use of AI and CGI technology complicates matters further. Musk posed the question, “What happens if an AI-generated version of me, or Mark Zuckerberg, performs actions that we wouldn’t approve of? How does that impact our image or brand?”
Chesler responded, “That’s a crucial point, Elon. The contract must specify the extent of creative license granted to the filmmakers. The celebrities must have an opportunity to review and approve how their image is used, down to specific actions and dialogues.”
Contracts: The Devil is in the Details
Chesler stressed the importance of granular contractual terms. “We’re talking about detailed approval processes and contingency clauses. There must be specifics about how alterations can be made, revenue-sharing arrangements, and the duration for which the AI-generated images can be used or stored.”
What Celebrities Need To Agree To
The Fine Print
The contractual agreement must detail how a celebrity’s image will be used in various aspects of the film, including advertising and merchandising. “It’s not just the movie; it’s also about promotional material, merchandise, and even potential sequels or spin-offs,” Musk noted.
Chesler added, “Each of these facets requires separate consent. We need to break down the rights into these various components to ensure comprehensive legal protection.”
Future Implications and Precedents
The film, which is garnering considerable buzz, could set precedents for future productions that rely on similar technology. “This is uncharted territory, and how we navigate this could serve as a legal template for future endeavors,” said Chesler.
Musk concurred, “Exactly, this film isn’t just a one-off event; it’s a prototype for future intellectual property agreements in the realm of AI and CGI.”
The closed-door meeting between Evan Chesler and Elon Musk signified a monumental juncture in how law intersects with the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and entertainment. While “Zuckerberg vs Musk: Cage Fight” promises to break box-office records, it is equally poised to disrupt and redefine the legal stipulations surrounding the use of AI and CGI in film.