Tech giants say users of their software should be held responsible for AI copyright violations

AI developers say it’s not their fault that their machine learning programs produce copyrighted material, even though they were the ones who trained their systems on copyrighted material of author. Instead, they want users to take legal responsibility for the material generated by their systems.

The US Copyright Office is considering new regulations regarding generative AI and in August issued a request for comment on artificial intelligence and copyright. Responses to the request are public and can be found here.

Among the responses, companies including Google, Dall-E developer OpenAI and Microsoft wrote, arguing that only unlicensed production of copyrighted materials violates existing protections. They say AI software is like audio or video recording devices, photocopiers or cameras, all of which can be used to infringe copyrights. The manufacturers of these products are not held responsible when this happens, so why should AI companies be held responsible, or so the thinking goes.

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