IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Copyright Licensing NZ tackles AI's effect on creative rights
Tue, 16th Jan 2024

In the rapidly evolving world of generative AI models, the challenges and implications for creators and publishers have been brought into sharp focus by Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ). The organization sheds light on the complex interplay between innovation, intellectual property rights, and the essence of human creativity, emphasizing the urgent need for policy intervention.

CLNZ highlights the profound impact of AI on creators and publishers, noting the unauthorized use of their intellectual outputs for AI training. This practice not only raises questions about intellectual property rights and compensation but also blurs the lines between machine-generated content and genuine human creativity. CLNZ's stance is clear: stakeholders in the creative industry, particularly creators and publishers, must be actively involved in shaping policies that govern AI systems. Such policies should ensure these systems are transparent, ethical, fair, and lawful.

The recognition and enforcement of intellectual property rights are central to CLNZ's discussion. The organization underscores the need for fair acknowledgement and compensation for the creative outputs used in AI technologies. This is key to maintaining a balance where AI innovation can coexist with respect for intellectual property rights.

CLNZ advocates for the use of existing collective licensing systems to manage the use of creative works in AI systems effectively. However, they stress that Text and Data Mining (TDM) exceptions must be carefully structured to ensure they respect creators' rights, including the provision for creators to opt-out.

The approach to policy changes in this domain, as advised by CLNZ, must be cautious and evidence-based. Given the history of copyright law adapting to technological changes, CLNZ warns against hasty or uninformed legal modifications that could potentially disrupt existing markets or the overall integrity of the copyright system.

Education and transparency are also critical areas of focus for CLNZ. The organization emphasizes the importance of understanding the legal implications of using copyrighted works in AI among policymakers, rightsholders, and users. Moreover, CLNZ calls for AI operators to be held accountable for their use of copyrighted materials, adhering to copyright laws.

In New Zealand, CLNZ proposes the establishment of a new regulatory agency to guide the AI ecosystem, ensuring a balance between innovation and ethical, legal safeguards. This agency would play a multifaceted role in enforcing standards and promoting responsible AI innovation in collaboration with various sectors.

Particularly noteworthy is CLNZ's emphasis on the impact of AI on Māori intellectual property. The organization raises concerns about the use of Māori taonga (treasures) in AI technologies and the importance of preserving Māori culture and traditional intellectual property management systems, in line with obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Wai 262.

Overall, Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) is calling for a balanced approach in the AI landscape, advocating for the respect of creators' and publishers' rights while fostering innovation. The organization's perspective and proposals aim to create an environment where AI can develop responsibly and ethically, with due regard to the rights and cultural values of those it impacts.