US copyright laws regarding AI set to come later this year

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Right now, we are all still trying to navigate through the foggy sea that is AI and copyright law. For example, The New York Times is suing Microsoft and OpenAI over using NYT articles. The introduction of generative AI was unprecedented, so governmental bodies are scrambling to find some solid and sensible laws regarding how it’s used. Well, the U.S. Patent Office announced that updates to AI copyright laws are set to come out.

When it comes to making laws surrounding new technology, it can be pretty rough. Just recently, the EU started laying out some actual laws surrounding artificial intelligence. Companies and countries within the EU will have to start enforcing these laws within the next couple of years.

The U.S. Patent Office will post updates regarding its laws against AI

The announcement from the patent office doesn’t actually lay out any solid laws. However, it’s a bit of a checkpoint letting us know what the office is planning on doing and when it plans on having some legislature down on paper. The office is going to release a detailed report about copyright law going forward.

Firstly, the report will touch on subjects such as digital replicas. This involves using AI to replicate a person’s voice, artistic style, and other aspects of a person’s identity. This is probably one of the biggest gripes that people have about AI. Many people, especially public figures, fear the thought of having their identity replicated and warped via AI and posted to the world.

Secondly, the report will talk about the copyrightability of works that were crafted using AI. So, if a person crafts a song using artificial intelligence, the question remains if that person can legally copyright that work and call it their own even if they didn’t make it. This section will be published separately from the first. The U.S. patent office plans on having that out by the end of the Summer of 2024.

Additional reports

The U.S. Patent Office will publish an update separately to the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices. This update will supply people with guidance and examples of Works containing AI-generated material. This will help people further understand what types of works can and cannot be copyrighted. Before posting this report, the office is going to publish a public notice requesting comments on the matter.

Lastly, the patent office assembled a group of academic and government economists to discuss the potential economic impacts of copyright and AI. They will post their findings at a later date. The U.S. Patent Office plans on having all of this laid out by the end of the fiscal year of 2024. So, we’ll be getting more information as the year goes on.

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