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First off today, Rachel Ulatowski at The Mary Sue reports that The Authors Guild, along with over 15,000 authors, have published an open letter directed at AI companies, asking them to stop using the work of authors to train their various AI systems.
The letter is directed at various companies in the AI space, including OpenAI, Meta, StabilityAI, Google and Microsoft. In addition to the guild itself, authors such as Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman have signed onto it as well.
This move comes after The Authors Guild filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, a lawsuit they filed alongside several well-known authors, including George R. R. Martin and Jodi Picoult. In that case, the guild argued that their members’ work was used without permission to train AI systems that, ultimately, aim to replace them as authors.
Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that, in Russia, the country is looking to further clamp down on virtual private networks (VPNs), including banning them from the country’s official app store.
In 2022, Russia launched RuStore, a replacement for both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. The goal was to only have official or authorized apps on phones used by Russian citizens. However, the RuStore carried various VPN apps, despite Russia’s aversion to VPNs and their ability to help users circumvent censorship and site blocking.
And it’s that aversion to VPNs that is prompting the country’s Ministry of Digital Development to examine the inclusions of VPNs on RuStore, which has already prepared a draft order that would remove all VPN apps from the marketplace. The stated reason is that the apps provide access to “prohibited information”, which, according to the Ministry, makes them a violation of Russian law.
Finally today, Jess Weatherbed at The Verge reports that yesterday was Mean Girls Day, which prompted the owner of the film, Paramount Pictures, to release the entire film on TikTok, for anyone patient enough to sit through 23 separate clips.
October 3rd as Mean Girls Day has become popular with fans of the film, as it’s a date directly referenced by two characters in the movie. While it’s an organic fan celebration of the movie, it is also a date in which additional pirated copies of it are posted online, including in short segments on sites such as TikTok, YouTube, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
Paramount, for their part, opted to get ahead of that trend and released the film on TikTok in 23 separate clips that cover the entire 107-minute runtime of the movie. Those clips are already offline, but the film does remain for streaming, in full, on Paramount+.