Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the creators of "original works of authorship." Copyright grants creator/authors the ability to control the use of the work upon creation for the the life of the author +70 years, and gives to authors certain exclusive rights:
Form for USF students, faculty, and staff to ask copyright-related questions of USF librarians. If the question is complex, the librarians may suggest a consultation appointment.
Using Generative AI and Copyrighted Works
Using AI tools to alter copyrighted material may infringe on the copyright owners exclusive rights under copyright by creating a derivative. Permissions may need to be obtained before using AI tools to alter images or large portions of text.
Information on requesting permissions to use copyrighted material including a request template.
Is Content Created by Generative AI Tools Copyrightable?
Currently, copyright protection is not granted to works created by Artificial Intelligence. The U.S. Copyright Office has issued guidance that explains the requirement for human authorship to be granted copyright protection and provides information to creators working in tandem with AI tools on how to effectively and correctly registered their works.
"The Copyright Office has launched an initiative to examine the copyright law and policy issues raised by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, including the scope of copyright in works generated using AI tools and the use of copyrighted materials in AI training. "
Guidance for registering Works Containing Material Generated by Artificial Intelligence by the U.S. Copyright Office
Does Generative AI Infringe on Other Creator's Copyrights?
Generative AI tools are trained on collections of material gathered from many places. Some AI image and text generation tools have been trained on material scraped from web pages without the consent or knowledge of the web page owners.
As of July 2023 there are several law suits brought against AI image and text generation tools that have used visual and text content created or owned by others as training material. These law suits claim that the use of artists’ or writers' content, without permissions, to train generative AI is an infringement of copyright.
While these cases are ongoing, we have no definitive answer. However, several experts have pointed to previous fair use cases to justify a fair use argument for the use of various training data for AI image generation tools.