Monday, September 25, 2023

Getty Images promises its new AI contains no copyrighted art; MIT Technology Review, September 25, 2023

, MIT Technology Review; Getty Images promises its new AI contains no copyrighted art

"Getty Images is so confident its new generative AI model is free of copyrighted content that it will cover any potential intellectual-property disputes for its customers. 

The generative AI system, announced today, was built by Nvidia and is trained solely on images in Getty’s image library. It does not include logos or images that have been scraped off the internet without consent. 

“Fundamentally, it’s trained; it’s clean. It’s viable for businesses to use. We’ll stand behind that claim,” says Craig Peters, the CEO of Getty Images. Peters says companies that want to use generative AI want total legal certainty they won’t face expensive copyright lawsuits.""

Sunday, September 24, 2023

An old master? No, it’s an image AI just knocked up … and it can’t be copyrighted; The Guardian, September 24, 2023

 , The Guardian ; An old master? No, it’s an image AI just knocked up … and it can’t be copyrighted

"Courts are now routinely referring to human authorship requirements under copyright law, including rejecting Kristina Kashtanova’s copyright claim for Zarya of the Dawn, a book “‘authored’ by non-human spiritual beings”. That ruling noted “it is not creations of divine beings” copyright is designed to protect.

Case law on the issue also now includes the rejection of a copyright lawsuit brought on behalf of a selfie-taking monkey. But in the Thaler case, Judge Beryl Howell did acknowledge that humanity is “approaching new frontiers in copyright” where artists will use AI as a tool to create new work."

‘Trump Too Small’ Fight Splits First Amendment Trademark Views; Bloomberg Law, September 22, 2023

Kyle Jahner, Bloomberg Law; ‘Trump Too Small’ Fight Splits First Amendment Trademark Views

"A dispute over a “Trump Too Small” trademark application hinges on whether a statutory ban offends the First Amendment, as the US Supreme Court recently found two other restrictions did."

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Generative AI vs. Copyright; Publishers Weekly, September 22, 2023

Lloyd J. Jassin, Publishers Weekly; Generative AI vs. Copyright

"To sum up, on a case-by-case basis, courts must determine if substantial similarity exists and then engage in line drawing—balancing free expression and the rights of creators."

U.S. Copyright Office Extends Deadline for Comments on Artificial Intelligence Notice of Inquiry; U.S. Copyright Office, September 21, 2023

 U.S. Copyright Office, Issue No. 1021; U.S. Copyright Office Extends Deadline for Comments on Artificial Intelligence Notice of Inquiry

"The U.S. Copyright Office extended the deadline to submit comments in response to its August 30, 2023, notice of inquiry regarding artificial intelligence and copyright. The new deadlines will ensure that members of the public have sufficient time to prepare fulsome responses to the Office's questions so the Office can proceed with its inquiry with the benefit of a complete record of public input and feedback.

Initial written comments are now due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Monday, October 30, 2023. Reply comments are now due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

The Federal Register notice announcing this extension and additional information, including instructions for submitting comments, are available at https://www.copyright.gov/policy/artificial-intelligence/."

Generative AI and US copyright law are on a collision course; Computer World, September 22, 2023

 , Computer World; Generative AI and US copyright law are on a collision course

"The unsettled state of play around AI and copyright law is not simply a US phenomenon, although most countries have yet to pass detailed legislation around it. The EU’s AI Act, as well as frameworks for more general AI regulation passed by the US and China, do not change the confused state of play around copyright issues. One country that has done so is Japan, which clarified in June that the use of copyright works for AI training is permitted, even for commercial purposes.

But active regulation of these issues may still be far off in the US, according to the experts."

Friday, September 22, 2023

Opinion: The Copyright Office is making a mistake on AI-generated art; Ars Technica, September 22, 2023

, Ars Technica; Opinion: The Copyright Office is making a mistake on AI-generated art

"I don’t think these more recent decisions are going to age well.

“The copyright office's position follows fairly logically from what they've staked out,” Cornell University copyright scholar James Grimmelmann told me. “And that follows fairly logically from existing copyright doctrine or theory.”

At the same time, Grimmelmann said, “I don't see this approach being scalable. It seems like a quagmire.”"

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Publishers settle copyright infringement lawsuit with ResearchGate; Chemistry World, September 18, 2023

, Chemistry World ; Publishers settle copyright infringement lawsuit with ResearchGate

"Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, a librarian and professor of information science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, says the settlement agreement ‘signals that ResearchGate has completed its journey from disrupter to partner within the scholarly communications ecosystem’. She notes that Elsevier and ACS have been using ResearchGate’s content blocking technology since at least early 2022, which indicates that ‘a more collaborative relationship’ has been in development for some time."

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Franzen, Grisham and Other Prominent Authors Sue OpenAI; The New York Times, September 20, 2023

 Alexandra Alter and Franzen, Grisham and Other Prominent Authors Sue OpenAI

"A group of prominent novelists, including John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen and Elin Hilderbrand, are joining the legal battle against OpenAI over its chatbot technology, as fears about the encroachment of artificial intelligence on creative industries continue to grow.

More than a dozen authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI on Tuesday, accusing the company, which has been backed with billions of dollars in investment from Microsoft, of infringing on their copyrights by using their books to train its popular ChatGPT chatbot. The complaint, which was filed along with the Authors Guild, said that OpenAI’s chatbots can now produce “derivative works” that can mimic and summarize the authors’ books, potentially harming the market for authors’ work, and that the writers were neither compensated nor notified by the company."

Digimarc adds copyright information to digital data; The Verge,September 19, 2023

 Emilia David, The Verge; Digimarc adds copyright information to digital data

"Software company Digimarc will now let copyright owners add more information to their work, which the company said will improve how AI models treat copyright in training data. 

In a statement, Digimarc said its new Digimarc Validate service lets users include ownership identification in the metadata. The company said this means that when copyrighted material becomes part of a generative AI training dataset, users can point to the digital watermark with intellectual property information.

For example, an image with Digimarc Validate adds a © symbol that is machine-readable and includes information on who owns the copyright. The company said Digimarc Validate is powered by its digital watermark detection software, called SAFE, or secure, accurate, fair, and efficient, which AI companies have to buy into if they want to prevent copyrighted material with the Digimarc Validate symbol from making it to training datasets."

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

DC Releases a Statement on Fables - It is 'Not in the Public Domain'; CBR, September 15, 2023

 BRIAN CRONIN, CBR; DC Releases a Statement on Fables - It is 'Not in the Public Domain'

"Suffice it to say, though, that anyone thinking of taking Willingham up on his "released" copyright will face a legal challenge from DC."

Pitt is a top 20 leader in patents in the U.S.; Pittwire, University of Pittsburgh, September 15, 2023

Pittwire, University of Pittsburgh; Pitt is a top 20 leader in patents in the U.S.

"From quantum computers to better wheelchair technology, innovators at the University of Pittsburgh are always pushing boundaries. Now, a new ranking confirms what Pitt people have long known: we’re among the top 20 most innovative universities nationwide.

According to a new list from the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), Pitt ranks No. 16 for U.S. universities granted utility patents in 2022.

Pitt innovators earned 105 of these patents in 2022, just behind the University of Pennsylvania at 108 and far surpassing other Pennsylvania universities on the list, including Carnegie Mellon University at No. 37, Penn State University at No. 51, Drexel University at No. 57 and Temple University at No. 75.

Drawing from data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the list focuses specifically on utility patents, which offer protection to inventors for new processes, machines or other innovations."

Bizarre AI-generated products are in stores. Here’s how to avoid them.; The Washington Post, September 18, 2023

 , The Washington Post; Bizarre AI-generated products are in stores. Here’s how to avoid them.

"Copyright and intellectual property issues around AI are still in the air...

The Authors Guild, which represents many authors whose work has been used to train AI tools, is asking for legislation and pushing companies to disclose when a book is written by AI...

“We see it as consumer protection, but it’s also a way to insulate the book marketplace because otherwise, you’ll just see an influx of AI-generated content on a platform like Kindle,” said Mary Rasenberger, chief executive of the Authors Guild. “It will take away from the market [demand] for human creative works.”

Rasenberger said that she doesn’t think AI can be held off forever and even sees a place for it as a useful tool for writers. The guild’s goal is to make sure AI is regulated, licensed and legitimate, with money going back to authors, she said."

Monday, September 18, 2023

Four large US publishers sue ‘shadow library’ for alleged copyright infringement; The Guardian, September 15, 2023

, The Guardian ; Four large US publishers sue ‘shadow library’ for alleged copyright infringement

"Four leading US publishers have sued an online “shadow library” that allows visitors to download textbooks and other copyrighted materials free.

Cengage, Macmillan Learning, McGraw Hill and Pearson Education filed the suit against Library Genesis, also known as LibGen, in Manhattan federal court, citing “extensive violations” of copyright law.

LibGen operates a collection of different domains that allow users to search for and download pdf versions of books. The suit, filed on Thursday, said LibGen holds more than 20,000 files published by the four suing companies."

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Bob Woodward seeks to end Donald Trump's lawsuit over audiobook; Reuters, September 12, 2023

, Reuters; Bob Woodward seeks to end Donald Trump's lawsuit over audiobook

"The American journalist Bob Woodward is seeking to end former President Donald Trump's nearly $50 million lawsuit for publishing tapes from interviews for Woodward's 2020 best-seller "Rage" as an audiobook.

Woodward, his publisher Simon & Schuster and the publisher's parent Paramount Global (PARA.O) filed a motion to dismiss Trump's lawsuit on Monday in Manhattan federal court, where the case had been transferred last month from Pensacola, Florida."

Internet Archive Files Appeal in Copyright Infringement Case; Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2023

 Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly ; Internet Archive Files Appeal in Copyright Infringement Case

"As expected, the Internet Archive this week submitted its appeal in Hachette v. Internet Archive, the closely-watched copyright case involving the scanning and digital lending of library books.

In a brief notice filed with the court, IA lawyers are seeking review by the Second Circuit court of appeals in New York of the "August 11, 2023 Judgment and Permanent Injunction; the March 24, 2023 Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment; and from any and all orders, rulings, findings, and/or conclusions adverse to Defendant Internet Archive."

The notice of appeal comes right at the 30-day deadline—a month to the day after judge John G. Koeltl approved and entered a negotiated consent judgment in the case which declared the IA's scanning and lending program to be copyright infringement, as well as a permanent injunctionthat, among its provisions, bars the IA from lending unauthorized scans of the plaintiffs' in-copyright, commercially available books that are available in digital editions."

Another group of writers is suing OpenAI over copyright claims; The Verge, September 11, 2023

Emma Roth , The Verge; Another group of writers is suing OpenAI over copyright claims

"A group of writers is suing OpenAI over claims the company illegally used their works to train its AI ChatGPT chatbot, as reported earlier by Reuters. In a lawsuit filed on Friday, Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman allege OpenAI benefits and profits from the “unauthorized and illegal use” of their copyrighted content.

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and calls out ChatGPT’s ability to summarize and analyze the content written by the authors, stating this “is only possible” if OpenAI trained its GPT large language model on their works. It adds that these outputs are actually “derivative” works that infringe on their copyrights."

Friday, September 8, 2023

Microsoft to defend customers on AI copyright challenges; Reuters, September 7, 2023

Reuters ; Microsoft to defend customers on AI copyright challenges

"Microsoft (MSFT.O) will pay legal damages on behalf of customers using its artificial intelligence (AI) products if they are sued for copyright infringement for the output generated by such systems, the company said on Thursday.

Microsoft will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks arising out of any claims raised by third parties so long as the company's customers use "the guardrails and content filters" built into its products, the company said. It offers functionality meant to reduce the likelihood that the AI returns infringing content."

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Artist Who Duped Art Contest With AI Image Has Copyright Application Rejected; PetaPixel, September 7, 2023

MATT GROWCOOT , PetaPixel; Artist Who Duped Art Contest With AI Image Has Copyright Application Rejected

"An artist who rose to notoriety for winning first place in a fine art competition with an AI-generated imagehas had his application for protection rejected by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Jason Allen made headlines around the world last year when the Colorado State Fair awarded his AI-generated artwork, Theatre D’opera Spatial, first place in the digital art/digitally manipulated photography category of the Fine Art competition. Allen was unrepentant for his actions, saying “I’m not stopping now.” 

True to his word, he now wants Theatre D’opera Spatial to be afforded copyright protection, but, true to its word, the Copyright Office has rejected the application because the picture is not a product of human authorship."

Sony copyright claims for Bewitched spell trouble for group that preserves old TV [Updated]; Are Technica, September 5, 2023

  , Ars Technica; Sony copyright claims for Bewitched spell trouble for group that preserves old TV [Updated]

"[Update at 6:56 pm ET: It looks like Rick Klein will be able to keep the YouTube channel running. Sony's copyright office emailed Klein after this article was published, saying it would "inform MarkScan to request retractions for the notices issued in response to the 27 full-length episode postings of Bewitched" in exchange for "assurances from you that you or the Fuzzy Memories TV Channel will not post or re-post any infringing versions from Bewitched or other content owned or distributed by SPE [Sony Pictures Entertainment] companies."

Sony said it's taking that step because "this is the first time we have become aware of your YouTube Channel posting unauthorized versions of SPE-distributed content, and the unique circumstances therein." However, Sony told Klein that his channel must remove "similarly infringing posts for other SPE-distributed shows," pointing out that he had posted episodes from other Sony shows.]

Original story: A nonprofit that preserves classic television videos may have its YouTube channel shut down tomorrow over copyright claims for Bewitched episodes that originally aired in the 1960s.

The Museum of Classic Chicago Television has about 5,000 videos, including many decades-old commercials and news shows, posted on its YouTube channel and its own Fuzzy Memories website. President and chief curator Rick Klein's "quest to save vintage Chicago TV shows and commercials" was featured in a WBEZ storytwo years ago.

But after 16 years of Klein and his group, who rely on donors and volunteers, archiving old videos, the TV museum's YouTube channel on August 30 received six copyright strikes for posting 27 Bewitched episodes owned by Sony Pictures Television. Copyright complaints were sent by MarkScan, a "digital asset protection" firm that content owners hire to enforce copyrights. MarkScan has been sending copyright complaints on Sony's behalf since at least 2014.

Klein told Ars today that he's not opposed to the Bewitched videos' deletion and that he has no intention of reposting them. But over the past few days he has been trying to reach anyone at MarkScan or Sony who can reverse the copyright strikes so he can continue the Museum of Classic Chicago Television's YouTube channel."

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Jason Allen’s AI art won the Colorado fair — but now the feds say it can’t get a copyright; Copyright Public Radio (CPR), September 6, 2023

 Andrew Kenney, Copyright Public Radio (CPR); Jason Allen’s AI art won the Colorado fair — but now the feds say it can’t get a copyright

"The image was striking enough to win part of the Colorado State Fair’s art contest last year. But the U.S. Copyright Office on Tuesday issued a final decision that it can not be copyrighted, meaning Allen can’t get legal protections to stop others from reproducing and using the image themselves."

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Learn about government resources for protecting your intellectual property; United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), September 1, 2023

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); Learn about government resources for protecting your intellectual property

"Join us at our next Patent Pro Bono Program: Pathways to inclusive innovation event on October 11 from 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET, virtually or in person at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. 

During this event, leaders in the intellectual property (IP) and small business community will share their stories and tips on how to protect your IP via patents and trademarks. We welcome all current and aspiring entrepreneurs interested in learning more about:

  • Succeeding in business
  • Identifying and protecting IP
  • Securing options for funding
  • Expanding business networks

A detailed agenda with speakers is listed on our event page.

Registration is required for in-person and online attendees. Seats for in-person attendance are limited, so register now to secure your spot. 

For questions about this event, please contact probono@uspto.gov"

Monday, September 4, 2023

Law’s Elizabeth Rosenblatt explains copyright ownership in relation to Trump’s mugshot; Case Western Reserve University, The Daily, September 1, 2023

Case Western Reserve University, The Daily ; Law’s Elizabeth Rosenblatt explains copyright ownership in relation to Trump’s mugshot

"Can you legally use Trump’s mugshot on merchandise?

Spectrum NewsElizabeth Rosenblatt, the Oliver C. Schroeder Jr. Distinguished Research Scholar and associate director of the Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology and the Arts at the School of Law, said that copyright ownership of mugshots applies in most jurisdictions. Questions arose following the recent release of former President Donald Trump’s mugshot for his arrest for meddling in the 2020 election. “Whether the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department would decide to enforce its copyright is entirely up to them,” Rosenblatt said."

Thursday, August 31, 2023

US appeals court curbs Copyright Office's mandatory deposit policy; Reuters, August 29, 2023

 , Reuters; US appeals court curbs Copyright Office's mandatory deposit policy

"The U.S. Constitution bars the U.S. Copyright Office from demanding that a publisher deposit physical copies of its books with the office or pay a fine, a Washington, D.C., federal appeals court said on Tuesday.

In a ruling for Richmond, Virginia-based Valancourt Books, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Copyright Office's demand amounted to an unconstitutional government taking of Valancourt's property."

Copyright Office Issues Notice of Inquiry on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence; U.S. Copyright Office, August 30, 2023

U.S. Copyright Office ; Copyright Office Issues Notice of Inquiry on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence

"Today, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a notice of inquiry (NOI) in the Federal Register on copyright and artificial intelligence (AI). The Office is undertaking a study of the copyright law and policy issues raised by generative AI and is assessing whether legislative or regulatory steps are warranted. The Office will use the record it assembles to advise Congress; inform its regulatory work; and offer information and resources to the public, courts, and other government entities considering these issues.

The NOI seeks factual information and views on a number of copyright issues raised by recent advances in generative AI. These issues include the use of copyrighted works to train AI models, the appropriate levels of transparency and disclosure with respect to the use of copyrighted works, the legal status of AI-generated outputs, and the appropriate treatment of AI-generated outputs that mimic personal attributes of human artists.

The NOI is an integral next step for the Office’s AI initiative, which was launched in early 2023. So far this year, the Office has held four public listening sessions and two webinars. This NOI builds on the feedback and questions the Office has received so far and seeks public input from the broadest audience to date in the initiative.

“We launched this initiative at the beginning of the year to focus on the increasingly complex issues raised by generative AI. This NOI and the public comments we will receive represent a critical next step,” said Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. “We look forward to continuing to examine these issues of vital importance to the evolution of technology and the future of human creativity.”

Initial written comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Reply comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Instructions for submitting comments are available on the Office’s website. Commenters may choose which and how many questions to respond to in the NOI.

For more general information about the Copyright Office’s AI initiative, please visit our website."

Monday, August 28, 2023

The sound of science: AI can ID musical copyright infringement better than human ears, WVU law experts say; WVU Today, August 28, 2023

WVU Today; The sound of science: AI can ID musical copyright infringement better than human ears, WVU law experts say

"Artificial intelligence could help determine the verdicts of future court cases involving musical copyright, according to West Virginia University College of Law researchers.

Law student Angelyn Gemmen and Professor Sean Tu said they believe using AI to verify the originality of a piece of music would allow courts to stop relying on “a battle of the experts” and the human ear in cases of copyright infringement.

In an Innovate Magazine article, Gemmen and Tu explain how use of AI may have helped in a recent case involving singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. AI could have made the Sheeran musical copyright case more fact-driven, less biased and might have prevented litigation."

Introduction to Intellectual Property; West Virginia Libraries (WVU) , Tuesday, August 29, 2023

West Virginia Libraries (WVU) ; Introduction to Intellectual Property

"Curious about Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, & Trade Secrets? Join us for an overview of intellectual property.

 Intellectual Property by Marian Armour-Gemmen"

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Studios’ Offer to Writers May Lead to AI-Created Scripts That Are Copyrightable; The Hollywood Reporter, August 23, 2023

 Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter; Studios’ Offer to Writers May Lead to AI-Created Scripts That Are Copyrightable

"But missing from the proposal, which was described as meeting the “priority concerns” of the guild, is how the studios need writers to exploit any work created by AI under existing copyright laws. That’s because works solely created by AI are not copyrightable. To be granted protection, a human would need to rewrite any AI-produced script...

By keeping AI on the table, the studios may be looking to capitalize on the intellectual property rights around works created by the tools. “If a human touches material created by generative AI, then the typical copyright protections will kick in,” a source close to the AMPTP says...

The studios may be looking toward producing of AI-generated scripts, but copyright protection is only possible for those works if they are revised by human writers. Material created solely by AI would enter the public domain upon release, potentially restricting opportunities for exploitation."

Friday, August 25, 2023

Our Summer of Artificial Intelligence: Copyright Office Hosts Two Webinars on Copyright and AI; U.S. Copyright Office, August 23, 2023

Nora Scheland, U.S. Copyright Office; Our Summer of Artificial Intelligence: Copyright Office Hosts Two Webinars on Copyright and AI

"Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a significant new focal point for the Copyright Office in 2023. The Office launched an AI initiativein mid-March, which was followed by four comprehensive listening sessions in April and May and then, most recently, by two very popular webinars in June and July.

The webinars, which continued to break attendance records for the Copyright Office, provided an opportunity for the Office to dive deeper into the copyright registration guidance for AI-generated works and perspectives on how AI impacts copyright systems both domestically and across the globe. The webinars were open to the public, and everyone from copyright experts to those curious about copyright could take something away.

The Office’s first webinar in June, Registration Guidance for Works Containing AI-generated Content, was hosted by Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Registration Policy and Practice Rob Kasunic and deputy director of registration policy and practice Erik Bertin. Kasunic and Bertin walked attendees through the Office’s registration guidance and discussed a variety of hypothetical examples of copyright registration claims featuring some amount of AI-generated content and how the Office would evaluate them. Through the detailed examples, Kasunic and Bertin offered key insights and recommendations for how applicants can navigate registration applications as they register their own creative works.

The webinar wrapped up with a moderated Q&A session. Attendees were encouraged to submit questions during the presentation, and we received nearly 250 questions by the end of the webinar. The attendance climbed to nearly 2,000 people over the 75-minute webinar, a new record for the Office.

If you missed the webinar on registration guidance in June, you can check out a full recording and transcript on our website.

The Office’s second webinar, International Copyright Issues and Artificial Intelligence, was hosted by Office of Policy and International Affairs attorneys and featured two hour-long panels with international copyright experts. Attendance at the second webinar also reached nearly 2,000 people, demonstrating the sustained excitement and curiosity concerning the global conversation around AI and copyright.

Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter provided opening remarks and explained why she thought this international conversation was integral to the Office’s AI initiative:

“We know that AI’s use and its impact are not bound by any national borders. . . . [G]overnments around the world are confronting similar legal and policy questions. . . . Looking at the global copyright landscape, several questions have begun to emerge. First, how do international copyright treaties apply to determining authorship and scope of subject matter protection and exceptions and limitations? Second, what actions are other countries or regions starting to take on AI and copyright issues? In what respects are these approaches similar to or different from ours in the United States? Can consensus approaches be found, and if so, through what mechanisms? And finally, to the extent there is divergence, what are the international implications?”

The first panel kicked off with four exciting presentations on developments in AI and copyright legislation and litigation outside the United States.

  • Peter Yu, from Texas A&M University School of Law, presented on copyright and artificial intelligence across Asia, particularly in China, Singapore, Japan, and Korea.
  • Marcus von Welser, from Vossius in Germany, walked attendees through the European Union’s proposed AI Act and existing text and data mining exceptions from the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive.
  • Luca Schirru, from KU Leuven in Belgium, presented perspectives on text and data mining developments, including from the global south.
  • Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid, from Ono Academic College in Israel, spoke about the effects of language and bias in generative AI technologies on non-English speaking countries and communities.

The second panel featured a lively moderated discussion on authorship, training, exceptions, and limitations of generative AI. The panel was moderated by two Copyright Office attorneys and comprised Jane Ginsburg from Columbia Law School, Andres Guadamuz from the University of Sussex, Bernt Hugenholtz from the University of Amsterdam, and Matthew Sag from Emory University School of Law. The panelists answered questions from the moderators and engaged directly with each other’s perspectives.

If you missed the webinar on international perspectives on copyright and AI in July, you can check out a full recording and transcript on our website.

The Office’s two webinars wrapped up a busy spring and summer season of listening, information gathering, and direct outreach on AI and copyright. Between April and July, nearly 8,000 people participated in or attended the Office’s AI listening sessions and webinars. This fall, the Office will receive public comments on a notice of inquiry as the work continues on our AI initiative. Follow copyright.gov/ai for updates and events, and sign up for email notifications on our website."

Internet Archive’s digital library has been found in breach of copyright. The decision has some important implications; The Conversation, August 22, 2023

Lecturer, Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney, The Conversation; Internet Archive’s digital library has been found in breach of copyright. The decision has some important implications

"The outcome of the court case may affect the fate of controlled digital lending more broadly."

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Scraping or Stealing? A Legal Reckoning Over AI Looms; Hollywood Reporter, August 22, 2023

Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter ; Scraping or Stealing? A Legal Reckoning Over AI Looms

"Engineers build AI art generators by feeding AI systems, known as large language models, voluminous databases of images downloaded from the internet without licenses. The artists’ suit revolves around the argument that the practice of feeding these systems copyrighted works constitutes intellectual property theft. A finding of infringement in the case may upend how most AI systems are built in the absence of regulation placing guardrails around the industry. If the AI firms are found to have infringed on any copyrights, they may be forced to destroy datasets that have been trained on copyrighted works. They also face stiff penalties of up to $150,000 for each infringement.

AI companies maintain that their conduct is protected by fair use, which allows for the utilization of copyrighted works without permission as long as that use is transformative. The doctrine permits unlicensed use of copyrighted works under limited circumstances. The factors that determine whether a work qualifies include the purpose of the use, the degree of similarity, and the impact of the derivative work on the market for the original. Central to the artists’ case is winning the argument that the AI systems don’t create works of “transformative use,” defined as when the purpose of the copyrighted work is altered to create something with a new meaning or message."

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Google and YouTube are trying to have it both ways with AI and copyright; The Verge, August 22, 2023

 Nilay Patel,, The Verge; Google and YouTube are trying to have it both ways with AI and copyright

"There’s only one name that springs to mind when you think of the cutting edge in copyright law online: Frank Sinatra. 

There’s nothing more important than making sure his estate — and his label, Universal Music Group — gets paid when people do AI versions of Ol’ Blue Eyes singing “Get Low” on YouTube, right? Even if that means creating an entirely new class of extralegal contractual royalties for big music labels just to protect the online dominance of your video platform while simultaneously insisting that training AI search results on books and news websites without paying anyone is permissible fair use? Right? Right?

This, broadly, is the position that Google is taking after announcing a deal with Universal Music Group yesterday “to develop an AI framework to help us work toward our common goals.” Google is signaling that it will pay off the music industry with special deals that create brand-new — and potentially devastating! — private intellectual property rights, while basically telling the rest of the web that the price of being indexed in Search is complete capitulation to allowing Google to scrape data for AI training."

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

At a Jersey Shore bar, Taco Tuesday’s soul lives on in a trademark; The Washington Post, August 21, 2023

, The Washington Post; At a Jersey Shore bar, Taco Tuesday’s soul lives on in a trademark

"Taco Bell’s legal push to liberate the phrase, which has included the marketing help of NBA great and Taco Tuesday enthusiast LeBron James, has left Gregory with the last trademark of its kind in the country in what he described as a modern-day David vs. Goliath story.

“I just want everybody to know that we started Taco Tuesday,” he said."

'The ghosts are not happy': 2 Fall River businesses clash over use of Lizzie Borden name; The Herald News, August 21, 2023

  Audrey Cooney, The Herald News; 'The ghosts are not happy': 2 Fall River businesses clash over use of Lizzie Borden name

"Zaal’s company US Ghost Adventures, which operates ghost tours in dozens of cities across the U.S., bought the house in 2021.

Miss Lizzie’s Coffee opened two weeks ago, on the anniversary of the Borden murders. The Lizzie-themed coffee shop features bloody axes in the decor and other nods to the slayings, like a "Lizspresso" menu item. Owner Joe Pereira bills it as "the most haunted coffee shop in the world."

Now, Zaal says the coffee shop violates his intellectual property."

As Fight Over A.I. Artwork Unfolds, Judge Rejects Copyright Claim; The New York Times, August 21, 2023

 , The New York Times; As Fight Over A.I. Artwork Unfolds, Judge Rejects Copyright Claim

"“Plaintiff can point to no case in which a court has recognized copyright in a work originating with a nonhuman,” Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in her decision on Friday, adding that “we are approaching new frontiers in copyright as artists put A.I. in their toolbox.”

Similar rules about “human authorship” have been used in deciding who owned a monkey’s selfie."

Monday, August 21, 2023

AI-Created Art Isn’t Copyrightable, Judge Says in Ruling That Could Give Hollywood Studios Pause; The Hollywood Reporter, August 18, 2023

Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter ; AI-Created Art Isn’t Copyrightable, Judge Says in Ruling That Could Give Hollywood Studios Pause

"A federal judge on Friday upheld a finding from the U.S. Copyright Office that a piece of art created by AI is not open to protection. The ruling was delivered in an order turning down Stephen Thaler’s bid challenging the government’s position refusing to register works made by AI. Copyright law has “never stretched so far” to “protect works generated by new forms of technology operating absent any guiding human hand,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell found."

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Record Labels File $412 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Internet Archive; Rolling Stone, August 12, 2023

 ALTHEA LEGASPI, Rolling Stone; Record Labels File $412 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Internet Archive

"UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol, and other record labels filed a copyright lawsuit on Friday against Internet Archive, founder Brewster Kahle, and others over the organization’s “Great 78 Project,” accusing them of behaving as an “illegal record store.” The suit lists 2,749 pre-1972 musical works available via Internet Archive by late artists, including Frank SinatraElla FitzgeraldChuck BerryBillie HolidayLouis Armstrong, and Bing Crosby, among others.

The suit, which was filed in federal court and reviewed by Rolling Stone, claims the Internet Archive’s “Great 78 Project” — launched by Internet Archive as a community project for “the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records,” according to its blog — has violated copyright laws. By “transferring copies of those files to members of the public, Internet Archive has reproduced and distributed without authorization Plaintiffs’ protected sound recordings,” the suit alleges.

The nonprofit Internet Archive began in 1996, stating its mission is to “provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.” It purports to be a digital library that provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. Its “Great 78 Project” follows suit; the community project dedicates itself to “the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records” per a post about the project. It provides free access to “over 400,000 recordings” as Internet Archive estimates in its post."