You Ask, I Answer: AI Works And Copyright?

In today’s episode, we tackle the complexities of AI and intellectual property rights. You’ll learn about potential legal challenges when using AI in your work. You’ll gain insights into how to protect your creative output and understand the limitations of current AI detection systems. Don’t miss this important discussion on the intersection of technology and copyright law.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer and I cannot give legal advice. Only a lawyer you hire can give you legal advice specific to your situation.

You Ask, I Answer: AI Works And Copyright?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, PJ asks, thank you for the interesting overview on a very hot topic.

This is about AI and copyright.

I am wondering if one uses AI to help draft initial text in or images, both of which the author or creator subsequently edits or amends using their own skills and expertise.

Am I correct to understand the resultant completed work is protected by copyright and does not require the AI creation disclosure you outlined? Okay, first and most important, I am not a lawyer.

I cannot give legal advice.

Please consult an actual lawyer that you pay to receive legal advice for your specific situation.

So I cannot emphasize enough, I am not a lawyer.

Now, my understanding of the law, of this in particular, comes from my friend and colleague Ruth Carter.

They have a blog called

So go check them out if you’re more interested in real expertise on the topic.

My understanding from Ruth is that the work that has been done by human hands can be copyrighted.

So if humans are typing away, the things you type or edit or color or draw, that’s yours.

If a machine made it, that’s not copyrightable.

If you have a machine first draft and you edit it, the parts that you edit, human hands touch those parts, are copyrightable.

The parts you did not edit are not.

Exception to this rule from both Ruth and Sharon Torek are derivative works.

So here’s an example.

If I have a transcript, like of this video, and these are all my words that I’m saying, my original works, and I put that transcript into a machine and I say write a summary of this episode, that summary is a derivative work and therefore is still protected by copyright.

So the machines made it because it’s provably my original work.

If a machine made something and you are in some way making a derivative of it instead of an original work, it’s probably still not copyrightable.

Again, not a lawyer.

In all cases, you are required to disclose the use of AI.

At least if you’re adhering to the letter of the law for the EU AI Act, the use of AI is something that has to be disclosed.

It’s non-negotiable.

Whether or not it was part of the input, whether it’s part of the output, whether it was in the process, if you used artificial intelligence, you have to disclose its use.

And the way I’ve seen this done very tastefully is Microsoft does this.

I really like the verbiage made in partnership with AI or more specifically, which model you used.

So you might say made in partnership with Google Gemini, an AI system, or made in partnership with ChatGPT, an AI system.

And I like that made in partnership statement because it encompasses the fact that you have done something.

You’ve done something that is an act together.

So you don’t just hand off the work to AI and say, yep, bye, see ya, here’s the blog post.

I hope you haven’t.

If you’re using, if you’re doing it in partnership, AI may be a creative partner for you.

But either way, you have to disclose it.

That’s, there’s no way going around that.

So, I would, for works that you are specifically concerned about, I would talk to your IP lawyer.

And again, strongly recommend you have one or hire one.

If it’s something that’s of value to you and your company should certainly have one, then that will help you just sort of navigate the specific copyright issues you have.

For disclosure, you must disclose.

No alternative on that.

That’s the answer for today.

Thanks for tuning in.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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