Copyright Clash: Artists vs. Tech Titans in the AI Era


  • Artists across various creative fields seek US government intervention to protect their work from AI replication.
  • Tech companies, content with the status quo, utilize published works to improve AI systems.
  • US Register of Copyrights, Shira Perlmutter, reviews thousands of comments on the need for copyright reforms in the age of generative AI.
  • Key questions include the extent of human involvement in AI-generated content and the use of copyrighted human works by AI systems.
  • Notable figures from the entertainment and music industries express concerns about AI’s potential impact.
  • Tech giants like Google and Microsoft argue that their AI model training aligns with the “fair use” doctrine.
  • The Copyright Office grapples with the distinction between legitimate AI use and outright piracy.

Main AI News:

In the high-stakes arena of AI copyright reform, creative professionals and tech giants lock horns over the future of artistic ownership. Country singers, romance novelists, video game artists, and voice actors are rallying behind the call for swift government intervention to shield their livelihoods from the encroaching grasp of artificial intelligence. Their plea echoes through thousands of letters flooding the US Copyright Office, each pleading for regulatory action.

“I’m scared,” confesses a concerned podcaster, worried that AI may replicate his voice, a sentiment shared by many in the creative sphere. In stark contrast, technology companies find solace in the current status quo, where they capitalize on published works to hone their AI systems’ ability to mimic human creativity.

Shira Perlmutter, the US Register of Copyrights, stands at the helm, meticulously sifting through nearly 10,000 comments from concerned parties. She remains impartial as she contemplates whether copyright reforms are warranted in this era of generative AI, capable of churning out compelling art, music, videos, and text.

The core issue revolves around the level of human involvement in controlling AI-generated content. As humans feed data and give instructions to AI systems, a pivotal question arises: does this human influence bestow authorship upon them?

The US Copyright Office, nestled within the Library of Congress, grapples with a more significant quandary—how to handle copyrighted human works ingested by AI systems without consent or compensation. This debate has stirred the creative world, eliciting over 9,700 comments during the initial comment period.

The voices of artists and industry insiders resonate loudly. Justine Bateman, an actor and filmmaker, voices concern over AI models ingesting a century of film and TV, potentially reshaping the entertainment landscape. Lilla Zuckerman, a television showrunner, likens AI to a “plagiarism machine” and urges the industry to guard its talent.

The music world is not immune, warns country songwriter Marc Beeson, who fears AI’s potential to undermine a cherished American art form. As individual concerns reverberate, major music publishers and news organizations, including Universal Music Group and The New York Times, join the chorus.

Tech titans, including Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI, champion the “fair use” doctrine, arguing that their AI model training aligns with limited use of copyrighted material. They assert that AI’s purpose is to identify patterns, not to reproduce individual works. Courts, thus far, have largely sided with these tech giants, citing the precedent set by Google’s online book library.

However, critics like bestselling romance author Heidi Bond contend that AI developers often scrape works without permission, a practice she deems “outright piracy.” The Copyright Office grapples with the nuanced distinctions between these cases.


The battle between artists and tech companies over AI copyright reforms underscores the tension between protecting creative ownership and advancing AI technology. The outcome of this debate will have far-reaching implications for the market, influencing the future of artistic expression and the boundaries of AI usage in creative industries. Businesses in these sectors should closely monitor developments in copyright regulation to adapt to potential changes and opportunities.