What's Happening in the World of AI - The US Copyright Office wants to hear from you!

from the RWA Policy & Advisory Committee

There are two pieces of legislation being discussed in Congress right now.

  • The first one is to compel the creators of AI – the companies that own the software – to disclose their training databases. This is a major step for writers as it gives us the means to sue for copyright infringement and be monetarily rewarded for our work.
  • The second is to require anyone who uses AI in their work to disclose that AI was used, in whole or in part, in the creation of the work.

Amazon has changed their policy for uploading books, allowing only three a day, to try to prevent the people who are using AI to create a plethora of books, and glutting the market overnight. Amazon is also adding a requirement for authors who use AI in the creation of their books to disclose that use.

The Author’s guild, along with John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and 15 other well names authors, filed a class action lawsuit last week, on behalf of all fiction writers, suing the AI companies for copyright infringement, by ingesting the works of fiction writers to train AI without permission. While we don’t currently have the above-mentioned compelled database, there are those who’ve had access to large parts of it, and know that our works were ingested. Here is a link to that lawsuit The Authors Guild, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, George R.R. Martin, and 13 Other Authors File Class-Action Suit Against OpenAI - The Authors Guild

The Author’s Guild has also provided a link to a minor searchable database of books ingested for the training of AI. While this is no way encompasses all books, it allows authors to search to see if their books are in this small portion. That search tool is here: https://full-stack-search-prod.vercel.app/

The US Constitution protects copyright for the use of human creation only. In the US, in order to be litigated, Copyright must be registered with the Copyright office. In order for a work to be granted this protection, a creator has to disclose use of AI. No portion of a work that contains AI creation is copyrightable. Works without that registration can be ingested/used without there being means for monetary compensation to the original author. The fee for electronic filing by a single author starts at $45.

The US Copyright Office wants to hear from you! There are a lot of questions as to what constitutes AI creation. The US Copyright office is asking writers for their opinions on the use of AI and copyright. Initial written comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Monday, October 30, 2023. Reply comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Instructions and forms for submitting comments, are available at https://www.copyright.gov/policy/artificial-intelligence/.