Answer given by Mr Breton on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission recognises the complexity and importance of the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI) and copyright.
In March 2022, the Commission published an independent study on ‘Copyright and New Technologies’, which provides a good basis for the assessment of challenges raised by AI from the copyright angle.
Regarding works protected by copyright which are used to develop AI, under the copyright framework, the developer of the AI should seek the rightholder’s consent, unless copyright exceptions apply.
Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market introduces exceptions covering text and data mining (TDM) that are relevant in the AI context.
These exceptions provide balance between the protection of rightholders including artists and the facilitation of TDM, including by AI developers. The new rules permit rightholders to opt-out from the use of their content for TDM purposes.
Member States should have implemented this directive by June 2021. At this stage, the Commission believes that the creation of art works by AI does not deserve a specific legislative intervention. Therefore, the Commission is not planning to revise this directive.
Having said that, the Commission will keep following closely the issues raised by the development of AI systems, their impact on the cultural and creative sectors and the interplay with the legal framework.
The Commission presented a proposal, namely the AI Act, in April 2021, which is currently with the Council and the Parliament.