The Importance of aI disclosure and copyright assertion

Disclosure of AI and Protection of Copyright

Let’s briefly talk about disclosing when you use artificial intelligence (AI) to create content.

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Disclosure of AI and Copyright

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Doing this is important for a few reasons:

There are ethical considerations. You shouldn’t claim work you didn’t actually do. For example, if you use AI to write a blog post, you didn’t write the post – a generative AI did. So there’s an ethical responsibility to be transparent, so that your readers know what they’re getting.

There are also legal reasons to disclose the use of generative AI. In several court cases, like Naruto v. Slater and the Thaler case, US courts have ruled that AI-generated content cannot be copyrighted. Only human-created works can be protected by copyright.

So if you use AI to create images, text, etc – that content cannot be copyrighted because machine-created content is ineligible for copyright. However, if you have machines do outlines or sketches, and then a human does the final output, as long as humans have generated the final output, it can be protected by copyright.

Here’s why this matters.

If you clearly disclose what content is AI-generated versus human-generated on your site, you reinforce your copyright over the human parts.

For example, say you made a blog post header image with AI but wrote the blog post yourself. The image can’t be copyrighted, but your text can. Now, suppose a competitor comes along and lifts the entire blog post and copies it onto their blog.

Because the image is machine-generated, you have no legal recourse to prevent them from doing so. However, they likely assumed that because the image was AI-made, so was the content – and that’s not the case. If you carefully disclose that only the image is AI-made, then you can assert your copyright over the human-made text.

That’s why AI disclosure is so important – because by disclosing what is AI-made, you are also protecting what is NOT AI-made.

This also applies to freelancers and agencies you hire. Ensure they disclose any AI use so you don’t falsely claim copyright on AI content.

The key reason to disclose AI use is to reinforce copyright claims on human-generated content. This protects your valuable content if it’s ever copied or used without permission.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this post does not constitute legal advice. Consult a qualified attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

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