Starting on August 30th. the US Copyright Office is opening a public comment period around AI and issues surrounding copyright. For the office, they’re hoping to find new avenues for approaching copyright and AI-generated content.
Over the last few months, the issue of copyrighting AI-generated content has been taken to court a few times with the latest being a loss for AI-generated art. The announcement came from the Federal Register and the agency has three main questions it’s looking to the public for help on.
The first question is, how should AI models use copyrighted data in their training? This is a big question as Google is currently facing a lawsuit related to training data and their LLMs. OpenAI is likely facing one from The New York Times as well. And a group of authors has urged tech companies not to use their work to train their models.
So the first question makes plenty of sense due to the amount of disruption currently seen in the copyright world. The next question asks if AI-generated material can be copyrighted even if there was no human involvement.
This is related to the lawsuit from earlier this month but reaches further. As AI becomes more advanced, and the reliance on human operators lessens, will this affect how generated content is viewed by law?
Finally, the third question asks how copyright liability would work with AI. What if the AI is able to mimic likenesses, art styles, and voices? How should the copyright office address this? When it comes to art styles, this has been a major concern for artists. Even seen Many within the art community even protest against the use of AI.
These are some excellent and impactful questions. How the US Copyright Office comes to answer them in the future could have a tremendous effect on generative AI. The deadline for written comments is due by October 18th. Replies on the other hand are due by November 15th.
If the US Copyright Office sees an avenue that allows AI-generated content to be open to copyright, it could help usher in a new industry. But if not, then it will be interesting to see what the AI world does in response to the office’s future actions.