AI’s Creative Potential & Need for Congress’ Careful Copyright Considerations

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet recently held a hearing on the “Interoperability of AI and Copyright Law.” Witnesses testified to the promise of generative AI tools in enhancing creativity, while advocating careful congressional consideration as this technology continues to evolve. 

Following the hearing, various copyright legal experts and open internet advocates expressed concerns surrounding conflation over copyright law and the right of publicity, while also acknowledging how generative AI uses currently constitute fair use.


Sy Damle, Latham & Watkins: “They [AI tools] will enable anyone to more fully unlock their creative potential.” 

“There is no reason to believe that generative AI is any different, like the camera or the many creative tools adopted, since generative AI will be an engine of human creativity, not a replacement for it.”

“And if you talk to artists that really have incorporated in generative AI into their creative process, they don’t see it as a substitute for their own creativity. They see it as a way to enhance their own creativity.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA): “The advent of generative AI technologies has sparked a profound transformation in the creation, distribution and consumption of a new form of creative work. As we embark in our legal journey, along with the administration in their regulatory powers, it is vital that we explore the complex relationship between generative AI and copyright law. Recognizing both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Generative AI holds immense potential for innovative and artistic expression.” 

Chris Callison-Burch, University of Pennsylvania: “I optimistically believe that AI will enable us to be more productive workers and to allow more people to realize their creative visions.”

Joshua Lamel, Re:Create: “Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest asset in the creativity toolbox, increasing productivity, making the impossible possible and reducing barriers to entry for creators, among many other benefits. As with all change, this paradigm shift would reduce the power of legacy gatekeepers who seek to keep all the opportunities of generative AI while making baseless and boundless demands for compensation.”


Sy Damle, Latham & Watkins: “First, copyright’s well established fair use doctrine is the best way to balance the competing interests. In the AI space. For the reasons I explained in detail in my written testimony, the training of AI models will generally fall within the established bounds of fair use.”

Chris Callison-Burch, University of Pennsylvania: “So again, I think it highlights the fact that the systems are learning and they’re learning facts about the world and those facts are not copyrightable. I think where the material is acquired from and whether that’s fairly fair use or not fair use is exactly the right question. You know, many of my students learn by going out to the internet and retrieving facts from the internet. They do not pay for that. It’s what’s happening here.”


Sy Damle, Latham & Watkins: “I think existing law is well suited to deal with all questions we’ve been looking into today. Your Congress had the wisdom in the 1976 Act and various amendments since then, to build a technology neutral, flexible copyright regime. And I think it’s proven time and time again that no matter the new technology that comes along, the laws are able to adapt to them.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA): I believe that we will measure carefully and find middle ground that respects existing copyright law while allowing the future of generative AI to flourish.”

Josh Landau, CCIA: “AI is a transformative technology with huge benefits and real concerns. Responsible AI will help improve productivity and improve users’ experiences online. We would encourage policymakers to adopt a technology-neutral approach, examine where existing laws already apply to AI technology and ensure that we use existing frameworks ahead of creating additional layers of bureaucracy that could impede both oversight and progress as companies compete to offer new digital services and technologies.”

Carl Szabo, NetChoice: “If government officials and lawyers create a new legal framework for A.I.-generated content, society risks losing the potential benefits of the tech revolution. Instead, relying on existing copyright law will address ownership questions, promote creativity, and ensure the growth of generative A.I. technology.”