It’s all the rage right now…you can’t even get through a day without hearing how businesses and people are using ChatGPT. I joined the bandwagon a few weeks ago and while I’m just touching on the surface, I can see the benefits of this little Artificial Intelligence app and how it can help in various aspects of business (or on new ideas for toddler lunches).
But there are questions. Lots of questions. And some of the main legal considerations are around the content that is created by ChatGPT…questions like:
➡️ Who owns the content created?
➡️ Do I have to tell my audience I’m using ChatGPT?
If you ask ChatGPT, it will tell you that IT’S NOT creating content - you are.
“As an AI language model, ChatGPT is not capable of creating content on its own, but rather responds to user inputs.”
I think this is a bit misleading because while yes, you can kind of “own” whatever comes out, it’s not protected by copyright law, which means you don’t really own it and the reason for that is because whatever comes out for your inputs could also come out for mine and therefore it’s NOT original content.
Ok, let’s get into it. There are several legal considerations that users should keep in mind when using ChatGPT to create content or to generate responses to questions that we ask.
Here are 5 main legal issues to consider:#1 YOU HAVE TO COME CLEAN IF YOU ARE USING IT
According to ChatGPT Terms of Service, you have to tell your audience if your content is solely from ChatGPT. The Terms of Service from OpenAi.com (the company behind ChatGPT) found here, state:
“Restrictions: You must not: represent that output from the Services was human-generated when it is not.”
What this means is that if you use ChatGPT to write a social media post or a blog and do a complete cut & paste (meaning no updating and/or commentary from you) technically under their Terms of Service you should let people know.
Why? Because it is a bit misleading to read something that you think Jane Doe wrote when really ChatGPT produced it. I can imagine plenty of college students are going to be tempted here but that is definitely a BIG no-no.
Now, if you get an output and use it as an outline, update with your commentary, revise, etc. it’s fair game. And this I think is where things are going to get interesting…how much will people be updating and will content around the online space start to look awfully familiar?!
#2 THIS CONTENT IS NOT PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW (yet)
It’s technically true that under OpenAI’s Terms “you own all Input, and subject to your compliance with these Terms, OpenAI hereby assigns to you all its right, title and interest in and to Output.” (Input being what you type in the box and the Output being what comes out).
Nothing produced directly from ChatGPT is protected by Copyright law or can be registered copyright because to do so it must be created by a human. So if you had thoughts of publishing a book that ChatGPT wrote, not going to fly. And I wouldn’t test this either since there are ways of figuring it out (eg, plagiarism tools, etc that I imagine could be paired with ChatGPT). It also means if you see someone else using your content (that you got from ChatGPT) there is nothing you can do.
The gray area here will come from the fact that you could produce something from ChatGPT and change a few words and voila! It’s not strictly AI written anymore. I don’t have an answer for you on how this will play out in the real world of content and copyright.
#3 SIMILARITY OF CONTENT
ChatGPT can pop out the same content for anyone. Due to the nature of machine learning, the output you get from AI may not be unique across users and ChatGPT may generate the same or similar output for someone else.
And here’s an example direct from ChatGPT on this subject: you may provide input to a model such as “What color is the sky?” and receive output such as “The sky is blue.” Other users may also ask similar questions and receive the same response.
What this means in our world, you may type in: what are the top 3 mistakes people make when finding their first coaching client? And get the exact same answer as someone else.
This is why it’s important to make any ChatGPT outputs your OWN. Use the technology as a great (and quick) way to create an outline or give you some context and then put your humanness into it.
#4 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Because ChatGPT relies on a large database of text and information to generate responses, “users should ensure that they are not infringing on any copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.” What does this means? It’s not OpenAi’s or ChatGPT’s fault if you end up infringing on someone else’s copyright or trademark and you will be held responsible for it.
Again, the key here is to put your own spin on things.
#5 PRIVACY - THERE ISN’T ANY
Just assume that anything you are putting in ChatGPT or getting out of it has 1,000 other eyes on it. Under their Terms, ChatGPT “may collect and store user data, such as chat logs or user preferences.”
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We are just at the beginning of our AI journey that is for sure. Questions will continue to pop up and for some of it, only time will tell us the answers. So strap in and come along for the ride!