The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association and three other industry groups released a joint statement Thursday expressing concern that copyright protection is not being adequately considered in the development of generative artificial intelligence.
The other organizations are the Japan Magazine Publishers Association, the Japan Photographic Copyright Association and the Japan Book Publishers Association.
In the joint statement, the organizations said that current generative AI creates content based on the analysis of large amounts of data collected from the internet without the consent of and payments to copyright holders.
The statement said that Japan's copyright law is more favorable to AI learning than those of other countries, and pointed to the unclear nature of the interpretation of a provision of the law that prohibits the use of copyrighted material for learning purposes if it would "unreasonably prejudice the interests of the copyright owner."
As a result, large amounts of content could be created without benefit to copyright holders, making it difficult for them to continue their creative activities, the four associations said.
The associations also listed concerns such as that unethical AI could be developed using pirated and other illegal content, and that AI users will unintentionally violate copyright due to AI generating content that is very similar to content used in the learning process.
They stressed the need to clarify the interpretation of the law provision and determine whether the copyright law should be revised.
They also called for creating a forum where copyright holder organizations and relevant authorities can exchange opinions.
They emphasized that copyright protection measures should be considered in line with the evolution of technology in order to prevent generative AI from hindering cultural development.