Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property – What are the legal concerns?

December 23, 2022

What is AI?

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been a hot topic in technology with programs like DALL-E and ChatGPT increasing in popularity. ML (Machine Learning) is a subset of AI that works when users train an algorithm by providing input and an expected result. A common example is a spam filter in your email. The ML algorithm learns by taking email classified as spam, finding trends, and as it gets fed more input, it becomes better at identifying spam emails.

What are the legal concerns?

AI generated art, written content, and more have been the latest craze on social media, but it raises some legal issues. Who owns the AI generated content? Can I claim it as my own? Can I use it commercially? AI programs cannot create content on their own; it is sourced from different human content creators. The US Copyright Office refused to grant copyright registration for AI-generated art because the content is not authored by a human; thus, the art has no owner. Under current US law, the owners of the AI technology could be at risk of copyright infringement lawsuit depending on how they source content for their ML algorithms. For instance, if the new art is considered an unauthorized derivative, or if the AI stores a reproduction of the art.

In addition to the intellectual property concerns, AI generated art may be protected under patent law and IP laws differ from country to country. In Canada, under the Canadian Copyright Act, the author may vary from AI developer, user, the AI itself, or public domain, which means no intellectual property applies to it. Meanwhile Europe’s EU Artificial Intelligence Act is making it’s way through legislative process in an effort to regular the use of AI throughout the region. As technology advances, we can expect to see changes in the legal landscape.

Check out these articles to learn more about AI:

Contact us if you have any questions regarding how the evolution of AI can affect your IT contracts.

 

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