MPA Reply Comments to the U.S. Copyright Office on Artificial Intelligence and Copyright
The Copyright Office received an enormous number of comments in response to its Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”). The volume, breadth and substance of these comments reflect widespread agreement, across a broad and diverse set of stakeholders, that “generative AI,” as defined by the Office, has and will continue to raise important questions under U.S. copyright law.
The President’s October 30, 2023 Executive Order underscores the importance of these issues and the Copyright Office’s central role in guiding policy around this topic. The Executive Order notes the pending Office study and directs the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to consult with the Office in order to “issue recommendations to the President on potential executive actions relating to copyright and AI . . . including the scope of protection for works produced using AI and the treatment of copyrighted works in AI training.”
In its Initial Comments, the Motion Picture Association, Inc. (“MPA”) provided responses to the Office’s questions based on its members’ unique perspective among the many parties who submitted comments. MPA’s members are creators and owners of a large repertoire of enormously popular copyrighted works; they also are technological innovators and consumers that use AI as a tool to support and enhance the creative processes of the many thousands of people who create motion picture and television content. MPA’s Initial Comments reflected a balancing of the interests at stake in addressing the important questions the Office asked.
MPA brings that same balanced approach to these Reply Comments, which will be brief. MPA’s Reply Comments focus on a few areas of general consensus: legislation to change copyright law to create specific “AI exceptions” appears unnecessary at this time, and most stakeholders agree that human authors use AI as a tool to create copyrightable works. MPA also believes it is important to respond to some comments that, in MPA’s view, do not reflect a correct understanding of U.S. copyright law, or proposals that have the potential to conflict with the First Amendment if not judiciously implemented. These include certain areas specifically addressed by the President’s Executive Order. MPA encourages the Copyright Office to consider these issues with the same deliberate and measured approach, and to ensure that the Office’s recommendations account for the vital contributions that the creators of original expression make to the American economy, society and culture.