Ian Mulvany

November 7, 2023

What are large companies saying about the future of copyright?

This article in The Verge is a good overview of responses from large tech companies to the US copyright office on questions around what the future of copyright should be in terms of regulation of AIs use of copyrighted material. 

The responses are very predictable. Mostly they argue that there should be no limits on what these AIs should be allowed to do, in terms of harvesting copyrighted material. The article also points out that Apple says that the output of code from these tools should be copyrightable by the companies who generate it. This is very much a desire from these companies to have their cake and eat it. This question of what outputs from these models can be copyrighted was also a point of discussion during the recent writers strike in the US. 

I've been involved in quite a few discussions recently on copyright, governance, control, the differences between what the current state of the world is, vs what we should think about what state of the world we should bring about. Overall, I'm not settled in my own thinking about these questions. I'm sure there will be fierce lobbying, so it's useful to keep an eye on narratives like the ones above. I don't think that there is any absolutist position that we can take here, and many different paths of reasoning can bring us to legitimatly different outcomes in our reasoning. 

I'll update this blog as my own thinking on the topic evolves. 

About Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!