Google offers customers legal advice on AI copyright lawsuits



summary
Summary

Anyone who generates content using Google’s generative AI services will be protected by Google from potential third-party copyright claims.

In a Cloud Division blog post, Google announced that it will protect customers of its own generative AI systems from potential legal risks and third-party claims. According to Google, the following services are covered by this promise:

  • Duet AI in Workspace, including generated text in Google Docs and Gmail and generated images in Google Slides and Google Meet
  • Duet AI in Google Cloud including Duet AI for assisted application development
  • Vertex AI Search
  • Vertex AI Conversation
  • Vertex AI Text Embedding API / Multimodal Embeddings
  • Visual Captioning / Visual Q&A on Vertex AI
  • Codey APIs

According to Google, the legal protection applies to both the training data and the generated output. However, the company limits the legal protection in that users of the generative AI services are not explicitly trying to generate material that could infringe copyrights, such as replicating mascots or trademarks of other companies in a generative image AI system. In addition, sources must be properly cited.

The generated output indemnity means that you can use content generated with a range of our products knowing Google will indemnify you for third-party IP claims, including copyright — assuming your company is following responsible AI practices.

Google

AI Copyright and its many pending lawsuits

The background to this unusual legal protection is that providers of large text and image models are currently being sued in the U.S. because the models are partly trained with copyrighted content.

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The plaintiffs claim copyright infringement, while the model providers claim fair use. Microsoft and Adobe also offer this unusual legal protection to reassure their customers that the systems can be used without restriction despite the unclear legal situation.

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