April 1, 2024

Four ai generated images with text that says, is generative ai going to be a problem for you?

If you’re using AI like ChatGPT, Midjourney, BARD and similar,

There is a couple of things you might want to be aware of.

Just before Christmas and again last week I was in a webinar with an IP Attorney (Intellectual Property) Peter Nieves discussing the legalities of content creation, such as what you can and cannot do under fair use, what type of rights creators have over their creations, what to register and where to register copyrights, trademarks, patents and etc.

One of the topics was the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) as content creators whether it’s using ChatGPT for writing, scripting, summarizing, research or etc, or using Midjourney to generate images for you or any other use of AI.

After what I heard I will be cutting down on some of my use of AI assisting in things I was experimenting with.

One thing that was mentioned right at the beginning of the topic was the frustration of the concept behind the current legal standing. Then he went on to say that at this point we cannot own any thing when it comes to content created by AI.

GENERATIVE AI 1

You cannot own the prompts you wrote to give the AI, you cannot own the content the AI generates, you cannot copyright or trademark them as it was generated by a machine, though you may have a couple pages of specific details for the prompt and though you may use the content you personally can’t own it or the rights to it.

One reason being that the majority of the AI programs out there are open source and/or publicly accessible and another is because the majority of these programs have been used to scrape and crawl everything on the web to help it learn and be able to provide us users information in a instant. And in doing so has also scraped and stole copyrighted and trademarked materials infringing the rights of other creators and professionals around the world.

So there is a chance that the generated content may contain plagiarism, copyright or trademark/wordmarks infringement within the content or in the case of images may have taken an image and only slightly modified it still infringing the rights of the original artist.

Now this is just how it is currently, the copyright office has been in the process of improving the regulations and periodically takes comment on the discussions to get public input.

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But when I first heard this I was a bit shocked at exactly how deep the restrictions went.

I had already heard that it was not possible to copyright a lot of things generated by AI but to hear that you cannot even own the prompts we write to give the AI was a bit shocking considering I know some people who have very complex prompts.

So you’re probably going why can’t we?

Well because as I mentioned a second ago, because most of the programs are open source or public which means that anyone and everyone can see your prompt within the code of the program as something learned and it cannot be removed.

For instance, the attorney mentioned a case that happened not long ago that I’m surprised that didn’t make the news more that it likely did.

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But he mentioned that not to long ago a couple of Samsung engineers were working on a project and decided to insert a bit of code into ChatGPT and ask it to help improve some things which was a big breach of protocol on the engineers part. When this happened they had actually shared source code from Samsung, in turn the company wanted that info removed from the system, and were told sorry it’s now apart of the systems code it cannot be removed it’s a permanent part of the program now.

So in theory if you had the perfect prompt you could potentially get that information from the system.

Which is the same thing that can be said for anything else, such as gaining personal or private information that someone may have unknowingly entered thinking it was safe or protected from the public.

So look at it this way, if you’re using AI to re-write something you no longer own the copyright. For example this article,  if I had wrote a whole page and had the AI re-write it for me to sound better, or have a summary made or anything that content is now converted from being a tangle human made protectable content to machine generated and not protectable.

So if you’re using AI to write articles, books, scripts or create images or whatever you may want to reconsider. If you want to be able to say you own your work, have a copyright or trademark on your work, and protect your work legally.

I don’t know about you but as a content creator and business owner I want full ownership of my content that I spend a lot of time on creating and doing things for so I get the benefits of my work not for it to be basically open for anyone to claim and profit from my work. 

So keep this in mind the next time you use AI.

If you want to own your content, don’t use AI.

If you don’t care about your content being publicly available or making money from it or someone else using it then go ahead and do your thing.

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I say this because the attorney also mentioned another instance not to long ago, of a creator who had wrote a book and used Midjourney to create all the illustrations. She went on social media bragging about how she had the first ever AI generated book with illustrations. The copyright office heard this and inquired about how she did it. The creator told them using Midjourney so they told her sorry but that is not copyright protected and changed her copyright registration for the book to exclude all AI content.

Another example was for instance you create a prompt, it generates an article for a blog, you then go through and re-edit this new generated content to better fit your style of writing and when you’re finished you would like to think the content has now gone from human made to machine made back to human made right?

Wrong it’s now a composition of human and machine.

Which means only the content you yourself put into the article is tangible work and the rest generated by AI is not your tangible work. So if you were to want to register the copyright you would have to exclude all the content generated by the AI by putting it in the exclusion list when filing.

So just think about what you’re doing with AI of any kind, and what information you’re entering into it because you risk it being open to the public and you don’t want to share personal or private information that could cause you issues.

I hope you found this article helpful, after what I heard I wanted to share it with you so you are aware of the current standing on AI and IP rights.

I’m curious what your thoughts are?


If you're interested in learning more about this you can check out Peter's website here: https://peternieves.com/

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About the author 

Raven Pontiac

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