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AG in Action: Advocating for AI Protections

Guild staff speak on AI issues at the Federal Trade Commission, International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Authors Guild logo in white on a teal background

In the last month, the Guild shared its concerns about generative AI’s impact on copyrighted works before the Federal Trade Commission, spoke at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s 2023 Copyright Seminar, and shared insights for the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) General Assembly. Read more about each action below.

Authors Guild Offers Testimony at FTC Hearing 

Umair Kazi, the Guild’s director of policy and advocacy, spoke before a Federal Trade Commission hearing about the Guild’s advocacy and policy initiatives with respect to generative AI technologies. His commentary centered on how AI developers ingest our members’ creative material to build systems that produce derivative works. Highlights from his remarks were covered in The Hollywood Reporter, including:

“It is inherently unfair to use copyrighted works to create highly profitable tech, which is also able to produce competing derivative works without the creators consent, compensation or credit … There’s a serious risk of market dilution from machine generated books and other works that can be cheaply mass produced, and shall inevitably lower the economic and artistic value of human created works.”

Kazi also spoke on a panel for the Bipartisan Policy Center entitled “Creative Industries and the Emergence of Generative AI,” focused on the intellectual property and copyright issues around AI. A recording of this event is available here. 

Authors Guild Participates in IFRRO Panel

Authors Guild CEO Mary Rasenberger and chief legal officer Kevin Amer attended the 2023 General Assembly and World Congress of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) in Reykjavik, Iceland. IFRRO is a membership association that facilitates the collective management of rights in text- and image-based works. The event included presentations and panel discussions by representatives of copyright stakeholder groups, academics, collective management organizations, and other experts from around the world, with much of the conversation focusing on the emerging challenges to the creative professions posed by generative AI.

Rasenberger presented on a panel along with Peter Schoppert of the National University of Singapore Press, Arnaud Robert of Hachette Livre, Carlo Scollo Lavizzari of Lenz Caemmerer, and Carola Streul of European Visual Artists. Her remarks focused on steps to address generative AI in the United States, including an update on the Guild’s recently filed copyright lawsuit against OpenAI.

Chief Legal Officer Speaks at USPTO Copyright Seminar

Chief legal officer Kevin Amer participated in a panel discussion at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s 2023 Copyright Seminar, a training program for government officials from developing countries.  The panel was entitled “Overview of the Publishing Industry: Impact of Legal, Technological, and Business Developments,” and included representatives of the Association of American Publishers and the News/Media Alliance. Amer’s remarks focused on copyright law and policy issues surrounding the emergence of generative AI.