Hi, The EFF, Creative Commons, Wikimedia, World Leaders, and whoever else,
Do you want to write a license for machine vision models and AI-generated images, but you’re tired of listening to lawyers, legal scholars, intellectual property experts, media rightsholders, or even just people who use any of the tools in question even occasionally?
You need a real expert: me, a guy whose entire set of relevant qualifications is that he owns a domain name. Don’t worry, here’s how you do it:
This is an extremely condensed set of notes, designed as a high-level overview for thinking about the problem
Given our current system of how AI models are trained and how people can use them to generate new art, which is this:
Alice->>Model: Hello. Here are N images and<br>text descriptions of what they contain.
Model->>Model: Training (looks at images, "makes notes", discards originals)
Model->>Alice: OK. I can try to make similar images from my notes,<br>if you tell me what you want.
Curio->>Model: Hello. I would like a depiction of this new <br>thing you've never seen before.
Model->>Curio: OK. Here are some possibilites.
The model and the works produced with the model are both distinct products. The model is more like processing software or tooling, while the artistic works created with the model are distinctly artistic/creative output.
Models do not keep the original images they were trained on in any capacity. The only keep mathematical notes about their properties. You (almost always) cannot retrieve the original image data used from the model after training.
Curio->>Model: Send me a copy of one of the images you were trained on
Model->>Curio: Sorry, I do not remember any of them exactly,<br>only general ideas on how to make art.
There is a lot of misinformation about this, but it is simply, literally the case that a model does not include the training material, and cannot reproduce its training material. While not trivial (you can’t have a model if you can’t train it at all), when done properly, the specific training data is effectively incidental.
AI-generated art should be considered new craftsmanship — specifically, under copyright law, it is new creative output with its own protections — and not just a trivial product of its inputs.
The fact that AI art is new creative output doesn’t mean AI art can’t be plagiarism.
Just like with traditional art, it’s completely possible for specific products to be produced to be copies, but that doesn’t make that the case for all works in the medium. You can trace someone else’s artwork, but that doesn’t make all sketches automatically meritless works.
The inner workings of tools used in the creation of an artistic work are not what determines if a given product is plagiarism, or if it infringes on a copyright. Understanding the workings of the tool can be used in determining if a work is an infringement, but it is not the deciding factor.