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Canada New AI Copyright Policy Consultation

AI Consultation | Oct 23, 2023

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The Canadian government's Strategic Policy Sector has released the latest 2023 consultation paper addressing the copyright law challenges and opportunities presented by quickly emerging generative artificial intelligence (AI).

This current consultation builds upon perspectives gathered during the previous consultation in 2021 and the 2018-19 parliamentary review of the Copyright Act.  The Canadian government's Strategic Policy Sector has outlined three main areas of policy concern in its consultation paper on copyright in the age of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Below is a detailed list of these areas, including previous stakeholder perspectives (from the 2021 consultation) and the latest questions and scope for which the government seeks input:

1. Authorship and Ownership of AI-Assisted and AI-Generated Works

Previous Stakeholder Perspectives

  • A range of views were expressed, with some stakeholders from the creative industries open to exploring 'thin' copyright protection for AI-generated works.
  • Only a small number of submissions genuinely supported copyright protection for AI-generated works.
  • Concerns were raised about the registration of AI-generated works by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

See:  Generative AI: A Primer On Canadian AI and IP

Latest Questions

  • Is the uncertainty surrounding authorship or ownership of AI-assisted and AI-generated works impacting the development and adoption of AI technologies? If so, how?
  • Should the government propose any clarification or modification of the copyright ownership and authorship regimes in light of AI-assisted or AI-generated works? If so, how?
  • Are there approaches in other jurisdictions that could inform a Canadian consideration of this issue?

2. Infringement and Liability Surrounding AI-Generated Works

Previous Stakeholder Perspectives

  • During the 2021 consultation, only 12 submissions briefly discussed this question.
  • Some stakeholders believed existing liability rules in the Act are sufficient, while others called for more evidence on how AI technology is used before reviewing copyright infringement and liability regimes.
  • Suggestions included implementing record-keeping requirements for those involved in AI development and deployment, and control mechanisms to remove infringing AI-generated content.

See:  FCA’s Emerging Regulatory Strategy for Big Tech and Artificial Intelligence

Latest Questions

  • Are there concerns about existing legal tests for demonstrating that an AI-generated work infringes copyright (e.g. AI-generated works including complete reproductions or a substantial part of the works that were used in TDM, licensed or otherwise)?
  • What are the barriers to determining whether an AI system accessed or copied a specific copyright-protected content when generating an infringing output?
  • When commercialising AI applications, what measures are businesses taking to mitigate risks of liability for infringing AI-generated works?
  • Should there be greater clarity on where liability lies when AI-generated works infringe existing copyright-protected works?
  • Are there approaches in other jurisdictions that could inform a Canadian consideration of this issue?

3. Potential Impact on the AI Marketplace

Previous Stakeholder Perspectives

  • The previous consultations and discussions have highlighted the need for a balanced approach that supports innovation in AI while protecting the rights of creators and stakeholders in the creative industries.

See:  Comparing Global Regulations on ChatGPT: Italy Sets Precedent with Ban

Latest Questions

  • The consultation paper does not explicitly list questions under this category, but the entire document and the questions listed under the other two categories implicitly address the potential impact on the AI marketplace.
  • The government is seeking input on how to balance support for innovation and investment in AI with the protection of creative industries and copyright owners' rights.

Consultation Deadline December 4, 2023

To engage in this important dialogue and share your insights, we invite you to contribute through our online consultation form before the deadline on December 4, 2023. Utilizing this form is crucial as it ensures the swift and accessible processing of your feedback. Please note that all submissions made via this platform will become publicly accessible once the consultation period concludes.

For any inquiries or further clarification, feel free to reach out to us at Your participation is invaluable in shaping the future of copyright in the age of generative AI in Canada.

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