Trying the most complex issues
for over 30 years.

Trying the most complex issues for over 30 years.

Artificial intelligence and copyrights

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Intellectual Property

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a driving force behind labor disputes and job anxiety among creatives; that’s a fact. However, it is probably wise that everyone understands some basic facts about AI, Intellectual Property and how they will interact.

AI-created work is not copyrightable

In a release from the US Copyright Office, AI-generated work was called “unclaimable.” Other types of unclaimable work are:

  • Work in the public domain
  • Already copyrighted work
  • Previously published work

Furthermore, new works containing considerable amounts of “unclaimable material” will face additional scrutiny in the registration process. Works without copyright obviously do not have the same legal protections as those with copyrights, and thus can make it more challenging to monetize.

AI-generated work may violate existing copyrights

A complex case works its way through the courts as we write this regarding famous comedians and other writers in various industries. The case alleges that the way companies train their AIs violates existing copyright. Those algorithms use the words and language of copyrighted work to create the basis for what they produce.

That could be a violation of existing copyright law because none of those writers and comedians consented to the use of their work as training material. These writers did not receive compensation for that work. That could place AI-dependent content producers in an extremely vulnerable legal position.

The threat of model collapse

If things work out in AI’s favor, that is, AI gains recognition as a viable source of copyrightable works and that AI-produced work does not violate existing copyright, there’s a big problem for companies. AI writes and produces content very quickly, but it also relies on human input, not just from the one commissioning the work, but to create the work itself.

If the internet and all content sources become saturated with AI-produced work, then the pool that AI draws from becomes AI-produced work. This can quickly form a feedback loop, creating less and less interesting and intelligible work. This is called model collapse, and it is a very real issue facing AI language models.

Artificial intellectual property problems

The interaction of AI with IP will be a fascinating developing legal area. Eventually, you may find yourself dealing with these very problems. When that happens, you want a skilled, thoughtful attorney working for you.