Steptoe has been tracking the fast-moving developments in artificial intelligence both in the United States and internationally. Below is an update on recent legal and policy developments related to AI, with a focus on intellectual property and high-profile policy issues.
AI Intellectual Property Update:
- The Atlantic Magazine examined a repository of over 183,000 books used to train generative AI systems called “Books3.” The repository can be searched (by author name) at this link.
- Getty Images launches generative AI program: the program will be trained on Getty’s own content, “with full indemnification for commercial use.” Additionally, “Customers creating and downloading visuals through the tool will receive Getty Images’ standard royalty-free license, which includes representations and warranties, uncapped indemnification, and the right to perpetual, worldwide, nonexclusive use in all media. Content generated through the tool will not be added into existing Getty Images and iStock content libraries for others to license. Further, contributors will be compensated for any inclusion of their content in the training set.”
- A lawsuit brought by Thomson Reuters against an AI company for unauthorized use of its content will proceed to the trial phase, per a court order issued this week. The Court stated: “Deciding whether the public’s interest is better served by protecting a creator or a copier is perilous, and an uncomfortable position for a court. Copyright tries to encourage creative expression by protecting both. Here, we run into a hotly debated question: Is it in the public benefit to allow AI to be trained with copyrighted material? The value of any given AI is likely to be reflected in the traditional factors: How transformative is it? Can the public use it for free? Does it discourage other creators by swallowing up their markets? So an independent evaluation of the benefits of AI is unlikely to be useful yet, even though both the potential benefits and risks are huge. Suffice it to say, each side presents a plausible and powerful account of the public benefit that would result from ruling for it. So a jury must decide the fourth factor—and the ultimate conclusion on fair use.”
- Hollywood studios can train AI models on writers’ work under tentative deal: Hollywood studios are expected to retain the right to train artificial-intelligence models based on writers’ work under the terms of a tentative labor agreement, but the writers would have a guarantee that they will receive credit and compensation for such work, even if studios partially rely on AI tools.
- The San Francisco Chronicle examined the question of whether it is possible, via “algorithmic destruction,” for an AI to “unlearn” copyrighted works.
AI Policy Update:
- Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) is expected to unveil a major AI bill as soon as this week with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The legislation would require companies to assess the impact of artificial intelligence systems and self-certify the safety of systems seen as particularly risky.
- Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) stated his near-term priority as vice chair of the Congressional AI Caucus is picking a lane on how to legislate the emerging technology: “Are we going to do a broad-based approach with a new agency? Potentially like the EU has done? Or are we going to adopt a sectoral approach, where we empower our existing sectoral regulators to regulate AI within their sectoral spaces?”
- “Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan said her agency would not hesitate to take action against artificial intelligence companies if they engage in monopolistic business practices, putting the nascent industry on notice.”
- Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said the current Congress has a shot to pass legislation regulating artificial intelligence: “I think we’ve got a fighting chance to get it done. I think it’s very likely that we’ll pass at least some narrow pieces of an AI regulatory regime.”
- Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter delivered remarks at the Fordham Competition Law Institute’s International Antitrust Law and Policy Conference, stating that “[w]hile [artificial intelligence] technology holds boundless potential, it’s sure to have huge competitive impacts. These risks transcend borders. So we’re engaging with our international colleagues to exchange knowledge about this rapidly developing area and its effect on competition law and policy.”
- The United Kingdom is aiming to use a global summit in November to reach an agreement between countries and companies on artificial intelligence safety,