Day of Action Urges Congress to Ban Companies Copyrighting AI Works

Sign that reads Support Artists not Algorithms

A day of action on artificial intelligence (AI) has been signaled by a group of artists, freelancers, and creators who are urging advocates to ask Congressional leaders to bring in a law banning companies from copyrighting AI-generated art.

The AI Day of Action is slated for October 2 and the organizers have put together a website that includes a form to easily contact representatives of the United States Congress.

The organizers want as many people as possible to phone or email their members of Congress and ask them to “block corporations from being able to obtain copyright registration for content largely created through AI rather than through artists.”

AI day of action poster

While the U.S. Copyright Office has made it abundantly clear that it will not register works entirely generated by AI, Lia Holland, the director of Fight for the Future, one of the groups behind AI Day of Action, says that companies are trying to circumvent the Copyright Office’s decision.

“[They] want to hire AI to write a script and then hire a writer to clean up the script, which results in the human being paid less, but the studios believe that this is enough human content to get copyright,” Holland tells The Art Newspaper. Holland calls this practice “human-washing.”

Copyright and Generative AI

With the U.S. Copyright Office’s stance of not registering work generated by AI, it means that, as it stands, anything that comes out of an AI image generator, such as Midjourney, falls into the public domain.

The U.S. Copyright Office, however, has put out a call for opinions on copyright and generative AI signaling that their current stance isn’t resolute and are keen to hear what the wider community thinks.

Generative AI is a very new technology, but it’s the way it was built — essentially doing a huge scrape of everything on the internet — that is causing consternation among creators.

There are now numerous lawsuits in the worlds of photography, fiction writing, journalism, and more as IP holders realize their work has been used in a way they did not consent to.

For example, Getty Images is suing the makers of AI image generator Stable Diffusion and The New York Times is considering legal action against the makers of large-language model ChatGPT.