Right now, we’re all wary about AI’s effect on several industries. One industry that’s already feeling the effects is the news publication industry. Now, news publications say that AI violates copyright law, and there could be a case for legal action.
Normally, when you’d search for information on news topics in the past, you’d get a list of publications as search results that you can read. You read the articles and contribute the the publications’ ad revenue; the circle of life. However, search engines like Google and Bing now feed you AI-generated summaries of the stories you’re looking for.
What’s the point of clicking on a new article when the search engine just gave you the answer on a silver platter? Most people in the tech industry shy away from these results for fear of running into hallucinated results. However, the majority of the people who read these results aren’t as cautious.
News publications say that AI violated copyright law
We’re all still learning about the legal complexities surrounding AI. Can an AI violate copyright law (laws that were initially established for human beings)? If an LLM takes information from 10 sites and summarizes them in its own words, is that copyright infringement or just paraphrasing?
Squaring up against AI is a game of legal and ethical chess, and it’s only going to get more complicated. However, news publications are raising their concerns over AI. This technology has caused several news outlets to lose a ton of traffic due to AI. This affects larger news publications, but it also means doom for smaller publications just starting to get traffic.
According to Search Engine Land, a White Paper was submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office’s Artificial Intelligence Study. It outlines how AI being used to funnel generated news summaries constitutes a violation of copyright law.
It’s an extensive document with a ton of information, but the gist of it is how AI uses the already-written work from several news outlets and just reiterates this information in its summaries. This drives traffic away from the sites and impacts their revenue.
If news publications have a case for legal action, then we can expect a lengthy legal battle. This could be one of the first major legal battles over generative AI, and definitely not the last. We’ll need to wait for more information on this to be sure.