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Guilds back Adam Schiff’s AI bill for creatives’ rights

In a unified front, major Hollywood guilds including SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, WGA, and DGA have thrown their support behind a legislative move spearheaded by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) aimed at implementing stricter regulations concerning Artificial Intelligence (AI). “The Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act proposed by Rep. Schiff is a crucial step in safeguarding intellectual property rights,” stated Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.

Guilds back Adam Schiff's AI bill for creatives' rights

The bill, introduced into the 118th Congress by Schiff, mandates companies utilizing copyrighted content in training AI systems to publicly disclose their sources. The bill’s introduction comes amidst escalating concerns about the transformative impact of AI on various aspects of society, including the economy and creative industries. Schiff’s proposal seeks to balance technological advancement with the protection of creators’ contributions.

While the bill imposes a $5,000 civil penalty for violations, it serves as a symbolic gesture toward addressing the anxieties surrounding AI’s potential repercussions, particularly among industry workers and creators. Meredith Stiehm, Chief of WGA West, emphasized the necessity for greater transparency and regulation surrounding AI, stressing the importance of protecting writers’ rights. Her sentiments were echoed by WGA East President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who highlighted the urgency of enforceable regulations in light of AI’s pervasive influence.

Lesli Linka Glatter, President of DGA, commended the legislation as a crucial step toward safeguarding filmmakers’ intellectual property from the potential risks posed by generative AI. IATSE President Matt Loeb underscored the importance of fair compensation for entertainment workers whose contributions are utilized in AI-generated content, emphasizing the need for transparency in AI training datasets.

Following the resolution of last year’s WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, guild leaders have advocated for legislative measures to address the escalating impact of AI. Schiff’s bill aligns with President Biden’s Executive Order on AI and complements ongoing efforts to regulate AI at both the federal and state levels.

In addition to Schiff’s proposal, state-level initiatives such as AB 2602 and AB 1836 aim to curb the unchecked expansion of AI, particularly within the entertainment industry. Adam Schiff emphasized the bill’s objective of upholding creativity in the era of AI, emphasizing the importance of equitable technological progress.

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