Ed Sheeran, Vanilla Ice, and a Monkey Walk Into A.I. Copyright Law
Government officials and lawyers worldwide are using artificial intelligence (A.I.) as a justification to grab more power. The latest examples come in the form of copyright ownership. But if the government gets its hands on A.I. development in order to “protect” copyright owners, America will miss being a leader in the 21st-century tech revolution. We don’t need a new regulatory framework to deal with the new ownership questions A.I. poses. Instead, existing copyright law addresses the concerns many folks currently have with A.I.
European regulators are already demanding that copyright law be expanded to include any copyrighted content that might have been used by an A.I. for creation. Unfortunately, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is feeling the pressure and capitulating.
In the United States, there’s the impending announcement of Vice President Kamala Harris as A.I. czar. While some may see this as a step forward, it raises concerns about government overreach in regulating A.I. as the White House is calling for A.I. systems to block speech it deems “disinformation.”
If government officials and lawyers create a new legal framework for A.I.-generated content, society risks losing the potential benefits of the tech revolution. Instead, relying on existing copyright law will address ownership questions, promote creativity, and ensure the growth of generative A.I. technology.
The cases of an unlikely group—Ed Sheeran, Vanilla Ice, and a monkey—show that existing copyright law is more than able to solve the latest concerns sparked by A.I.
Last week, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran won a copyright case for his hit song, “Thinking Out Loud.” The question presented to the court was whether Sheeran’s song infringed on Marvin Gaye’s copyright for “Let’s Get It On.” After three hours of deliberation, the jury said Sheeran was not in violation of copyright law.
In the early 1990s, rapper Vanilla Ice faced a lawsuit for sampling “Under Pressure” in his song “Ice Ice Baby.” Settled out of court, it raised questions about copyright protection and using samples in new work
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