Google will protect users in AI copyright accusations, Bard excluded

Google has announced its commitment to the protection of users of generative AI systems within its Cloud and Workspace platforms in cases where they might face allegations of intellectual property infringement. Google’s Bard search tool isn’t included, however.

In a blog post, which addresses the mounting concerns regarding potential copyright issues associated with generative AI, Google said that customers utilizing products integrated with generative AI capabilities will receive legal protection.

“If you are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved,” the tech giant said.

“We are committed to helping you evolve as technology advances, drawing on our depth of experience to ensure you can use the latest and best technology, while keeping you safe and protected. When it comes to the rapidly developing world of generative AI, this is imperative.”

Google explicitly outlines seven products that fall under this legal protection. The products are Duet AI in Workspace, including text generation in Google Docs and Gmail, as well as image generation in Google Slides and Google Meet; Duet AI in Google Cloud; Vertex AI Search; Vertex AI Conversation; Vertex AI Text Embedding API; Visual Captioning on Vertex AI, and Codey APIs.

The press release doesn’t mention Bard, Google's more well-known generative AI chatbot program which was recently linked to Gmail and other Google apps in order to be able to analyze users’ personal data.

In essence, the announcement means that if legal action is taken against someone due to the use of Google’s training data that involves copyrighted material, Google will assume responsibility for addressing this legal challenge.

“You can use content generated with a range of our products knowing that Google will indemnify you for third-party IP claims, including copyright – assuming your company is following responsible AI practices,” Google said.

The firm stressed that the protection will only apply if the customer doesn’t try to intentionally create or use generated output to infringe the rights of others.

Other companies have issued similar statements recently. Microsoft committed to assuming legal responsibility for enterprise users of its Copilot products in September.

Adobe also affirmed its dedication to safeguarding enterprise customers from copyright, privacy, and publicity rights claims when using Firefly, its generative machine learning model used in the field of design.

Writers, illustrators, and other copyright owners have said in several lawsuits that the use of their work to train the AI systems violate their rights. So far, the lawsuits are mostly targeting OpenAI, the firm behind the viral ChatGPT bot.

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