🎬️ Meta and Google going Hollywood?

PLUS: Meta, Activision sued for inciting the Uvalde school shooting; Dubai is giving out Visas to gamers, content creators

🎬️ Meta and Google going Hollywood?

📸 Seeking Alpha

Meta and Google are currently offering studios “tens of millions of dollars” in hopes of nabbing licensing deals for their content.

  • The new front of the AI arms race has all to do with live video, and every company is looking to one up OpenAI’s “Sora.

  • Google’s plan is “Veo,” a text-to-video model introduced earlier this month by the flamboyant Sergey Brin and tested by the one and only Donald Glover, which was awesome.

Meta's AI-generated video isn't here yet, but it's coming soon. And if they're going to be fashionably late to the party, Big Zuck(erberg) knows he needs to make a splash.

💬 Meta is considering paying publishers to access “news, photo and video content” to train its AI models, similar to OpenAI’s deal with News Corp.

That's why both tech giants have been scouring the internet for months, seeking unique data to train their AI-generated video models.

  • It seems even AI is tired of YouTube tutorial videos and Facebook posts about family trips.

  • And with the disaster that has been Reddit and Google’s search collaboration, the quicker they find data, the better.

  • But while change is necessary, it's not such a simple task.

Despite Google and Meta offering millions, some companies remain reluctant to jump on board.

📸 ScreenBinge

  • Netflix and Disney are "unwilling to license their content” but have “expressed interest in other types of collaborations.” Whatever that means.

  • Netflix's decision to pass is surprising at first glance, considering they could make a lot of money by licensing their original shows without worrying about their timeless IP being exploited.

  • Unlike Disney, which built a nearly $200 billion empire on its unique characters.

Wouldn't want to give anyone else access to Mickey Mouse—that'd be a disaster waiting to happen.

Fellow entertainment giant Warner Bros. Discovery, on the other hand, is "willing to license some of its programs," a.k.a. jumping at these fat checks faster than me on a hot dog on Memorial Day.

The company just can’t afford to be picky about making money right now and doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for other opportunities like the fellow streaming giants—beggars can’t be choosers.

💬 Warner Bros. Discovery ($WBD) is down 33.75% this year.

And when you look deeper into potential deals, Netflix and Disney are probably making the right decision.

  • Getting into bed with AI companies to use advanced editing tools is one thing and will definitely improve filmmaking in the short term, but the total integration of AI raises major concerns about IP exploitation.

  • Just ask Scarlett Johansson, who accused OpenAI of copying her voice for its “Sky” assistant in ChatGPT last week after declining to partner with the company.

A tech company not listening to the rules has really become a cliché at this point.

OpenAI has denied the claims, but even if they aren't guilty, this type of case seems like a new unfortunate reality for film stars, showing us that AI can devastate the entertainment industry.

💼 Meta, Activision sued for inciting the Uvalde school shooting

📸 Tech Crunch

Salvador Ramos killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.

Now, families of the horrific shooting are suing Meta and Activision (makers of Call of Duty) for promoting firearm use to underage boys.

Their lawsuit claims:

  • Activision and Meta “exposed the shooter (Ramos) to weapons, made him see them as solutions, and trained him to use them,” with harmful shooting games putting young men on a violent path.

  • Ramos played Call of Duty obsessively, developing marksmanship skills and getting rewards for playing more often. 

💬 The game features the AR-15 used in the shooting.

The shooter also saw intense ads on Instagram that glorified combat, including ones from Daniel Defense, the gun company that made the AR-15 used in the shooting.

Daniel Defense allegedly promotes weapons to minors, which is why the families are also suing them.

Josh Koskoff, the attorney for the Uvalde families, argues that Instagram and Activision mainstream violence to kids.

💬 Around 45 family members are suing the companies.

💬 Koskoff previously won a $73 million settlement for the families of Sandy Hook school shooting victims from gun manufacturer Remington.

Meta and Activision's “defense:”

  • Meta’s rules theoretically ban the sale of guns on its platforms; the gunman purchased the AR-15 from Daniel Defense’s website.

  • Section 230 protects platforms from lawsuits over specific user posts, but targeted ads, like those from a gun company, can complicate this.

  • Activision’s head of corporate communications, Delaney Simmons, stated that millions enjoy video games without committing horrific acts and cited research showing no correlation between video games and real-world violence. 

💬 "The Uvalde shooting was horrendous and heartbreaking in every way, and we express our deepest sympathies to the families and communities who remain impacted by this senseless act of violence. Millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts."

🎮️ Dubai is giving out Visas to gamers, content creators

📸 ICP Smart Service

The Dubai Future Foundation has just announced the "Dubai Program for Gaming 2033," which aims to make Dubai a global hub for content creators, specifically gamers.

Dubai as a country is like a spin-off Star Wars episode.

  • The program will focus on attracting talented content creators and gamers and even partnering with international companies, universities, and academic institutions.

  • Aims to attract 30,000 “workers” and contribute over $1 billion to Dubai's GDP.

  • Approved applicants, 25 and older, will receive a certificate allowing long-term residency in Dubai.

  • Content creators with a gaming visa will have access to support, the latest tech, and networking opportunities with venture capitalists and investors.

  • Not to mention the treasure trove of cash these investors bring—after all, it is Dubai.

  • Interested gamers and content creators can apply on the DP33 program website.

Even if Dubai doesn’t become a global hub for gaming and content creation, if you’re a content creator, a gamer, or both, this would be an epic adventure to tell your grandkids about.