Google says it will defend users in a legal setting if copyright issues arise with their generative artificial intelligence. It joins the ranks of other big tech players who have done the same.
“Put simply: if customers are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved,” said Laurie Richardson, Google’sVP of Trust and Safety Laurie Richardson, in a blog post Thursday
The move follows suit from Adobe and Microsoft, who have both pledged to defend users on generative AI related copyright infringement cases. All three big tech players set a standard for the industry that the companies who make generative AI products should be responsible for any legal issues with the output – not the user.
“You can expect Google Cloud to cover claims, like copyright infringement, made against your company, regardless of whether they stem from the generated output or Google’s use of training data to create our generative AI models,” Google said in a separate blog post also published Thursday.
Adobe announced back in June that it would offer protection for any copyright claims for outputs produced by Firefly, its generative AI art creation tool. In September, Microsoft pledged the same legal protection for users for its generative AI tool Copilot.
Microsoft, Github and OpenAI themselves were sued for copyright law infringement last year alleging that GitHub Copilot relies on “software piracy on an unprecedented scale,” as reported by The Verge.
There’s a larger question at the core of these cases, and it’s more complicated than whether or not big tech should be paying the legal fees: should large language models be running on copyrighted material at all? It’s one of the key advantages of a company that uses AI like Tesla, which is able to train machine learning for self-driving cars on a huge data set of videos from cameras in other Teslas that it already owns the rights to.
It’s a question that generative AI will have to face in the years to come. At the very least, it can put users’ minds at ease for now.
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