You Ask, I Answer: AI-Generated Text and Copyright?

In today’s episode, I tackle the tricky issue of AI-generated content and copyright. Under current US law, copyright can only be held by humans, not machines. But there are nuances around prompts, outlines, and final products – hire a lawyer if you have concerns! Tune in for a full breakdown of using AI content legally and ethically.

You Ask, I Answer: AI-Generated Text and Copyright?

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In today’s episode, Alexandra s can you explain the copyright issue when it comes to AI generating content? Can I use the text to generates for an email or not? What about programs like Jasper campaigns that generate social media posts that are doing the same? Okay. Let’s talk about copyright.

I am not a lawyer. I am not a lawyer. I cannot give legal advice. To get legal advice, you need to contact and work with an actual lawyer for your specific situation. I recommend my friend Ruth Carter. They have a law firm, geek law firm.com. They can give legal advice. I cannot. So as long as we’re clear about that.

In the USA and most places now, but especially specifically in the USA, which is where I’m based. Under US copyright law, copyright can only be held by humans. There’s a famous case in a road over a slater from 2018, in which a chimpanzee took a selfie with a camera. And after a number of lawsuits and court cases, the US Copyright Office and the courts ruled the chimpanzee is not human, human can hold copyright. Other entities cannot.

Therefore, if a machine generates something, that thing cannot be copyrighted. There is no copyright applicable, even if it’s coming from a machine that you own. Even if it’s coming from a service you pay for, it cannot legally be copyrighted. And it doesn’t matter what the terms of service on the software say, because there’s a lot of different companies have all these disclaimers and things in their legal statements.

The law is as of 2023 in the USA. Machines cannot hold copyright, which means that if you generate text for an email, yeah, absolutely. You can use it, right? Anyone can use it. Copyright means that only a certain authorized party is allowed to use something without negotiation or compensation, right?

If this book here, the author is Daniel Goldman, this is his intellectual property, I cannot remove you know, scratch out Daniel Goldman, put Christopher Penn on here, I cannot do that because he owns this work. He’s a human, he owns this work. It is his copyright. I can still use this book, I can still read this book. I can even summarize this book. Legally, I just cannot claim it is mine, right? Because that’s stealing.

When a machine creates something, because it’s not human. The moment it creates something, it is public domain, anyone can use it. So right, having a machine summarize your last staff meeting, great, you can use that you can use that all as much as one, you can’t claim ownership of it. Right.

So if you publish a blog post that you know, chat GPT wrote, you can push that on your blog, you can you can have it out there. If someone else copies it, you can’t sue them for copyright infringement because you do not own it. You there is no owner of that intellectual property because it was made by machine. And therefore, if somebody else copies and paste your blog that you made with the machine, you have no legal recourse. You can’t do anything about it.

Now, this is where we start to get into splitting hairs because there are different situations. Here’s two situations I’ll give you one, you write a very detailed prompt and chat GPT will use that as the example chat GPT spits out a blog post. The blog post cannot be copyrighted because it was made by machine. You can copy right your prompt. Because you wrote that you as a human wrote that but you cannot copy right the output from machine.

Flip that around. chat GPT gives you a detailed outline for blog post and you write the blog post, you can copyright that as long as you do the writing the final product is made by your fingers or voice or whatever. You can copyright that because you did the work even if the ideas came from a machine because ideas can’t be copyrighted. The work itself can be copyrighted.

So you can use anything from any machine if you know that it came from a machine, whether it’s chat GPT or Jasper or write.ai or whatever service go Charlie doesn’t matter. You can use it. But you cannot copyright it and no one can copyright it because machines cannot hold copyright at least in the USA.

Now this area of law is evolving for obvious reasons. So if you have concerns if you want to talk through well how should we approach this? How do we protect our intellectual property rights? hire a lawyer, hire my friend Ruth, but hire a qualified attorney to guide you through the process so that you know what to do and what not to do.

So that’s the answer to your question. Hope it was helpful. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll talk to you next time. If you’d like this video, go ahead and hit that subscribe button.


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