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New Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act of 2024 Introduced

US Copyright Law Continues to Grapple With Artificial Intelligence Developments

On April 09, 2024, a new piece of legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives concerning Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law. House Resolution #7913 (“H.R. 7913”), sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), establishes a new requirement for creators of generative AI systems. Under the bill, they would be required to file a notice with the Copyright Office detailing all copyrighted works contained in the training dataset used to yield data to a generative AI system. Additionally, the bill mandates that creators file such a notice 30 days before releasing the generative AI systems to consumers.

Photo by Geralt via Pixabay

H.R. 7913 aims to enhance transparency by informing copyright holders about the use of their works in AI system datasets. However, the bill does not specify how creators should inform the Copyright Office about potentially millions of pieces of copyrighted content, which are often stored online. While the legislation requires the disclosure of URLs for copyrighted content, this could result in a mere list of URLs rather than a detailed report of the specific copyrighted works utilized.

Currently, the U.S. Copyright Office already requires copyright registrants to disclose if content submitted for registration includes unclaimable AI-generated material. A simple statement of disclaimer must be included in the registration application. The Copyright Office has declined to register works entirely created by generative AI, as copyright law protects only works created by humans, not AI. (Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 4 S. Ct. 279, 28 L. Ed. 349 (1884).

When a work combines human authorship with AI-generated content, registration is granted only for the human-created portions. Authors must specifically disclaim any AI-generated parts during registration. For example, significant AI contributions to photographs or artwork, or the generation of entire paragraphs or sentences in written materials, must be disclosed. However, minor AI assistance, such as help with painting techniques or background color changes in visual art, or brainstorming titles and proofreading in written work, does not require disclosure, as these contributions are considered de minimis (Copyright Registration Guidance, March 2023).