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Minnesota: House refused to concur and requested conference on bill modifying deepfake election crime

On April 18, 2024, House Bill 4772 relating to elections, and among others, modifying the deepfake election crime, was subject to refusal by the Minnesota House of Representatives to concur and also requested a conference committee of three. The bill was passed after a third reading by the Senate on April 18, 2024. Previously, the bill substituted its companion bill, SF 4729, on April 11, 2024, and was passed as amended by the House on April 8, 2024.  

In particular, among other things, the bill foresees imprisonment or payment of a fine or both for a person who disseminates a deepfake or enters into a contract or other agreement to disseminate a deepfake which:

  • takes place within 30 days before a political party nominating convention, or after the start of the absentee voting period before a presidential nomination primary, state primary, local primary, special primary, or special election, or 90 days before a general election;
  • is made without the consent of the depicted individual; and
  • is made intentionally to injure a candidate or influence the result of an election.

The bill excludes from its application:

  • a broadcaster who disseminates a deepfake produced by a candidate if the broadcaster's dissemination is required by federal law; and
  • a regularly published newspaper, magazine, or other periodical, a radio or television broadcasting station, or a streaming service, if the entity distributes such prohibited political advertisements as part of a bona fide newscast and if it is acknowledged through content or disclosure that there are questions on the authenticity of the election communication.

If engrossed, the section regarding the violation will come into effect on Augst 1, 2024, and the section regarding the penalty will come into effect on July 1, 2024.

You can read the unofficially engrossed bill here and track its progress here.