Major news media organizations have joined forces to call for the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) model operators on their use of copyrighted materials.
In a letter signed by industry bodies like the News Media Alliance and the European Publishers’ Council, media companies are pushing for a framework that allows them to “collectively negotiate” with AI model operators regarding the use of their intellectual property.
According to the letter, “Generative AI and large language models … disseminate that content and information to their users, often without any consideration of, remuneration to, or attribution to the original creators. Such practices undermine the media industry’s core business models.”
The call to action comes at a time when services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, which use the language-producing generative AI, has led to a surge in online content produced by bots. It has cast various industries in an uproar as they assess the impact on their businesses.
However, most of those services do not disclose what inputs they have used to train their models, although they have said in earlier versions of their models they used datasets comprising billions of pieces of information scraped from the internet for training. This included content from news websites.
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As the technology and its wide adoption grows, governments around the world are still debating the rules to govern its use. At the same time, news media industries are beginning to experiment with generative AI and negotiate deals with tech companies for their content to be used to train AI models.
For example, the news agency Associated Press, one of the signatories of the letter, recently signed a deal with OpenAI to license a part of AP’s archive of stories and explore generative AI’s usage in news in addition to committing $5 million to the American Journalism Project to support local news through AI.
The move echoes the news media industry’s long-standing effort to secure favorable deals with tech companies like Meta Platforms and Alphabet, which are often accused by publishers of running platforms filled with news content without adequately sharing profits.
U.S. lawmakers are considering a bill called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which will allow news broadcasters and publishers with fewer than 1,500 full-time workers to jointly negotiate ad rates with Google and Facebook.
It is unclear what the outcome of these regulations and deals could lead to, but it appears news organizations are taking the lead in ensuring their right to the intellectual property they provide is not violated.