The United States Copyright Office has ignited a nationwide dialogue on artificial intelligence (AI) and copyright law as part of a study.
It formally commenced its inquiry last week, inviting the public to share their insights on various policy issues that straddle technology and intellectual property domains.
The study’s primary objective serves multiple purposes: to brief Congress on the current legal AI landscape, spotlight unresolved issues, and evaluate areas requiring legislative action.
Additionally, the information garnered will guide the Office’s regulatory endeavors and offer valuable insights to the judiciary, public, and other government bodies examining similar quandaries.
Exploration Of AI, Copyright, And Policy Issues
Unsurprisingly, the Office is already processing applications to register works that include AI-generated content.
Some applicants even designate AI systems as co-authors, putting the definition of authorship up for debate.
The study’s 34 questions appear to delve into several nuanced AI issues, including AI training, transparency, recordkeeping, copyrightability, infringement, labeling, and additional issues.
Finding answers to these and other questions grows more urgent as AI technologies evolve and permeate multiple facets of life.
Who Is Responsible For Copyright Violations?
Another cornerstone of the investigation is the contentious topic of copyright liability for AI-generated content.
In a hypothetical scenario, who should be responsible if an AI model produces content that mirrors a copyrighted work too closely and fails the “fair use” test?
The Copyright Office seeks to understand how liability could be allocated between the individual who directed the AI system and the system’s creators and dataset.
How To Participate In The AI Study
Would you like to submit answers to questions on AI and issues pertaining to copyright law?
Public comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 18, 2023. Follow-up reply comments have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 15, 2023.
Continued Scrutiny Of AI By U.S. Government Agencies
In addition to the U.S. Copyright Office, other U.S. agencies have issued inquiries and public forums on various aspects of AI, highlighting the technology’s growing impact on innovation, governance, and public policy.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released several inquiries into the impact of AI.
- The SEC also dives into cybersecurity risk management, invoking research about AI capabilities’ duality for safeguarding and hacking systems.
- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a public meeting on AI tools and data to extend discussions in their inaugural AI/ET Partnership on AI-driven innovation.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also enters the fray through its Homeland Security Advisory Council. A subcommittee assesses how AI systems can be leveraged for security strategies and defense against malicious AI uses.
- The Investment Security Office released provisions on U.S. investments in AI systems that could enable military applications in countries of concern, highlighting the national security risks.
- The Federal Highway Administration requested comments on a new information collection that involves machine sensing and perception, data fusion, AI, and machine learning in trajectory and path prediction.
These initiatives could be the first steps toward reshaping U.S. law in the age of AI, affecting creators, developers, and users of AI technology.
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