Google to Defend Users of Generative AI from Copyright Claims

Google (GOOGL.O) announced on Thursday its commitment to defending users of generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems on its Google Cloud and Workspace platforms if they face accusations of intellectual property violations. This move aligns with similar commitments made by companies like Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Adobe (ADBE.O).

Major technology companies like Google have been heavily investing in generative AI and integrating it into their product offerings. However, prominent writers, illustrators, and other copyright owners have raised concerns in various lawsuits, asserting that both the utilization of their work to train AI systems and the content generated by these systems violate their rights.

According to a company spokesperson, “To our knowledge, Google is the first in the industry to offer a comprehensive, two-pronged approach to indemnity” that specifically covers both types of claims.

Google specified that this new policy extends to software, encompassing its Vertex AI development platform and Duet AI system, which generates text and images within Google Workspace and Cloud programs. Notably, the press release did not mention Google’s more widely recognized generative AI chatbot program, Bard.

The company clarified that the indemnity does not apply in cases where users “intentionally create or use generated output to infringe the rights of others.”

It’s worth noting that the recent wave of lawsuits concerning generative AI has primarily targeted the companies that own these systems, such as Google, rather than individual end users.

Defendants in AI-related lawsuits have argued that the use of training data scraped from the internet to train their systems qualifies as fair use under U.S. copyright law.