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The Future of Generative AI Accountability: Congressman Schiff's Push for Copyright Disclosure Laws


On April 9, 2024 US Congressman Adam Schiff introduced a bill that aims to bring greater transparency to the world of artificial intelligence. His new legislation seeks to mandate that AI companies reveal the copyrighted materials employed in training their generative AI models.


AI pondering the impact of the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act.
AI pondering the impact of the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act. Made with Midjourney 6.0.

The proposed legislation, known as the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act, sets out a clear process. It mandates AI platforms involved in creating or modifying training datasets to provide a notification to the Register of Copyrights. This notification must include a comprehensive overview of any copyrighted works used, along with the URLs for publicly accessible materials. The Register of Copyrights would then compile and publish a searchable online database, making all such notifications accessible to the public.

It reflects mounting apprehensions regarding AI's potential adverse impacts on artists and content creators. Photographers, songwriters, and other artists frequently find their creations utilized in the construction of generative AI systems' training datasets, raising significant concerns within the creative community.


The bill has received broad support from nearly two dozen organizations representing creators’ interests.


“Professional Photographers of America and its 35,000 members strongly support this bill. Photographers are particularly susceptible to having their works scraped by generative AI companies, as they must publicly exhibit their best work to attract clients. The urgency of this issue should not be understated as copyright holders suffer from the harsh reality of competing with their own works taken by generative AI companies to develop their systems,” said David Trust, CEO, Professional Photographers of America.

Supporters of the bill from the the entertainment industry include the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Authors Guild, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Professional Photographers of America, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), among others.


We will keep a close eye on the bill's advancement through the U.S. Congress and provide updates as it progresses.


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