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AG in Action

AG in Action: Taking the Lead on AI, Updates on Censorship and Legislative Efforts

IAF attendees gather in the center island on Park Avenue and hold eclipse glasses up to their eyes

Photo: Kevin Amer

Authors Guild Takes the Lead on AI at International Authors Forum

The Authors Guild was at the forefront of the discussion on the impact of artificial intelligence on authorship at the meeting of the International Authors Forum (IAF) on Monday, April 8, at Scandinavia House in New York City. Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, was voted in as vice president of the IAF during the morning’s annual meeting and chaired a panel titled “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Authorship: Navigating Copyright, Ownership, and Rights.” The panel brought together experts from around the world, including the U.S. Copyright Office, WIRED Magazine, the International Federation of Translators, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). She also chaired the final panel on AI developments in various countries around the world.

Rasenberger provided an overview of the current situation facing authors in the United States as AI technologies rapidly advance. Umair Kazi, the Guild’s director of policy and advocacy, delved into the complex legal and policy issues surrounding AI and copyright.

Alison Rodriguez, president of the International Federation of Translators, shared insights on how AI is affecting the translation industry. The forum drew dozens of representatives from writers’ organizations from around the globe, including South Africa, Botswana, Sweden, Finland, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as the United States. Other U.S.-based organizations included the National Writers Union, Artists Rights Society, and American Society for Collective Rights Licensing.

In a memorable moment during a short break, attendees gathered outside to witness a solar eclipse, a fitting metaphor for the rapid changes and uncertainties the writing community faces in the age of artificial intelligence.

Right to Read Day: Cheryl L. Davis Presents on Censorship and Legislative Efforts

To commemorate Right to Read Day, Authors Guild General Counsel Cheryl L. Davis joined representatives from Unite Against Book Bans to provide an update on the state of book ban legislation in 2024. Davis covered various topics, including right to read bills, legislative efforts to criminalize librarians and educators, and age verification laws.

Following the legislative update, speakers reviewed the American Library Association’s Advocacy Action Plan Workbook, offering valuable tips on utilizing this free resource to develop an effective advocacy plan and engage communities in the fight against censorship. The presentation underscored the importance of collective action in defending the right to read and combating the growing threat of book bans and censorship.