JOAN IS AWFUL: A Chilling Glimpse into the Future of Entertainment, Courtesy of Netflix’s Black Mirror

Feast your eyes on the latest offering from Black Mirror, served up in Season 6 on Netflix, aptly named “Joan Is Awful.” This curiously intriguing tale mirrors the exact licensing concepts Garrett and I discussed in detail in our recent book, “How To Create AI, Web3 and Metaverse Branding and Licensing Opportunities”, released last May.

But, let’s park that discussion for a while and delve right into the episode.

In the eye of the storm is Joan, played by Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek fame). One day, she discovers, to her horror, that her life is now a reality series on Black Mirror’s fictional streaming platform, Streamberry. Salma Hayek Pinault stars in this series-within-a-series, playing Joan in a surreal spectacle.

But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill reality TV fare; it’s an uncanny adaptation of Joan’s life, capturing intimate, very recent incidents from her life. Her shock and anger are quite understandable, and she sets out to take Streamberry to court. However, the company’s usage rights for likenesses are shrewdly nestled within the rarely-read terms and conditions, leaving Joan in a lurch.

Dig a little deeper, and “Joan Is Awful” begins to unravel layers of complexity, spinning Joan around a dizzying maze of reality and fiction.

So, how does Streamberry pull off “Joan Is Awful” exactly?

Joan’s lawyer spills the beans: it’s all AI/CGI. Hayek has signed over and licensed the rights to her digital likeness to Streamberry. This means that Joan isn’t watching actors; she’s watching hyper-realistic animations. And these animations know all about her life thanks to perpetual audio monitoring via everyday devices, like Joan’s phone. Think of it as mentioning a product in a casual chat, only to find ads for it popping up on your social media later. They’re always tuned in, listening and watching.

But the real question is, why is Streamberry creating “Joan Is Awful” in such a peculiar fashion? Mona Javadi (Leila Farzad), the company’s CEO, explains that their secret weapon is a super computer that serves as an “infinite content creator capable of birthing entire multiverses.”

The idea? To create tailor-made content for each of their 800 million subscribers, content that feels as real and relatable as possible.

You’ll need to watch the show to see how things turn out!

What I can share is that in our book, Garrett and I delve deeper into the intricate licensing angles that Salma Hayek Pinault, her lawyer, and Annie Murphy should have pondered upon before signing on the digital line. That’s all I’m going to say for now.

Join us on this journey into the depths of a new world full of new opportunities. Watch “Joan Is Awful” and read “How To Create AI, Web3 and Metaverse Branding and Licensing Opportunities”

Know your rights. Leverage your opportunities. Take action and take the lead.

Mitch Jackson, Esq. and Garrett Jackson

Author: Mitch Jackson

I'm a California trial lawyer trying to fix the world one client, cause, and digital interaction at a time.

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