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AI Tools and Resources

Introduction to generative AI concepts and tools

What is Copyright?

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:

  •      Make copies
  •      Distribute copies
  •      Prepare derivatives based on the original work
  •      Perform the work publicly
  •      Display the work publicly

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.

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.

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.