On May 2nd, PPA participated in the U.S. Copyright Office’s listening session on Artificial Intelligence in Visual Arts, which featured a panel of eight stakeholders from either side of the issue, including AI companies, creators, associations, and nonprofit organizations. During the session, PPA raised concerns about the unauthorized use of copyrighted works without consent or attribution and stressed the need to protect the rights and interests of artists amid rapidly advancing AI technology. Below is a summary of the arguments presented by PPA.
PPA acknowledges AI as an incredibly powerful tool with the potential to transform the world in unprecedented ways, both positively and negatively. It is critical to ensure this technology is used responsibly and the rights and interests of creators are respected in the process. It’s essential the Copyright Office is aware of the extent to which AI systems generate visual art and that the current registration process does not place undue burdens on artists or lead to confusion. Anything can be reduced to binary “data,” but copyrighted works do not lose their expressive value or protection just because they can be condensed to a series of data points. A photograph is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a snapshot in time and a fixed expression in a tangible medium that AI can try mimic but will always fall short of. The very reason they are using copyright protected works for training is because the value is recognized. The burden of innocence must be placed on AI companies to disclose their sources and methods for creating new works, to prevent the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials. We must ensure that the development of AI is conducted in a responsible and ethical manner. By doing so, we can unlock AI’s true potential and reap its incredible benefits while protecting the intellectual property that forms the backbone of our creative industries.
PPA advocates for photographers by pushing legislators to serve and protect their rights, while providing tools to avoid exploitation. Join us in navigating the intersection of AI and copyright law in this technology-driven world. Stay up to date on all the latest copyright news and resources for photographers by visiting PPA's Copyright Advocacy webpage. This statement was delivered by PPA’s Government Affairs Manager, Luc Boulet. For questions or concerns, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.