September 18 2023 0Comment

Artificial Intelligence vs. Copyright Law: What’s The Future?

It’s exciting to see how quickly artificial intelligence is changing the working scenario in the creative industry. With AI-powered tools for video editing, graphic design, and even music production, the possibilities for innovation are endless. As AI becomes more sophisticated, we expect more seamless integration with creative workflows, resulting in faster and more efficient projects. It’s clear that AI is here to stay in the creative industry, and it’s worth waiting to see what the future holds.

As we know, no revolution has been a smooth journey. The AI industry that is booming at present is no exception. However, despite our challenges, it’s important to remember that every obstacle presents an opportunity for growth. This probably results in a legislature that will strike a balance between human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

With every setback, we can learn, adapt, and innovate. By staying ahead of the curve and taking calculated risks, we can position ourselves for success in this ever-changing landscape.

The Delhi High Court has declared that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot replace human cognition or the humanistic element in the adjudicatory process. This implies, to a huge extent, that ChatGPT cannot be used as the basis for settling legal or factual issues in a court of law. Justice Prathiba M. Singh claims that there is still disagreement on the integrity and dependability of data generated by artificial intelligence. The best that can be done with such a tool is preliminary research or comprehension.


What has been the conflict with existing copyright laws?

Before we proceed with a critical analysis of the conflict, here is a summary of the lawsuits that are making the lawmakers brainstorm for a solution –

During the first half of September, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and several Tony, Grammy, and Peabody award winners sued OpenAI for copyright infringement based on how they train their well-known chatbot, ChatGPT.

These datasets include “BookCorpus,” which is a collection of “over 7,000 unpublished books that were compiled and copied into a dataset by AI researchers without offering the authors of copyrighted materials compensation; “Common Crawl,” which is “a massive dataset of web pages containing billions of words,” according to the complaint; and “two internet-based book corpora,” known only as “Books1” and “Books2,” which both the Silverman and Chabon lawsuits claim likely contain

The Chabon lawsuit provides numerous examples of prompts involving the plaintiffs’ works to prove the claimed infringement. For instance, ChatGPT accurately summarised the novel and replicated Chabon’s writing style when asked to “identify examples of trauma in the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”. For this, Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. It also recognised six concrete examples. The prompts touching the works of the other plaintiffs were equally precise. The lawsuit asserts that only if OpenAI used “harvesting mass quantities of content from the public internet, including Plaintiffs’ and the Class’s books, which are available in digital formats,” could such findings have been achieved.

What were the claims?

According to the complaint, OpenAI’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models and ChatGPT “are themselves infringing derivative works without Plaintiffs and Class Members’ permission. Such works violate their exclusive rights under the Copyright Act” because they cannot function without the infringing works. The six claims in the lawsuit are:

  • Negligence
  • Unjust enrichment
  • Violations of the California Unfair Competition Law
  • Removal of copyright management information in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  • Direct copyright infringement

They are reportedly going to sue Meta as well for copyright infringement.

Previously, Comedian Sarah Silverman Accused OpenAI And Meta of Copyright Infringement. According to The Verge, well-known comedian Sarah Silverman, authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, and others are suing OpenAI and Meta in a US District Court for allegedly violating their copyrights.

The three writers allegedly “didn’t consent to the use of their copyrighted books as training material for ChatGPT,” according to the lawsuit.

According to a report in August, the New York Times may sue ChatGPT for copyright infringement.

Business Today reports that the Times is deeply concerned about how ChatGPT appears to be becoming a direct rival to the publication. Previously, the AI technology produced material in response to inquiries using original reporting and writing created by The Times personnel. The use of generative AI techniques in search engines by technology businesses feeds this anxiety even further. For instance, ChatGPT has been included in the Bing search engine by Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI.

Users searching online might see AI-generated suggestions packaged with information from The Times as a possible result. An individual participating in the ongoing negotiations highlighted that this might significantly reduce the requirement for visitors to visit The Times website.

This potential lawsuit from The Times would join a series of legal actions recently directed at OpenAI.

Is Artificial Intelligence guilty of copyright infringement?

Exposing the programme to a vast amount of data may include pre-existing works like text and images from the internet. AI systems are “trained” to create literary, visual, and other artistic works. Making digital copies of existing works as part of this training process runs the danger of violating their copyright. This method, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, “will almost by definition involve the reproduction of entire works or substantial portions thereof.”

OpenAI admits that its programmes are trained on “huge, publicly available datasets that include copyrighted works” and that this procedure “necessarily entails first making copies of the material to be analysed. Such copies may violate the exclusive right of the various copyright holders to make reproductions of their works when made without the owner’s express or implied consent.

Several stakeholders believe using copyrighted works to train AI programmes should qualify as fair use under these criteria. Regarding the first aspect, OpenAI contends that its goal is “transformative” rather than “expressive” because the training procedure produces “a useful generative AI system.”

Concerns about some generative AI applications’ usage of copyrighted works to train AI programmes have been expressed. This could lead to creating creations directly competing with the original works.

What are the legal implications of artificial intelligence-created works?

Both the AI user and the AI corporation may be legally responsible under present principles. Even if a user were held directly accountable for an infringement, the AI company might still be held accountable. Under the legal theory known as “vicarious infringement,” which applies to defendants who have “the right and ability to supervise the infringing activity” as well as “a direct financial interest in such activities.”

As plaintiffs have recently filed numerous lawsuits alleging copyright infringement using AI training methods, these claims are soon put to the test in court.

The US court has not decided whether AI should be liable for copyright infringement. This complex issue requires careful consideration as AI technology continues to evolve and become more prevalent in our daily lives. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out and what implications it may have for the future of AI and intellectual property. Let’s keep pushing forward and exploring the amazing potential of AI while also being mindful of its impact on society and the law.


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