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AI, Copyright Material, and the Balancing Act of Information Use. What is Fair Use?


Good morning! This is a fascinating and nuanced topic at the crossroads of artificial intelligence (AI) and copyright law. AI's use of copyright-protected materials within its models sparks a multifaceted conversation examining the advantages and challenges of this practice. To delve into this complexity, let's explore the arguments favoring copyrighted material in AI models and why it should be excluded, offering potential solutions to acknowledge and compensate creators.

Why Include Copyright Material in AI Models?

  1. Enhancing AI Quality and Effectiveness: A key rationale for including copyrighted material within AI models is the need for broad and diverse data to train AI. High-quality, copyright-protected works, such as books, music, and articles, can offer rich contexts, enhancing the AI's language understanding, predictive capabilities, and overall performance.

  2. Necessity of Training Data: To train a language model like GPT-4, vast amounts of text data are necessary. Restricting the data sources might limit the ability of these models to generate coherent and contextually accurate responses, potentially hindering their usefulness in applications like translation, sentiment analysis, and text generation.

  3. Promotion of Learning and Information Dissemination: AI models trained on copyright-protected materials can serve as an educational tool, providing users with insights and information they may otherwise not have access to. This aligns with the notion of "fair use" in copyright law, which allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the owner for purposes like education and research.

Why Exclude Copyright Material from AI Models?

  1. Infringement on Intellectual Property Rights: Including copyrighted material within AI models raises significant concerns about intellectual property rights. Using protected materials without explicit permission or compensation is, in essence, an infringement of the creator's rights. This poses ethical issues and legal implications for AI developers and users.

  2. Potential for Misuse: There's a risk that AI models could reproduce copyrighted materials in ways the original creators didn't intend or approve. This could devalue the original works, harm the creator's reputation, or lead to their work being used in contexts they're uncomfortable with.

  3. Lack of Acknowledgment and Compensation: AI models like GPT-4 don't inherently acknowledge or compensate the creators of the copyrighted works used in training. This fundamentally overlooks the creator's contribution to the AI's performance and ability to generate value.

Possible Solutions

  1. Transparent Data Use Policies: Developers can establish clear policies regarding using copyrighted materials in training AI models. These policies should be transparent to users about any AI limitations due to copyright restrictions.

  2. Implement Fair Compensation Mechanisms: AI developers could explore mechanisms to compensate creators for the use of their work in training AI models. While implementing such systems might be challenging, they would promote fairness and respect for intellectual property rights.

  3. Leverage Public Domain and Creative Commons Resources: Developers could emphasize using texts and materials in the public domain or available under Creative Commons licenses. These resources permit use without infringing copyright laws, providing a rich and legally sound data source for AI training.

  4. Advocate for Legal Clarification: The current legal framework doesn't clearly define how copyright law applies to AI training data. By advocating for legal clarification, stakeholders can better understand their rights and responsibilities, and the legal framework can evolve to suit the rapidly changing technology landscape.


As AI continues to evolve and grow in complexity, it's imperative to consider both the benefits and challenges of using copyrighted materials within AI models. While these materials can significantly enhance an AI's performance and utility, respecting creators' rights, acknowledging their work, and ensuring fair compensation are crucial. The conversation between AI and copyright law is far from over. Still, it's one that we must have to strike a balance that respects both the advancement of technology and the value of intellectual property.

In a PersonPlus.AI strategy, encouraging content providers to include their proprietary work in the AI model through incentives or royalties based on use will keep AI's output, utility, quality, and value high. A model similar to the Apple One: Premier (TM) subscription model, where consumers pay a subscription fee to the provider, which pays the artists or content providers based on the use of content by subscribers, could be a basis for this approach.

In the end, we all benefit from compensating artists and content providers, of all kinds, for their contributions to the AI Models, and we should encourage this to maintain a PersonPlus.AI strategy that will help lift humanity as a whole and keep AI providing value for decades to come.

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