Forty-two German associations and trade unions representing over 140,000 authors and performers have called on the European Union to strengthen draft artificial intelligence (AI) rules in light of concerns about copyright infringement by generative AI, including ChatGPT. The letter addressed to the European Commission, European Council, and EU lawmakers highlights the growing worries about AI’s ability to create text and images based on prompts that mimic humans. The groups expressed concerns about the unauthorized usage of protected training materials, the non-transparent processing of generative AI, and the foreseeable substitution of sources by generative AI output. The letter stated that fundamental questions of accountability, liability, and remuneration must be addressed before irreversible harm occurs.
The European Commission had proposed AI rules last year and is currently finalizing the details with EU lawmakers and member states before the rules become legislation. However, the German groups have called for stricter regulations to regulate generative AI throughout the product cycle, particularly for providers of foundation models. The associations also called for providers of such technology to be liable for all content generated and disseminated by the AI, particularly for personal rights and copyright infringement, discrimination, and misinformation.
Moreover, the German creatives’ letter emphasized that providers of foundation models, such as Microsoft, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, and Meta Platforms, should not be permitted to operate central platform services to distribute digital content. The associations and trade unions for the creative sector Verdi and DGB, as well as associations for photographers, designers, journalists, and illustrators, jointly signed the letter. They stressed that generative AI needs to be at the center of any meaningful AI market regulation.
The concerns expressed in the letter reflect the increasing anxiety among creatives about the potential infringement of their copyrights by AI. With the rise of generative AI such as ChatGPT, there is a growing need for tighter regulations to ensure accountability, liability, and remuneration in the use of such technologies. The letter calls for AI regulations that ensure providers of foundation models are responsible for all AI-generated content and that the entire product cycle of generative AI is regulated. The German creatives have highlighted the urgency of the issue and the need for meaningful AI market regulations.