Author Topic: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos  (Read 945 times)

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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 05:50:32 PM »
Oh yeah, no doubt that I'm more concerned about that.  I just think the morality of using this tech in those situations is far more clear cut, and I was conflicted in this case between the moral logic and my visceral reactions and thought it'd be interesting to talk it out.

Back on topic, I'm still conflicted because of the likely emotional reactions of those being faked, celebrity or not, even if just for personal use.  I mean, it just feels wrong to me to say that so long as they don't find out, it's morally acceptable for me to go to my friend's Facebook page, analyze some pictures and videos, and paste her face on a porn video to use.  I mean, I get that in that scenario, I've not invaded her privacy, I've not profited from her image, I've not actually interacted with her at all, so really there's no harm done or intended, but if she were to find out there's no doubt that most women I know would be horrified, creeped out beyond belief, and probably never talk to me again.  How can it be morally OK if the reaction would be that negative?

Online Harry Black

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2019, 06:42:20 PM »
Thats a very good point. It would also be the same if she uncovered a secret erotic series of portraits you did of her for personal use.
Both of those things are creepy as fuck and you make a very good point that we would keep it secret for a reason.

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2019, 08:20:15 PM »
I mean, if someone used this tech to make kiddie porn...it would feel as icky, if not more.  There would have been no children harmed in the making of said porn, but I would still feel that it was immoral.


Again, I don't know if I can make a logical argument about the morality of it, it just feels immoral.  Like incest without procreation of two adult siblings (Targaryen or not) feels immoral.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2019, 08:26:14 PM »
I mean, if someone used this tech to make kiddie porn...it would feel as icky, if not more.  There would have been no children harmed in the making of said porn, but I would still feel that it was immoral.

I may be  mistaken about the psychology, but as I understand it simulated CP is bad even though no actual children are involved. Even if a pedophile is masturbating to fake images, it still reinforces their proclivity for that kind of sex and increases the likelihood that they will take next steps toward victimizing somebody.

Online stands2reason

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2019, 10:20:00 PM »
The same ruling that makes lolicon legal also applies to CGI, as it "creates no victim and records no crime". That only applies if the whole thing is CGI, not just replacing a face in otherwise illicit material.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 10:17:25 PM by stands2reason »

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2019, 10:52:38 PM »
I feel like CP may prove to be a bit of a tangent considering there is a lot of baggage that comes with it that doesn't really apply to the concept in general.  That said, it does present a nice extreme example to take the "no harm" argument to, but ultimately I think we are all creeped out enough by someone jerking it to a person's Facebook photos that I don't know it really adds much to bring up children. 

Thats a very good point. It would also be the same if she uncovered a secret erotic series of portraits you did of her for personal use.
Both of those things are creepy as fuck and you make a very good point that we would keep it secret for a reason.

Any thoughts on how we might actually break down the logic of it being immoral?  I guess maybe that's where this thread was coming from for me now that I think on it; I feel like it's immoral, but I cannot suss out exactly why that feeling is valid.  So far, the best I have come up with is that since it could reasonably be said to cause emotional trauma to the person being faked, if they are aware of it, so therefore it's immoral.  Ultimately, maybe it comes down to a lack of consent to be sexualized by someone else, but then as I write that I can't help but think that people sexualize others all the time without their consent, just in their minds.  Is it just as immoral to fantasize about a friend instead of making a fake image?  In that case, there's no real possibility of them finding out like there is when you create a physical or digital likeness so does completely removing the likelihood of emotional harm enough to make it morally acceptable?  I mean, it still feels creepy to me, but I feel like I'm whittling away any moral argument I have at the same time.

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2019, 12:16:49 AM »
I'm not sure I really feel a need to justify my feeling that it's not an acceptable practice.
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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2019, 01:03:24 AM »
I'm not sure I really feel a need to justify my feeling that it's not an acceptable practice.

I'm fine with holding the opinion in lieu of any more objective justification but I also think that we'd be rightly critical of any religious person who does the same about something we feel is morally fine, like homosexuality or abortion.  Granted, those are usually couched in horrible arguments and falsities, but setting those aside for a moment, if someone I know were to honestly just tell me that "they didn't really feel the need to justify their feeling that gay sex was not an acceptable practice" and even admitted perhaps that there's nothing they could think of to justify it, I don't think I'd be very happy with their position.  Granted, it would make it clear that further discussion was pointless too, but holding a position simply because of a gut feeling always concerns me, even when I don't feel particularly worried that it's the wrong position.  As a skeptic, I'm concerned above all with having a proper methodology for forming opinions and beliefs and as much as I agree with you that this opinion on it being acceptable or not is almost certainly correct I feel that being alright with having no rational justification is problematic in and of itself.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2019, 04:43:07 AM »
I'm not sure I really feel a need to justify my feeling that it's not an acceptable practice.

That's probably a good thing, because as a strong moral relativist there's no way you could ever justify a decision either way. ;)

Online stands2reason

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2019, 09:45:23 AM »
It is well-established in law that a person has the right of publicity (that is, the right to control the commercial use of his likeness). It’s why not just anyone can publish Derek Jeter memorabilia and why Michael Jackson’s and Elvis’ estates can continue to profit from licensing their images.

I was tempted to say that one should avoid a legalist argument, since this is new technology and the law isn't necessarily expected to have an answer. However, there does appear to be some applicable case law. (disclaimner, IANAL)

It varies widely by state. And only a slight majority of states have such laws. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights#U.S._states_that_recognize_rights_of_publicity) In some states, it only protects celebrities. In New York, it protects everyone, but narrowly applies to use of "name, portrait, picture, or voice". This law school PDF has some interesting notes. (it is a photocopy, not text) (https://law.ku.edu/sites/law.ku.edu/files/docs/media_law/Summary_of_Right_of_Publicity_Issues.pdf)

I have seen a couple of references to the Lanham Act (federal copyright/trade law) providing protection to celebrity likeness, but I can't find the specific amendment or case law.

https://casetext.com/case/waits-v-frito-lay-inc

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Defendants Frito-Lay, Inc., and Tracy-Locke, Inc., appeal a jury verdict and award of $2.6 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees, in favor of singer Tom Waits. Waits sued the snack food manufacturer and its advertising agency for voice misappropriation and false endorsement following the broadcast of a radio commercial for SalsaRio Doritos which featured a vocal performance imitating Waits' raspy singing voice. On appeal, the defendants mount attacks on nearly all aspects of the judgment.

...

 Waits' voice misappropriation claim and his Lanham Act claim are legally sufficient. The court did not err in instructing the jury on elements of voice misappropriation. The jury's verdict on each claim is supported by substantial evidence, as are its damage awards. Its award of damages on Waits' Lanham Act claim, however, is duplicative of damages awarded for voice misappropriation; accordingly we vacate it. Finally, the court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorneys' fees under the Lanham Act.

Waits is awarded his costs on appeal.

https://casetext.com/case/no-doubt-v-activision-publishing-inc

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The rock band No Doubt brought suit against the video game publisher Activision Publishing, Inc. (Activision), based on Activision's release of the Band Hero video game featuring computer-generated images of the members of No Doubt. No Doubt licensed the likenesses of its members for use in Band Hero, but contends that Activision used them in objectionable ways outside the scope of the parties' licensing agreement. Activision filed a special motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, contending that No Doubt cannot demonstrate a probability of prevailing on its claims for violation of the right of publicity (Civ. Code, § 3344 and common law) and unfair competition (Bus. Prof. Code, § 17200) because its use of the No Doubt likenesses is protected by the First Amendment. Activision appeals from the trial court's denial of its motion. Applying the transformative use test first adopted in Comedy III Productions, Inc. v. Gary Saderup, Inc. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 387 [ 106 Cal.Rptr.2d 126, 21 P.3d 797], we conclude that the creative elements of the Band Hero video game do not transform the images of No Doubt's band members into anything more than literal, fungible reproductions of their likenesses. Therefore, we reject Activision's contention that No Doubt's right of publicity claim is barred by the First Amendment. In addition, we disagree with Activision's contention that No Doubt must demonstrate that Activision used the likenesses of the band members in an "explicitly misleading" way in order to prevail on its unfair competition claim. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-11th-circuit/1456003.html

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In October, 1991, a rare confluence of meteorological events led to a “massively powerful” weather system off the New England coast.   The fishing vessel known as the Andrea Gail was caught in this storm and lost at sea.   All six of the crewmembers on board the Andrea Gail, including Billy Tyne and Dale Murphy, Sr., were presumed to have been killed.   Newspaper and television reports extensively chronicled the storm and its impact.   Based on these reports, and personal interviews with meteorologists, local fishermen, and family members, Sebastian Junger penned a book, entitled The Perfect Storm:  A True Story of Men Against the Sea, recounting the storm and the last voyage of the Andrea Gail and its crew.   The book was published in 1997.

That same year, Warner Bros. purchased from Junger and his publisher the rights to produce a motion picture based on the book.   Warner Bros. released the film, entitled The Perfect Storm, for public consumption in 2000.   The Picture depicted the lives and deaths of Billy Tyne and Dale Murphy, Sr., who were main characters in the film.   It also included brief portrayals of each individual that is a party to this appeal.   Nonetheless, Warner Bros. neither sought permission from the individuals depicted in the picture nor compensated them in any manner.

Unlike the book, the Picture presented a concededly dramatized account of both the storm and the crew of the Andrea Gail. For example, the main protagonist in the Picture, Billy Tyne, was portrayed as a down-and-out swordboat captain who was obsessed with the next big catch.   In one scene, the Picture relates an admittedly fabricated depiction of Tyne berating his crew for wanting to return to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts.   Warner Bros. took additional liberties with the land-based interpersonal relationships between the crewmembers and their families.

Writing a biography, or fictionalized biographical content, against the wishes of the subject generally does not count. But, that one is more complicated. Florida's right of privacy statute would have prevented character assassination (i.e. "egregious" misrepresentation of someone, not mere dramatization). It also doesn't count under state right of publicity law, because using someone's likeness in a commercial produce (a film), is not the same as using it in marketing for a specific product.

Online stands2reason

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2019, 09:46:47 AM »
In my mind, the most interesting takeaway from all of that is that there is already a precedent of people licensing their likeness to be used for computer generated graphics (i.e. 3D video game models).

Online stands2reason

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2019, 10:25:58 PM »
Any thoughts on how we might actually break down the logic of it being immoral?  I guess maybe that's where this thread was coming from for me now that I think on it; I feel like it's immoral, but I cannot suss out exactly why that feeling is valid.  So far, the best I have come up with is that since it could reasonably be said to cause emotional trauma to the person being faked, if they are aware of it, so therefore it's immoral.  Ultimately, maybe it comes down to a lack of consent to be sexualized by someone else, but then as I write that I can't help but think that people sexualize others all the time without their consent, just in their minds.  Is it just as immoral to fantasize about a friend instead of making a fake image?  In that case, there's no real possibility of them finding out like there is when you create a physical or digital likeness so does completely removing the likelihood of emotional harm enough to make it morally acceptable?  I mean, it still feels creepy to me, but I feel like I'm whittling away any moral argument I have at the same time.

Since it's for your own personal consumption, it doesn't affect anyone else, not even the person you're fantasizing about—unless they find out. That assumes your hypothetical example of photos not obtained via coercion or a crime, complete use of CGI, otherwise side-stepping the morality of porn in general. Unless you were saying video-photoshop her into an existing porn video.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2019, 05:01:07 AM »
But we mustn't dismiss out of hand the potential consequences of the fap-subject ("fapject"?) finding out. Because it can and does happen occasionally.

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2019, 03:51:48 PM »
So let me give this a go-
The subject finding out would cause distress.

Creating a physical or digital thing that is evidence of your thoughts/actions reduces the chances of the subject or someone else seeing this representation from zero (if it remains in your brain) to greater than zero.

This introduces the possibility of harm through mental anguish or a sense of violation on the part of the subject or of others using their likeness in a way they did not consent to.
This is not therefore a moral action.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:33 PM »
You know, something else that just occurred to me is the concept of basic human respect for one another.  I don't know if it'd raise to the level of strict immorality to act in an unprovoked and disrespectful manner towards another, but it's certainly not typically considered an acceptable thing.  Maybe it'd be more appropriate to say that creating deep fakes without consent is socially unethical rather than just straight up immoral considering I can't help but feel the argument of a 'slim, random chance of harm' is lacking somehow.  I also think it'd account for the feelings of creepiness we all seem to share about it.  Sure, I guess maybe appealing to social ethics may be a bit circular but then again I think there's no escaping that at one level or another, all morality is subjective; we just all tend to share those subjective views as a species.

 

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