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The #Hollywood Strikes and why you need to AI-proof your Creative work




WHAT IS AI


With the advent of AI technology comes the looming threat to the intellectual property of Creatives. Artificial Intelligence, or as we casually say, AI consists of different categories, one of which is Generative AI. More specifically, Generative AI is used in applications concerning the generation of images, video synthesis, language generation, and composition of music. Generative AI extracts data from all over the internet to learn patterns to generate "new content". The appeal to Generative AI is that it responds to humans like a human, giving solutions or responses to information entered in by the user. Where Generative AI application pulls from the internet, there is a likelihood of your Creative work being included in the output/response of the Generative application being used.


The #HollywoodStrikes have highlighted how AI technology, if used in the Creative industry can easily replace existing jobs where a programmed machine can generate information that would otherwise take the work of several people. A team of people in a writer's room would be need to write, proof-read, edit, research. Now things have significantly changed and have left workers in the entertainment exposed. The renewed contract between the Writers Guild/Actors Guild and Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (who represent the respective studios) have successfully resolved the issue of the use of AI technology. The writers and actors were able to implement artificial intelligence restrictions, in addition to other benefits (at least for the next three years). The studios had originally proposed that AI technology should be used for roles that may bring harm to the person (such as stunt doubles) and that background workers could be duplicated with the use of AI technology.


In light of these issues, Creatives must then invest in protecting their creative work by:


COPYRIGHT


Most countries have an intellectual property office in which a Creative can register their creations. A Creative may copyright their song lyrics, musical beats, dance choreography, art paintings, novels and much more. A registered copyright would, as the word suggest, give a Creative the right to copy and the right to give others permission to copy their work. Based on the framework of Generative AI, copyrighted work would be afforded protect where it can be proven that the any generated content belongs, wholly or partly, to the copyright holder. As a copyright holder, where an AI machine uses your work without permission, you would have a basis to institute legal proceedings (or in other words SUE).


TRADEMARK


Trademark offers a similar protection as copyright and is registered at the Intellectual Property of Office of your country. It gives protection to your marks, images, pictures, names and more. The weakness of Generative AI is that it is unable to produce original content. It pulls from existing videos and images which may easily resemble your artwork. In such an event, a Creative may bring an action in the civil court where it can be shown that you trademark has been infringed. Note, it will have to be shown that this infringement has caused your Creative business some damage.


IRONCLAD CONTRACT


Due to the nature of Creative work, any exchange of services or products are accompanied by an agreement, whether verbal or written (to be safe though, write it down). These agreements would outline the payment expected and other relevant information. An ironclad contract, whether presented by the other party or yourself, must include the terms by which the arrangement is to be carried out. Where it is that the contract is being presented to you, it is imperative that you have an attorney review the contract, as there are ways in which the contract may be drafted that you may possibly overlook.


It is also important to note that when you sign up for social media sites, you are entering a contract and that the 'Terms of Agreement' are to be considered before full use of the platform. We enter contracts on a daily and due care must be taken to ensure that you are in full agreement with how your information and likeness will be used.


CONCLUSION


Generative AI poses a threat to the use of your intellectual property. In order to protect your content, you must seek to use all the resources, especially the law, in order to protect your creations. Intellectual property rights such as Copyright and Trademark affords Creatives the opportunity to protect their work. Contracts are to be written to the benefit of both parties and reviewed by an attorney with the relevant expertise.


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Hi, I'm Rushell Malcolm

I'm an Attorney-at-law, dancer, actress, model, writer and founder of the Creatives' Rights blog.

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Where talent meets the law

The Creatives' Rights Blog is aimed at empowering and educating creatives, artists and innovators about their legal rights. This Blog discusses Intellectual Property, Technology Law, Contract, Employment law, among other areas of law which specifically affect Creatives. 

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