Global: Microsoft Introduces Copyright Protection for AI Users

Microsoft Offers Legal Protection for AI Users in Copyright Cases 1
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Microsoft has unveiled its Copilot Copyright Commitment, a new initiative aimed at offering legal safeguards to customers utilizing its artificial intelligence (AI) services, addressing concerns about potential intellectual property (IP) infringement.

President Brad Smith announced the initiative, assuring customers that they can use Microsoft’s Copilot services and their generated output without the fear of copyright claims. Smith emphasized the company’s commitment to assume responsibility for any legal risks related to copyright challenges.

This commitment extends beyond Microsoft’s existing support for intellectual property indemnity and builds upon its prior commitments. Specifically, in cases where a third party files a copyright infringement lawsuit against a commercial customer for their use of Microsoft’s Copilots or the content they produce, Microsoft will defend the customer and cover any adverse judgments or settlements resulting from the lawsuit. This protection is contingent on the customer utilizing the guardrails and content filters integrated into Microsoft’s products.

This announcement comes in the wake of a recent federal court ruling stating that artwork created by AI cannot be copyrighted. The ruling, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, followed a case in which Stephen Thaler sued the U.S. Copyright Office after it refused to grant copyright protection to one of his AI-generated images. Thaler had made several attempts to copyright the artwork and eventually filed a lawsuit, alleging that the Copyright Office’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with the law.

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