What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (the GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) applies large language models to allow it to respond to user input in a highly articulate manner. It is OpenAI’s latest creation launched Nov 2022 and the fastest-growing app. ChatGPT accumulated 1 million users merely 5 days after its launch, and it has only been growing since then, jumping to a massive 1 billion visits to the website in just February 2023.
The real human-like text in ChatGPT articulates responses. ChatGPT is capable of answering questions, writing short stories, composing music, solving math problems, language translations and very basic computing coding.
When we see any technological advancement we can also feel its impact on IP. Here, we discuss one of the most crucial effects of having AI-generative predictive text- ie, one of ownership.
Who Owns Copyright?
Copyright is granted to creators of any original work, and the question which arises is whether work created using ChatGPT is capable of copyright protection.
The problems here lie in determining the degree of a substantial effort. In Indian Copyright law the word “human” is not used. Indian law remains ambiguous about whether AI can become the sole author or become co-authors of such derivative works. There is no Indian precedent to suggest that computers/software can be given authorship.
What’s the Situation in Other Parts of the World?
The USA grants copyright protection only to “human creations”. But AI-generated work can be eligible for copyright if ‘substantial human effort’ has been made. Look at the US Copyright Office granting a first-of-its-kind registration for a comic book generated with the help of text-to-image AI Midjourney.
The UK is one of the few nations offering copyrights on works that are produced using a computer. Thus it offers some precedence for copyright protection to be granted. China also allows copyright protection for AI-created work.
What Are Some Unique Issues Faced Regarding AI Ownership?
But ChatGPT is, at the end of the day, an AI-powered chatbot which relies on the existing data available to provide answers. The training data used is so vast that it already contains some form of copyrighted work. If this training data includes copyrighted works, then ChatGPT’s outputs may potentially infringe on the copyrights of those works.
The matter produced by an AI and humans is quite difficult to separate, but if the ChatGPT produces something unoriginal then copyright cannot be claimed.
ChatGPT does not simply copy and paste the information available, but unlike humans, it does not possess its own knowledge and creativity. They do not produce original work and may unknowingly infringe on someone else’s work.
Copyright infringement is a real issue when dealing with apps like ChatGPT, and these issues are likely to become more significant with multiple tech companies starting to rely more on AI. The laws in this area are still in their infancy, and we are sure to see more developments and rulings in the near future.
Author: Dipanwita Chakraborty, Associate Trainee at PA Legal.
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