September 14, 2023

U.S. Copyright Office Wants to Hear Your Comments and Concerns About Artificial Intelligence

Holland & Knight IP/Decode Blog
Thomas W. Brooke | Allysan P. Scatterday
IP/Decode Blog

If your business currently uses artificial intelligence (AI), is considering using AI in the future or is concerned about how AI may impact your business, the U.S. Copyright Office wants to hear from you. Earlier this year, the Copyright Office launched an AI initiative to explore the relationships between technology and human creativity. The Copyright Office intends to use the feedback it receives to inform its copyright regulations, advise members of Congress and provide useful resources for the public and other government entities.

Currently, the initiative is in an information-gathering stage. To date, there has been a number of public listening sessions and webinars with key stakeholders. As the next step in the AI initiative, the Copyright Office recently published a notice of inquiry (NOI) in the Federal Register seeking broad public input on the interplay between U.S. copyright law and AI. Specifically, the office is seeking input about issues involving:

  • the use of copyrighted works to train AI models
  • the copyrightability of material generated using AI systems
  • the legal status of AI-generated outputs and potential liability for infringing works generated using AI systems
  • the appropriate treatment of AI-generated outputs that imitate the identity or style of human artists

The NOI lists 34 more specific categories of questions (questions begin on page 59946 of the Federal Register). When submitting comments, you may choose to address as many or as few of these questions as you deem pertinent. You may submit comments in your personal capacity or on behalf of your organization (or both).

Questions over ownership of material created by AI have been explored in a few recent court decisions, and there are sure to be more disputes. Guidance from the Copyright Office will certainly be relied upon by federal courts as they grapple with AI-related issues.

The deadline for initial written comments is 11:59 p.m. ET Oct. 18, 2023. You can view detailed instructions for submitting comments and enter or upload your comments. Holland & Knight encourages you to take this opportunity to share your unique perspective and influence the ways U.S. copyright laws and policies grapple with the rapidly expanding presence of AI.

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