Categories: FAQs And Resources

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Published January 29, 2024

Catherine Cavella, ESQ.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly integrated into various work streams and processes, the question on every creative’s mind should be: How do I protect my intellectual property (IP) from unauthorized AI use? As a legal professional, I can guide you through four robust strategies to safeguard your work effectively.

 

1. Define AI Usage in Your Scope of Work

Firstly, adding a descriptor to your scope of work that outlines if, when, and how your client may utilize your work in AI is crucial. While there’s no existing case law to confirm the enforceability of such descriptors, they serve as a proactive measure to manage client expectations. Should your work be used in AI without your permission, having a client who has agreed not to do so increases your chances of building a solid legal case.

 

A Master Services Agreement is a fundamental legal document for every branding agent, artist, and content creator. This contract, signed by both you and your client, contractor, or subcontractor, outlines your engagement’s terms and explicitly addresses how your work can or cannot be used to generate new content. Including a line item about AI usage is a prudent and proactive step you can take to protect yourself.

 

2. Manage Your App Settings

Are you aware that using AI platforms often grants the tool permission to use any information you input to generate content for others? Terms like these aren’t limited to AI tools like ChatGPT either; many social platforms operate under similar terms — using anything you post to generate content for other users. The solution? Manage your settings. By configuring your permissions, you can prevent your proprietary content from becoming fodder for AI-generated material.

 

3. Secure Your Work with Intellectual Property Rights

Trademarks, copyrights, and patents remain the most effective means to claim and retain ownership of unique ideas, inventions, and creative works. These legal tools provide a concrete timeline and documentation that protect your work from unauthorized reproduction, with existing case law to support your claims. Understanding and utilizing these rights is imperative to safeguard your intellectual property effectively.

 

4. Implement IP Monitoring and Enforcement

IP enforcement can seem daunting, given the vast amount of content online. Still, it’s critical to ensure the value of your work remains maintained by others seeking to gain market share by mimicking or copying your creations. Regular monitoring and enforcement of your IP rights are essential to preserving the integrity and value of your work.

 

Conclusion

As AI continues to challenge traditional notions of intellectual property rights, it’s more important than ever to be proactive in protecting your creative endeavors. By defining AI usage in your contracts, managing your app settings, securing your work with intellectual property rights, and implementing IP monitoring and enforcement, you can safeguard the ownership and value of your work effectively.

If you have further questions about how IP Works® can tailor your contracts to your specific needs, we’d like to hear from you. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today. We’re here to ensure your intellectual property remains just that—yours.

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Since 1992, Catherine Cavella, Esq. Her focus on Trademark Law and Copyright Law for the last few decades gives her deep insights into the fundamental principles behind the rules. Catherine regularly writes about new developments in trademark law, copyright law, and internet law.