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Looking Forward: The U.S. Copyright Office’s AI Initiative in 2024

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More than one year ago, the U.S. Copyright Office launched a comprehensive initiative to examine the impact of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) on copyright law and policy. This blog post highlights the next steps of this ongoing study and summarizes a recent update to Congress from Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter.

Over the coming months, the Office will issue a report, published in several sections, analyzing the impact of AI on copyright and making recommendations about any legislative or regulatory action. The first section will focus on digital replicas, or the use of AI to digitally replicate individuals’ appearances, voices, or other aspects of their identities. This section will be published later this spring.

The second section, to be published this summer, will address the copyrightability of works incorporating AI-generated material. Later sections will focus on the topic of training AI models on copyrighted works as well as any licensing considerations and liability issues. The Office’s goal is to finalize the entire report by the end of the fiscal year.

Separately, the Office will publish an update to the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, the administrative manual for registration. The update, which will follow a public notice requesting comments, will include further guidance and examples relating to the registration of works containing AI-generated material.

Additionally, the Office has brought together a group of government and academic economists to discuss the economic aspects of the intersection of copyright and AI. Later this year, the Office will publish the group’s proposed research agenda.

New announcements, updates, and publications will be posted on the Copyright and Artificial Intelligence webpage throughout the rest of this fiscal year. Subscribe to the Office’s NewsNets to stay up to date on the Office’s AI initiative.

Comments (9)

  1. Thanks,

  2. greetings team US!

    thanks for sharing updates regarding Generative A I copyrights…
    please protect work of kids and children from developing regions… many times the work generated by Ai prompted by kids, is very good and all children are under aged to register there work please protect the future of kids ! as the NFT values are very high for multiverse / metaverse it will help the kids to earn and pay fee for colleges or other STEM courses .
    thanks for listening!
    thanks for time!
    good wishes to all!

  3. This is going to be an important step in future copyright law concerning A.I. , I will be looking to see it before it becomes law. Please release all information on this report well before it’s submitted to Congress. We don’t need another oppressive, draconian bill attached to piece of “emergency” legislation. The future of creativity and innovation is too important.

  4. Please do your best to protect the work of artists who are being stolen from in this AI rush. None of them have agreed to have their art taken to be redistributed by these companies without their consent or compensation. This is supposed to be copyrights objective reason for existing. Enforce it for them so they may continue to innovate in the artistic field.

  5. This blog article delving into the U.S. Copyright Office’s AI initiative in 2024 offers a fascinating glimpse into the intersection of technology and copyright law. As someone with a keen interest in intellectual property and emerging technologies, I found the insights shared in this article both insightful and forward-thinking. Drawing from personal experiences navigating copyright issues in the digital age, I appreciate the efforts to leverage AI for enhancing copyright registration and enforcement processes.

  6. Ai is wrong for Music. Put a law on it before it’s to late

  7. Dear US Copyright Office,

    The vast majority of those who submitted comments last year during your public comments period urged you to protect our copyrighted works from being used by corporations to train generative AI without our consent (opt in) and without crediting and compensating us. We are the overwhelming majority of creatives and hope our voices will finally be heard. Action, as artists lose their livelihoods, is long overdue. Putting the interests of the few—namely, wealthy tech moguls and venture capitalists—above the rights of the many is fundamentally antidemocratic and shortsighted.

    We, artists, provide nearly all the value added to fuel the most popular generative AI. The success of generative AI is entirely dependent on artists. Consider the following:

    • OpenAI’s own engineer wrote on his blog that models mirror their datasets to an incredible degree. According to him, the way a model behaves is dependent on nothing else but its dataset.
    • On March 10, 2024, the former head of Stability AI tweeted pretty much the same thing.
    • In April of this year, a former Amazon executive stated, in her lawsuit against the company, that she was directed by the company to ignore copyright law in order to ensure that Amazon’s generative AI model would get high-quality results.
    • In April of this year, it was also revealed that OpenAI used Google-owned YouTube videos for training data even though Google’s Terms of Service prohibit this—in essence, violating the copyrights of creators of those videos.

    The real-life examples above show that AI corporations and startups know they are infringing on copyrights. Many are likely surprised that they have been able to get away with this and are happy to ride the gravy train that is government corruption and bureaucracy for as long as they can. The profits they steal from artists, in the meantime, are funneled back into lobbying against the same artists they have stolen from. Given admissions like the former Amazon executive’s, which point directly to premeditated copyright infringement, it’s shocking that no criminal charges have been brought against any of these companies.

    Artists who devote their lives to creating the kind of high-quality, authentic and human art that generative AI companies and their users are dependent on yet use to push us out of our industries are counting on the US Copyright Office to do what is just rather than what is politically expedient. Independent artists, who already exist on the margins but are vital in taking the kinds of creative risks that fuel innovation, are in danger of being made obsolete. Such artists do not have the resources or time to devote to lawsuits. Even groundbreaking work by such artists can be gobbled up by AI companies in minutes, which makes it much harder for these artists to exist. The following cannot be overstated: There is a huge difference between each generation’s Bach and Bach 4.0, Bach 6.0, etc.

    Finally, it’s been infuriating to see elected officials engage in closed-door meetings regarding generative AI. This is antidemocratic and corrupt. Worse still, at these meetings tech corporations (whose leaders donate to elected officials and/or whose companies elected officials are invested in) are overrepresented. ARE hopes the US Copyright Office will prove it is above political pressure by protecting originality in art and the artists who are actually committed to it.

  8. There is a significant difference between common knowledge and contemporary original research. AI tools do not credit original sources that are protected by copyrights. The citation of previous work provides three benefits: 1. Potential verification or indictment of the validity of source material; 2. Credit for prior work to scholars who depend upon such credit for general reputation enhancement including promotion and grants. 3. Credit to professional societies and publishers for providing the outlet for the scholarly work.

  9. Do not allow these works to be copyrighted, and stop allowing these companies to weaponize our own work against us.

    If you do not, your office will become meaningless, because copyright will be meaningless.

    Why create new writings, new art, new characters, if they can be fed into an ai and lose their copyright.

    It will mean the end of new ideas.

    Think of the future, and the duty of your office, thank you.

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