CLIP-ings: October 2, 2020

Internet Governance

IRS May Add New Question On Form 1040 For Reporting Cryptocurrency Profits: To increase compliance with reporting rules regarding cryptocurrency earnings and crack down on deliberate tax evasion, the IRS is considering adding a prominent question to the Form asking taxpayers if at any time during 2020, they had received, sold, exchanged, or otherwise acquired any financial interest in virtual currency.

Pay By Palm With Amazon One: After an initial, one-time scan of a user’s palm and credit card, customers of Amazon Go retail stores can charge purchases simply by holding their hand over a contactless palm-reading device at checkout; Amazon asserts the scans are encrypted, stored securely in the cloud, and that palms are more private than other forms of biometric identification.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

Seeing Through Deepfakes: FakeCatcher, a new tool developed by Intel and researchers from Binghamton University, detects deepfake videos by analyzing the subtle shifts in skin color that occur as a result of the heartbeat underneath, as deepfake software typically produces signature heartbeat discrepancies as a result of stitching together an assemblage of multiple source fragments.
Intellectual Property

3-D Copy Of Michelangelo’s David Will Be Centerpiece At Next World Fair: After winning a copyright battle banning the commercial use of images of David in 2017, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Florence museum and home of the 17-foot statue since 1873, authorized the only 3-D printed copy to be showcased at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Near Termination Of Popular Guitar Teacher’s Channel Due To Copyright Claims Highlights Risks Of Publishing On Third-Party Platforms: Despite being a profitable content maker, Gareth Evans was unable to get YouTube’s help to defend against a series of takedown requests until his Reddit post about his struggles caught the internet’s attention; the incident reflects the pitfalls of building a presence on third-party platforms, which may offer limited support, overlook smaller partners, and employ copyright protection systems that rely on flagging content after it has been posted instead of upfront vetting.
Free Expression and Censorship

Cornell University Study Finds Trump The Largest Driver Of Coronavirus Misinformation: In a study of 38 million articles about the Covid-19 pandemic in English-language media from around the world, Cornell researchers identified 11 topics of misinformation, with mentions of Trump making up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation;” in  a “miracle cures” category, Trump’s promotion of anti-malarial drugs and disinfectants as potential treatments for Covid-19 accounted for more misinformation than the other 10 topics combined.

Practice Note

TikTok Ban Enjoined By Federal District Court: The United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted TikTok’s injunction against the Trump administration’s proposed ban on the basis that TikTok users’ content constitutes “information or informational materials” and “personal communications,” which the administration may not restrict according to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
On the Lighter Side

Biden For President Campaign Releases Snapchat Lens To Encourage Early Voting In Key Swing States: Ahead of the November presidential election, the Biden team is targeting 18- to 34-year-olds using Snapchat filters that don users in aviators and Biden-Harris swag and set off digital fireworks with the message “Vote Early for Biden-Harris” when the USPS logo is scanned.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erica Chan
Daniel Gerken
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP