What To Know About ChatGPT and Malaysia’s Copyright Act 1987

What To Know About ChatGPT and Malaysia’s Copyright Act 1987

Late in 2022, OpenAI released its chatbot, ChatGPT. OpenAI refers to it as a “language model trained to produce text” that applies machine learning to generate “human-like” text. ChatGPT has been taught using vast amounts of data authored by humans and found on the internet, as such, it can do several tasks related to natural language processing, including translation, summarization, and question answering. In general, ChatGPT is able to rapidly process the large amounts of data that it has been given and offer a response that is succinct.

According to a paper that was written by a Wharton business professor named Christian Terwiesch, ChatGPT did an “amazing job” with simple questions about operations management and process-analysis, but it struggled with questions that were more complex, and it made “surprising mistakes” with basic mathematics. As of the time that this article was written, the use of ChatGPT in some educational institutions located outside of Malaysia was prohibited.

ChatGPT: Copyright Violations?

Following the launch of ChatGPT, there has been an increase in the level of anxiety felt by owners of copyright whose work can be located online in the form of blog posts, reports, and articles. It is not just that internet data could be mined for its content and used to further the education of the chatbot. It is also feasible for ChatGPT to respond to a person’s question with a paragraph of text that contains ideas taken from the works of the respective copyright owners. 

Infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights is defined as using someone else’s work without their consent. The owner of the copyright has the sole discretion over how the work can be used, including whether or not it can be exploited for financial gain. If you utilise a work that is protected by intellectual property rights without the owner’s permission, you are infringing on those rights and could be held liable for damages.

Do the Copyright Act 1987 protect ChatGPT’s result?

The Copyright Act 1987 in Malaysia stipulates the presence of a human author. As a result, it is extremely unlikely that copyright would be applicable to the work that is generated by chatbots.

It is possible that the output of ChatGPT is subject to copyright protection; however, the licence terms for the OpenAI product do not make this point expressly clear. Below is an extract of their terms pertaining to content:

You may provide input to the Services (“Input”), and receive output generated and returned by the Services based on the Input (“Output”). Input and Output are collectively “Content.” As between the parties and to the extent permitted by applicable law, you own all Input, and subject to your compliance with these Terms, OpenAI hereby assigns to you all its right, title and interest in and to Output. OpenAI may use Content as necessary to provide and maintain the Services, comply with applicable law, and enforce our policies. You are responsible for Content, including for ensuring that it does not violate any applicable law or these Terms.

According to OpenAI, the responses provided by ChatGPT have the potential to be erroneous, untrue, and deceptive in various ways at times. In addition, ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, which means that it may provide inaccurate responses on occasion. 

Due to its limited awareness of the world and events that have occurred after 2021, it may on occasion produce content or instructions that are damaging or biased. OpenAI recommends checking ChatGPT’s Output for accuracy. Due to ChatGPT’s limitations, trusting and verifying the accuracy of ChatGPT’s Output takes considerable effort. 

As the technology behind artificial intelligence continues to advance, it is imperative that these legal problems receive careful study:

  • assuming the user edited the Output and made it their own independent creation that satisfies the conditions set out in Section 7 of the Copyright Act: (a) sufficient effort has been expended to make the work original in character; and (b) the work has been written down, recorded, or otherwise reduced to material form, would the independent creation be eligible for copyright? Additionally, it does not matter how good the work is or why it was created in order to qualify for copyright protection. Works can be protected under copyright in any case. 
  • is it possible for a party to make use of the Output without having to rely on or validate the veracity of ChatGPT? 
  • is it possible for a party to exploit the Output of ChatGPT without providing ownership or attribution to the data sources used to make the output? 
  • if a party edits ChatGPT’s Output as its own independent creation, can that person then use it as a defence against a claim that it infringed upon someone else’s copyright? 

Concerns Regarding the Use of Artificial Intelligence Technology

Concerns Regarding the Use of Artificial Intelligence Technology

In the years to come, members of the legal community will be faced with a wide variety of challenges, including those that have already been highlighted. 

Contact an intellectual property lawyer to learn more about how artificial intelligence technology affects your product development.