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Authors Guild Supports New Fairly Trained Licensing Model to Ensure Consent in Generative AI Training

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The Authors Guild is pleased to be a supporter of Fairly Trained, an organization that certifies AI models that are not trained on copyrighted work without permission. The major large language models (LLMs) that exist today were trained on copyrighted content without the consent of authors or publishers, even though much of the value in their AI models can be attributed to the copyrighted content. Fortunately, that is slowly starting to change, and some new entrants in the field are starting to seek licenses.

As Fairly Trained states, “There is a divide emerging between two types of generative AI companies: those who get the consent of training data providers, and those who don’t, claiming they have no legal obligation to do so.” The former need to be recognized so that AI users can make informed decisions about what AI models to use. While generative AI has the potential to provide useful tools to authors in the writing process, the Authors Guild does not condone the use of AI models that are trained on unlicensed literary works.  

The Fairly Trained Licensed Model certification highlights the fact that training on licensed content is feasible and the right thing to do and will help promote adoption of those models. Fairly Trained hopes that “it will be a helpful marker of companies who are taking a fairer approach to training data acquisition.” The Authors Guild supports this initiative as a step towards reinforcing the principle that rights-holder consent is necessary for generative AI training. 

Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said, “Too many generative AI companies exploit copyrighted work without permission. The certification available through Fairly Trained incentivizes AI companies to train on licensed data and centers human creators in the AI landscape. It is an important step towards ensuring human authors have consent and receive compensation from the use of their works in AI training.”

Fairly Trained recently announced the expansion of its Licensed Model certification to include LLMs and voice AI, with certification for several new companies. 

We find this news especially important for authors, and we encourage awareness of which LLMs are certified as “fairly trained.” As more models become certified, we recommend that authors use only those models to ensure that their rights are respected and that they receive fair compensation for the use of their work in training these AI systems. 

If you have a generative AI model or product that doesn’t rely on scraped data and you’re interested in getting it certified, you can get in touch with Fairly Trained here