Striking writers hold rally and dance party in downtown Los Angeles

Originally published at: Striking writers hold rally and dance party in downtown Los Angeles | Boing Boing


Wait… it’s actually called “ Arena”?
Are we living in a Corey Doctorow novel?


It sure is.

Sorry striking writers, AI is really really good at rehashing your story lines, dialog and character arcs. AI isn’t going to invent a new show to rival Squid Game or Breaking Bad but it certainly can crank out Episode 3 of Season 8 of whatever series you’re working on. In today’s entertainment market where everything is a franchise and studios look for less-known actors to pay less, it’s ripe for AI to help them churn stuff out. How much creativity is there in any of the recent Star Wars or Marvel Comics Universe products? Not much in my opinion.


Probably not.

The real question to decide is whether AI can have a copyright. I say no. It’s not a person. And if they were given one it would never expire as it wouldn’t be able to die.

So the question is - do corporations want to produce IP they can’t control? That’s a big no.


AI may be good at mimicking.
The gift of the writers is in the unforeseen - the unexpected yet believable twist.

Dog help us all if we’re reduced to watching AI written shows.


Right, so obviously, an AI can’t have copyright. An AI itself isn’t a person or a legal entity.

The issue is, anything produced by an AI based on a corpus of existing material is probably a derived work. IANAL but it’s like some writers taking the existing body of MCU and creating a new MCU script from it.

I don’t think that using an AI to create a derivative is going to be a problem for the studios, in terms of not having ownership of whatever they churn out.

There is, however, a gigantic copyright problem lurking in all this. Any AI that’s capable of writing has been trained on a gigantic and diverse corpus of other works. Every news story ever published, ever blog post, probably most books out there… and all those sources have their own copyright status. Anything that uses these sources to create new works is creating derived works. I don’t know how the AI companies are going to solve this short of auditing their entire training corpus and getting certainty on the copyright status. Either a license, or use public domain material.

If they did train on purely public domain material it would give it an old-timey and governmental style which would be pretty funny but probably not what the AI companies are hoping for.

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Entertainment corporations thrive on IP rights. If you have your AI churn out a script- no copyright. Someone else can just ask their deep fake to churn out a shot by shot remake & sell it.


sh*t. I thought so.


episode 8 bullshit GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race


Just out of idle curiosity, which version of ChatGPT do you use for your posts here?


Well then who the fuck profits? Because it sure as hell isn’t anyone who needs the money to begin with. At least human writers get paid, and believe it or not, but that’s actually a good thing for everyone.


The ML algorithm can’t own copyright because it can’t own anything. The question is whether the person who uses the ML model (or their corporate overlord) can have a copyright on the output.

Currently I believe the answer is legally no. If a user simply provides a prompt similar to what they would give a human writer or artist, the prompt is not sufficient to establish copyright of the result and the direct output of the model can’t be copyrighted.

The studios might not be too worried about that at the moment. A movie or TV show made from a machine generated script is still going to be copyrighted even if the script isn’t and in any case won’t invalidate copyright on existing characters or other parts of their IP portfolio.

Anyway I don’t really think we are there yet. A language model might produce a script for a short scene that needs human editing but it’s not going to be making entire tv shows. Maybe soon, maybe never, but I don’t think the current models can do that. But where we are is a place where it’s plausible enough to be used as a threat against human writers or an excuse to devalue their work and justify paying them less.

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