Generative AI and Author Remuneration
International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC) 54 (2023), Forthcoming
24 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2023 Last revised: 30 Sep 2023
Date Written: June 14, 2023
With the evolution of generative AI systems, machine-made productions in the literary and artistic domain have reached a level of refinement that allows them to substitute human creations. Inevitably, the increasing sophistication of AI systems will disrupt the market for human literary and artistic creations. Generative AI systems provide literary and artistic output much faster and cheaper. It is foreseeable that authors of flesh and blood will be exposed to replacement effects. They may lose income due to machine substitution in sectors ranging from journalism and writing to music and visual arts. This development has a broader societal dimension. Human creations offer important impulses for the improvement of social and political conditions – impulses which AI-generated literary and artistic output is unlikely to provide. To enable human authors to continue their socially valuable work and devote time and effort to the creation of critical reflections of societal conditions, it is advisable to introduce remuneration rules that offer financial support for human literary and artistic creativity.
The rights reservation option following from the regulation of text and data mining in the EU (Article 4 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market) could serve as a basis for a remuneration system focusing on the use of human creations for AI training purposes. Considering legal and practical difficulties arising from this approach, however, it is preferable to follow an alternative path and introduce a levy system that imposes a general payment obligation on providers of generative AI systems. In contrast to remuneration systems based on AI training activities, this alternative approach does not weaken the position of the European AI sector and the attractiveness of the EU as a region for AI development. Even more importantly, an output-oriented AI levy system can be combined with mandatory collective rights management. The levies collected can be used to finance social and cultural funds that improve the living and working conditions of human authors. It is thus possible to ensure that the new revenue stream reaches individual creators directly and supports their creative work.
Keywords: copyright, AI regulation, algorithms, transparency, AI Act, cultural science, aesthetic theory, text and data mining, machine learning, fair use, collective rights management, freedom of expression, art autonomy, right to research, equitable remuneration, exceptions and limitations
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