A Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence: IP Scholars' Joint Submission to the Canadian Government Consultation

21 Pages Posted: 24 May 2022

See all articles by Carys J. Craig

Carys J. Craig

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto

Bita Amani

Queen's University - Faculty of Law

Sara Bannerman

McMaster University Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia

Céline Castets-Renard

Civil Law Faculty; University of Toulouse 1; ANITI (Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute); Institut Universitaire de France; University of Ottawa

Pascale Chapdelaine

University of Windsor, Faculty of Law

Lucie Guibault

Schulich School of Law

Gregory R. Hagen

Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Cameron J. Hutchison

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law

Ariel Katz

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Alexandra Mogyoros

Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University; University of Oxford, Faculty of Law

Graham J. Reynolds

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law

Anthony D Rosborough

European University Institute

Teresa Scassa

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Myra Tawfik

University of Windsor - Faculty of Law; CIGI

Date Written: September 26, 2021

Abstract

In response to the Canadian government consultation process on the modernization of the copyright framework launched in the summer 2021, we hereby present our analysis and recommendations concerning the interaction between copyright and artificial intelligence (AI). The recommendations herein reflect the shared opinion of the intellectual property scholars who are signatories to this brief. They are informed by many combined decades of study, teaching, and practice in Canadian and international intellectual property law.

In what follows, we explain:
- The importance of approaching the questions raised in the consultation with a firm commitment to maintaining the appropriate balance of rights and interests in Canada’s copyright system, consistent with a robust principle of technological neutrality.
- The importance of ensuring that text and data mining (TDM) activity can be undertaken in Canada without the threat of potential copyright liability. We therefore propose both an opening up of Canada’s fair dealing doctrine to better accommodate TDM activities, and the enactment of a specific statutory provision to confirm that uses of copyright works and other subject matter for TDM (whether commercial or non-commercial) do not infringe copyright.
- The importance of resisting calls to extend copyright protection to AI-generated outputs. We therefore propose maintaining and confirming the existing principled requirements of human authorship and original expression as preconditions of copyright protection, and we caution against any move to establish new neighbouring or sui generis rights in respect of AI outputs. Works generated by AI should remain in the public domain.

As such, we recommend:
- Enacting a broad statutory provision confirming that use of a work or other subject matter for TDM does not infringe copyright. This specific exception should be available to all users, apply to commercial and noncommercial uses, permit the retention and sharing of copies, and be protected from contractual override.
- Amending section 29 of the Copyright Act to make the list of purposes an illustrative list (“for purposes such as”) and adding TDM or data/informational analysis as an enumerated purpose therein.
- Confirming in section 2 of the Copyright Act that “author” means a human being/natural person; and confirming in section 5 of the Copyright Act that copyright shall not subsist in a work created without a human author.

Keywords: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Law, Artificial Intelligence, AI, Authorship, TDM, Fair Dealing, Technological Neutrality

JEL Classification: O33, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Craig, Carys J. and Amani, Bita and Bannerman, Sara and Castets-Renard, Céline and Chapdelaine, Pascale and Guibault, L. and Hagen, Gregory R. and Hutchison, Cameron J. and Katz, Ariel and Mogyoros, Alexandra and Reynolds, Graham J. and Rosborough, Anthony D and Scassa, Teresa and Tawfik, Myra, A Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence: IP Scholars' Joint Submission to the Canadian Government Consultation (September 26, 2021). Queen's University Legal Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4115848 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4115848

Carys J. Craig (Contact Author)

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416 736 5189 (Phone)
416 736 5736 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca

Bita Amani

Queen's University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 K7L3N6
Canada

Sara Bannerman

McMaster University Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia ( email )

1280 Main St. W.
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada

Céline Castets-Renard

Civil Law Faculty ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://droitcivil.uottawa.ca/fr

University of Toulouse 1 ( email )

2 rue du doyen Gabriel Marty
Toulouse, 31000
France

ANITI (Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute) ( email )

41 Allées Jules Guesde - CS 61321
TOULOUSE
France

Institut Universitaire de France ( email )

103, bld Saint-Michel
75005 Paris
United States

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

Pascale Chapdelaine

University of Windsor, Faculty of Law ( email )

401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 N9B 3P4
Canada

L. Guibault

Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Gregory R. Hagen

Faculty of Law, University of Calgary ( email )

Cameron J. Hutchison

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law ( email )

Law Centre (111 - 89 Ave)
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5
Canada

Ariel Katz

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-8892 (Phone)
416-978-2648 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utoronto.ca/faculty/katz

Alexandra Mogyoros

Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University ( email )

350 Victoria St
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://torontomu.ca/law

University of Oxford, Faculty of Law ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/people/alexandra-mogyoros

Graham J. Reynolds

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

Anthony D Rosborough

European University Institute ( email )

Via Boccaccio 121 (Villa Schifanoia)
Firenze
Italy

Teresa Scassa

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
6135625800x3872 (Phone)
6135645124 (Fax)

Myra Tawfik

University of Windsor - Faculty of Law ( email )

401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 N9B 3P4
Canada

CIGI ( email )

57 Erb Street West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2
Canada

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