October 10, 2023
Brian Winterfeldt and Joseph Theis

Copyright Office Issues Notice of Inquiry Inviting Comments on Artificial Intelligence

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The U.S. Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the Federal Register on copyright and artificial intelligence. The Copyright Office is conducting analysis of current copyright law and policy issues raised by generative AI and is assessing whether additional legislative or regulatory measures are necessary to address the rapid and revolutionary advances in AI. The Office is inviting public written comments and will use the record it assembles to advise Congress regarding developing AI and copyright issues.

Notice of Inquiry

The NOI invites the public and experts in the field to submit comments including factual information and views on a number of copyright issues raised by recent, public-facing advances in generative AI. These issues include the use of vast databases of copyrighted works and material to train AI models; the appropriate level of transparency and disclosure with respect to the use of copyrighted works in both the training of AI models and the production of AI-generated works; the legal protections that should be afforded to AI-generated material; the degree to which AI should be permitted in the production of works afforded copyright protections; and the appropriate treatment of AI-generated material that imitates individual human artists. The Office especially noted in the NOI that the expressive nature of generative AI presents novel and concerning issues for current copyright law. Additionally, the method of training generative AI models by digesting copyrighted material implicates issues of broad infringement. As the presence of advanced, generative AI permeates more and more aspects of daily life, the Office cannot overstate the importance of providing input and clarity as to the necessary changes in copyright law to address these rising challenges.

Comment Submission

The Office has provided an online submission portal for providing written comments. Brief comments can be typed directly into the “Comment” field of the portal, which has a 5000-character limit. Longer comments can be uploaded as a separate file. In preparing longer comments, ensure that the document to be uploaded includes the name of the submitter, and any organization the submitter represents, at the top of the document. Uploaded comments must be provided in a single file not to exceed six megabytes (MB) and may be prepared in a variety of file formats.

Both individuals and organizations may submit comments, and submitters must be identified accordingly.Initial written comments are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, October 30, 2023.Comments can be submitted to the Office here: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/COLC-2023-0006-0001.

We recommend that organizations with an interest in or concern regarding the impact of AI on copyright matters consider submitting comments. Please feel free to reach out to us at trademarks@winterfeldt.law to discuss your organization's needs and priorities in connection with copyright and AI matters, and we would be glad to schedule a time to connect with you.

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