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Critical Issues on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence Explored in Japanese Cultural Agency’s Draft

Summary

The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has submitted a draft exhibition to the Subcommittee of the Cultural Council, shedding light on the complex issues surrounding copyright and generative artificial intelligence (AI). The use of media content from news organizations and […]

Critical Issues on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence Explored in Japanese Cultural Agency’s Draft

The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has submitted a draft exhibition to the Subcommittee of the Cultural Council, shedding light on the complex issues surrounding copyright and generative artificial intelligence (AI).

The use of media content from news organizations and creative works without the consent of copyright holders for training AI systems to generate images and texts has raised concerns. The draft aims to address these concerns and determine the measures that should be taken to protect the interests of copyright holders in accordance with the Copyright Law by the end of fiscal year 2023.

In 2018, an amendment to the Copyright Law introduced Article 30-4, allowing the use of copyrighted works for AI training purposes without the permission of rights holders. However, the provision also emphasized that such actions should not disproportionately harm the interests of copyright holders. Unfortunately, there were no specific examples provided to illustrate what constitutes a disproportionate violation of copyright interests.

One of the key points for future debates, as highlighted in the draft exhibition, is determining which cases should be considered exceptional. This raises the question of how to identify if AI-generated works bear resemblance to existing copyrighted works and whether they infringe upon copyright.

Additionally, the draft exhibition poses the following questions for consideration:
– How can the use of disputed works be limited through takedown requests and other means in cases of copyright infringement?
– To what extent should specific instructions be given to AI systems to recognize AI-generated works as original creations?

The Japanese Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association has urged the government to expedite the review and amendment of the Copyright Law to establish relevant regulations. They argue that unauthorized and unregulated use of copyrighted works for AI training purposes could seriously harm media organizations and, consequently, hinder people’s right to be informed.

A spokesperson from the Agency for Cultural Affairs acknowledged the concerns expressed by the newspaper association and stated that they will address the specific contentious issues raised. Further discussions and consultations are expected to take place to ensure a balanced approach between AI development and copyright protection.

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