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Ministers warned copyright law ‘failing’ as AI firms steal creative’s content

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UK ministers have been urged that copyright law is ‘falling’ to protect creatives as AI firms continue to steal content to train their models, according to a House of Lords committee.

The committee has warned that “some tech firms are using copyrighted material without permission, reaping vast financial rewards.” This has been an ongoing issue amid the rise of AI with the legal framework around copyright being called into question.

Content creators and creatives have said that their content is being taken illegally to train large language models (LLM) as tech companies feed significant volumes of data to build their chatbots.

In a call to action to the government, the committee labelled the current legal framework for copyright law is ‘failing’ to ensure that creators are being rewarded for their efforts, prevent their work from being used without permission, and encourage innovation.

“The government has a duty to act. It cannot sit on its hands for the next decade and hope the courts will provide an answer” the committee warned.

John Kirk, Deputy CEO of Inspired Thinking Group, commented: “AI is having a significant impact across the creative industries and its development and adoption are showing no signs of slowing down. It is important to protect creative intellectual property for any content from creators to brands, but the reality is that anyone not on the AI train is going to be left behind. Ensuring there is a well-managed governance model in place supporting content operations can help mitigate risks and resulting hesitancy for the adoption of AI in day-to-day applications.”

“Creatives must not be scared to embrace AI, despite any fears, as it can ease the burden of content creation to meet the rapidly rising demand. Working with automation platforms, such as Storyteq’s BrandCore, can provide marketing creatives with a new approach to content delivery, streamlining creation and production through brand-compliant localisation across all content. AI isn’t the future of marketing, it’s the present, and while we must acknowledge concerns along the way, AI is transforming the creative industries for the better” Kirk added.

The committee has recommended that the government re-evaluate the current effectiveness of copyright law with a view to updating legislation if it is found that copyright holders aren’t being sufficiently protected.

Sjuul van der Leeuw, CEO of Deployteq, part of Inspired Thinking Group, said: “The rapid evolution of AI over the past year has inevitably hit bumps in the road, and it is important to address issues around trust and safety such as AI copyright when they arise. Collaboration between government, regulators and industry can ensure marketing creatives are supported when it comes to content creation, but marketers themselves should embrace AI to boost efficiencies in their own operations. For example, AI can play a crucial role in creating content for email marketing campaigns as well as analysing the first-party data collected, saving huge amounts of time and resulting in a higher impact campaign.”

The news follows Getty Images CEO Craig Peters warning Rishi Sunak to give the creative industries better support rather than gambling on the evolution of AI, off the back of media materials being harvested by AI companies for training data.

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