A copyright can protect every business owner, regardless of size or gross revenue. From a complex computer program to a descriptive slogan, any business could benefit from the security granted by copyright law. In short, a copyright gives a business owner the exclusive rights to reproduce the work, prepare derivatives based on the copyrighted work, and distribute copies by sale, transfer of ownership, or by rent, lease, or lending. If the copyrighted work is literary, musical, dramatic, or choreographic, then the copyright holder also has the exclusive rights to perform or display the work publicly and perform the work for digital audio transmission. However, there is an underlying requirement: The work must be produced by a human, not artificial intelligence (AI).
As of early 2023, the U.S. Copyright Office has reversed its direction by no longer issuing copyrights to anything produced by AI. In fact, Kris Kashtanova was the first person in the U.S. to ever be stripped of a copyright because of her use of AI in creating images for her graphic novel, “Zarya of the Dawn.” Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that an author “has to be a human being.” This consequently raises an important issue: Should the U.S. completely ban copyrights for AI owners or users, or should the U.S. issue a copyright for work that incorporates a limited use of AI? Here is how each approach could potentially affect businesses soon:
“BLANKET BAN” SOLUTION
Allowing AI owners and its users to acquire a copyright can be problematic, especially with AI’s current unregulated status in American law. For example, AI has the propensity to utilize other people’s copyrighted work because AI operates by consuming and analyzing vast quantities of data to produce the work requested by the AI user. This is exactly why visual artists and companies like Getty Images are suing AI programming companies for violating their exclusive rights secured by their copyrights. Therefore, the argument is to easily these issue, a “blanket ban” should be implemented on copyright applications for works that incorporate any degree of AI technology. Pursuing this path would ensure that every copyright work is legally protected from any unauthorized use.
COPYRIGHT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
AI was developed for one purpose: convenience. AI can work non-stop with high accuracy and precision. This makes AI a resourceful tool for small businesses to utilize, especially when financing human labor to complete the same task is not a feasible option. Therefore the argument is a business should be entitled to copyright protection for works that utilize AI, so long as the degree in which AI was used does not exceed a certain threshold, for example no more than 25% AI. Pursuing this path would permit small businesses to acquire a copyright and protect their overall work from being stolen.
While copyright law is consistently evolving with AI developments, the future is still undecided. We would love to know more about what you think! Please share your thoughts.
With these new developments in AI technology, small businesses will have to develop new methods to protect themselves against the threat of copyright infringement. If you currently have any copyrights that you would like reviewed, you can contact Ser & Associates at 305.222.7282 or Info@Ser-Associates.com.
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