From a field of three, one deepfake bill is left

Senator Connie Leyva’s (D-Chino) bill to address deepfake videos depicting sexual conduct failed to pass out of the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday. SB 564 would have created a new civil cause of action for the creation or distribution of such videos without the consent of the depicted individual. It also would have created a minimum $5,000 damage award, allowed the plaintiff in such cases to file using a pseudonym, and closed public access to the court records of such actions. CNPA opposed the bill with the aim of having the bill’s provisions narrowed in order to avoid unintended consequences.

SB 564 is the second of three bills to address deepfakes that has died in the Legislature this session. The first, AB 1280 by Assemblymember Timothy Grayson’s (D-Concord), would have created criminal liability for the creation and distribution of certain deepfakes and was rejected by the Assembly Public Safety Committee in April.

The last remaining deepfake bill is AB 602 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto). AB 602, which was recently approved by the Assembly, amends California’s existing civil cause of action for so-called “revenge porn” to include cases in which video editing technology is used to make it falsely appear as though a person engaged in sexual conduct.