Should copyright protect AI generated work?

In a matter of months, generative AI models like ChatGPT have gone from something experimental and funny to something that is actively being seen as a threat to human livelihood. The rapid pace of AI advancement meant that lawmakers have largely been unprepared for the novel legal issues that came with this development – such as whether other people’s works or IP can be used to train AI.

In New Zealand s 5(2)(a) of the Copyright Act 1994 provides that where an original work is computer-generated the author is “the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work were undertaken.” where the original work is created by AI, the author will be the programmer devised the system which created the work. 

“The copyright system was designed and put in place to protect creatives and incentivise the creation of further creative works. If creatives are not incentivised to create new works, we are at risk of the system collapsing, and no new, original, human-authored works being created, or at least none that are publicly shared for fear of them being vacuumed up to train an AI”.

The question remains whether copyright protection in New Zealand will extend to situations where AI creates the work with no contribution from or any arrangement by the programmer for the work to be created.

Where IP lawyers are struggling to keep up with technology they should be on top of you do sympathise for all the fields, and in particular, the creatives who have seen a major and dramatic impact on their livelihoods extremely quickly. And there’s not much that they can do to pivot to respond to that change.

Source: NZ Lawyer






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