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Mississippi: Senate declined to concur and invited for conference on wrongful dissemination of digitalizations bill

On April 10, 2024, Senate Bill 2577 to create criminal penalties for the wrongful dissemination of digitalizations was declined to be subject to concurrence by the Mississippi State Senate and the Senate invited for conference on the same day. Previously, the bill was passed as amended by the Mississippi House of Representatives on April 4, 2024.

In particular, the bill outlines the meaning of 'digitialization' to include the 'alter[ing] of an image or audio in a realistic manner utilizing an image or audio of a person, other than the person depicted, computer-generated images or audio, commonly called deepfakes,' as well as 'the creation of an image or audio through the use of software, machine learning artificial intelligence or any other computer-generated or technological means.'

Furthermore, the bill foresees imprisonment or payment of a fine, or both, of a person who disseminates a digitization, or enters into a contract or other agreement to disseminate a digitization if:

  • if the person knows or reasonably should know that the item being disseminated is a digitization; and
  • the dissemination takes place within 90 days of an election, is disseminated without the consent of the depicted individual, and is disseminated with the intent to injure the candidate, influence the results of an election, or deter any person from voting.

The bill also outlines who may bring the cause of action, several exceptions to its application, as well as the defense to prosecution in cases where the viewer is informed throughout the digitalization that the depicted individual did not engage in the depicted speech and/or conduct.

If enacted, the bill will come into force on July 1, 2024.  

You can read the bill and track its progress here.

Update: April 25, 2024

House adopts conference report

On April 24, 2024, the House adopted a conference report on the bill.

You can read the bill and track its progress here.

Update: April 29, 2024

Bill signed by House and Senate

On April 28, 2024, the bill was signed by the House and Senate and was sent to the Governor for signature. If signed by the Governor into law, the bill will come into force on July 1, 2024.

You can read the bill as sent to the Governor here and track its progress here.

Update: May 3, 2024

Bill approved by Governor

On April 30, 2024, the Act was approved by the Governor. The Act will enter into effect on July 1, 2024.

You can read the Act as approved by the Governor here and view its legislative history here.