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AG in Action: Reporting Book Bans and Discussing AI in Entertainment with the NY Bar Association

How to report discriminatory book bans to the Department of Education and AI’s impact on the entertainment industry

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How to Report Book Bans That Harm Students to the Department of Education

Authors Guild members had the opportunity to meet with Matt Nosanchuk, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for the Department of Education, at a webinar hosted by the Guild on January 25, 2024. Nosanchuk discussed how certain book bans could potentially violate laws protecting against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. He provided an overview of OCR, the laws it enforces, and the process for investigating complaints related to potential civil rights violations regarding book bans. 

The information shared by Nosanchuck provided authors with a relatively simple way to take action when books are banned to the detriment of students.  Anyone is entitled to file a complaint if they believe that one or more students feel discriminated against, unwelcome in a school library, or is otherwise experiencing harm as a result of the bans. 

Learn more about student rights under federal civil rights laws here.

To submit a complaint to OCR regarding a potential civil rights violation, visit the Department of Education complaint portal.

Guild Presents on AI’s Impact on Entertainment at NY Bar Association Event

Umair Kazi, director of advocacy and policy at the Authors Guild, participated in a panel discussion titled “Impact of AI on Entertainment” at the New York Bar Association’s Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section 2024 Virtual Annual Meeting Program on January 18, 2024. Other speakers included Ann Burdick, General Counsel at Writers Guild of America, East; Jonathan Handel, Entertainment/Technology Attorney and Freelance Journalist; and Vishwanath Mohan, Counsel at Greenberg Glusker in Los Angeles. 

The panel explored the legal and business challenges presented by generative AI technology in the entertainment industry, including its impact on screenwriters, authors, actors, and other content creators. A key issue highlighted was AI’s potential replacement of humans, which was a major point of contention in the recent strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA. Kazi provided insights into how generative AI is affecting authors and the publishing industry from both a legal and business perspective. He discussed the Authors Guild’s positions on ensuring proper attribution and compensation for authors whose works are used to train AI systems.

Read more on the New York Bar Association’s website.