🏠 Elongate has arrived
Sergey Brin is pissed at Elon
Gm. We included a new section in the newsletter today for our music lovers. Scroll down to the bottom to check it out (but, make sure you come back up to read the good stuff).
Looking at three funds that recently topped up their coffers.
Copywrite or copywrong?
Last week, OpenAI granted users “full usage rights” to commercialize the images they create with the AI image generator, Dall-E 2. While some will no doubt continue to use the software to generate pictures like “Pixar coronavirus movie” or “raw chicken going down a water slide,” more serious creators can now use it for commercial projects like book illustrations or newsletter art. While it's introduced an exciting new era of AI content creation...
It’s also opened up a copyright can of worms
OpenAI, despite having open in its name, created Dall-E 2 to make money. The company launched a paid plan for the software last week that now requires users to purchase credits to create images. But the commercialization of Dall-E 2 has downstream implications, particularly around intellectual property. Here are two thorny legal issues the software is facing:
Profiting off human creativity: Dall-E 2, like most AIs, was trained on a dataset containing millions of images—images that were likely created by humans at some point. Dall-E Detractors are quick to point out that many of the people who created those images never asked to be included in the data set, which means Dall-E 2 is profiting off some creators without their consent. It's raised the question: are publicly available training sets are considered fair use? Right now, the answer is murky given that there is no direct legal precedent in the US.
Infringing on popular IP: The other main legal question at play has to do with intellectual property. What happens if someone generates an image of, say, Homer Simpson in Stranger Things, then started selling t-shirts of it? While we won’t go too deep on the specifics of copyright law, the general idea is that a substantial transformation has to occur for a new depiction to not infringe on IP. Is using Dall-E 2 a sufficient enough transformation? Or do the corporations that own the IP have a right to tell the seller to take the shirts down? Again, it’s a legal minefield that the courts will eventually have to untangle.
Zoom out: As OpenAI continues to expand access to its software, the barriers of entry for AI creators have never been lower. Whether they will soon be solidified by the courts remains to be seen.
Elongate is here
Over the weekend, the WSJ dropped a report that may have been better suited for the pages of TMZ—Elon Musk and Sergey Brin’s relationship is on the ropes after the world’s richest man had with an affair with the Google cofounder’s wife, Nicole Shanahan.
According to the WSJ report, Musk’s relationship with Brin is fractured beyond repair after Musk and Shanahan allegedly had a brief affair that started at the Art Basel event in Miami.
It’s a big deal because Musk and Brin go way back—Brin extended a $500,000 loan to Tesla during the 2008 financial crisis to help the carmaker weather the storm, a favor Musk repaid by giving Brin the fourth Model X ever created back in 2015.
Zoom out: Though on the surface this appears to be petty drama of the rich and famous, there are real financial outcomes on the line. So far, Tesla’s stock price seems to be relatively immune to Musk’s personal antics, but that could change in an instant. Additionally, Brin (an early shareholder in Tesla) is reportedly considering dumping all his Tesla shares, which could further hurt the automaker.
Stat: You might as well start calling CNN and Fox News side-stream media. For the first time ever, TikTok is the most popular news source among younger people, with 29% of teens fully embracing the scrolling machine as their main news source. Yet, “fake news” continues to be enemy number one—less than 30% of those surveyed said they actually trust news stories they consume on TikTok.
Story we’re watching: It’s been a rough year for Netflix between its plummeting stock price, hundreds of layoffs, and Peaky Blinders being kinda meh. But it’s finally notched a small win: Netflix has begun redirecting Apple users to an external landing page that lets customers sign up for its service without paying the requisite 30% tollbooth fee to Cupertino. The move follows Apple’s new “reader apps” policy, which lets apps link out sign-up pages to their website instead of forcing users to pay in-app.
Rabbit hole: Creativity is a process, not an event (James Clear).
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON
Snap reported its slowest-ever rate of quarterly growth in Q2.
Apoorva Mehta, cofounder of Instacart, stepped down as the company’s Executive Chairman.
Mark Cuban has not made a profit from the 85 companies he’s invested in on Shark Tank.
The WHO has declared monkeypox to be a 'public health emergency of international concern.'
PICK THAT PITCH DECK
Below is an early pitch deck for a company that was acquired in 2016.
Can you guess what the company is?
The Homescreen crew loves working to chill beats when we write the newsletter, so we figured we’d start sharing some of our favorite jams for you all to try out.
Eventually put together a Homescreen playlist so we can all vibe together.
Playlist for deep work: Lee Burridge live at Omnia Bali in Indonesia (YouTube)
Artist for general vibin’: Anything from Ehrling (Spotify)
Song for decompressing: "Parrot Cay" by Deep Chills (Spotify)
P.S. If you have any songs or artists you love, feel free to reply to this email and send ‘em our way.
Notable layoffs this week
Bright Money: 100 people (50%)
Arete IR: 90 people (25%)
The best resources we came across this weekend that will help you become a better founder, builder, or investor.
📣 The ultimate marketing & sales tech stack.
💡 11 signals to identify top talent for your startup.
👋 How anyone can growth hack their way to getting featured on Product Hunt.
PICK THAT PITCH DECK ANSWER
That would be LinkedIn