The association of publishers cautions that the use of generative AI content may potentially infringe upon copyright regulations

generative AI content may potentially infringe upon copyright regulations

A trade association of publishers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, has issued guidance on handling concerns related to AI. The association, called Digital Content Next, warns its members that utilizing AI tools based on their content archives may potentially infringe copyright laws. According to a draft of guidelines obtained by Marketing Brew, copyright laws protect content creators from unauthorized use, and the use of copyrighted works in AI systems is subject to analysis under copyright and fair use laws. The guidelines emphasize that most uses of publishers’ original content by AI systems go beyond the scope of fair use as defined in the Copyright Act and established case law.

The draft document, titled “Principles for Development and Governance of Generative AI,” aims to provide publishers with a framework for discussions with generative AI companies, regulators, and internal stakeholders. Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint explains that the guidelines aim to assist publishers in addressing concerns about generative AI’s impact on the media ecosystem. Publishers have raised concerns about potential information extraction from paywalled content and the potential negative impact on site traffic. They have also expressed worries about the use of their archived content in training generative AI models without proper compensation or attribution.

While OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has emphasized its adherence to fair use and its efforts to secure content licenses, publishers argue that unauthorized use of their original content undermines their business models and violates copyright law. Digital Content Next suggests that publishers should have a say in discussions regarding compensation and proper attribution for content used in generative AI models. The draft guidelines call for stronger regulations to protect publishers’ intellectual property and recommend that generative AI tools provide clear and prominent attributions, identifying the original sources of output and encouraging users to access those sources.

Some publishers have embraced generative AI and established their own AI task forces, recognizing the transformative potential of AI in the media landscape. However, concerns remain, leading trade groups like Digital Content Next and the News Media Alliance to engage in discussions with their members and AI companies to address copyright issues and establish guidelines for responsible AI usage.