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  • Voltaire Staff

AI law will strike balance between innovation and rights of publishers: Vaishnaw

The Indian government is poised to introduce a legislation concerning the artificial intelligence (AI) and will seek to strike a balance between innovation and the rights of copyright holders, such a publishers, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, has said.

The forthcoming law will either be an autonomous enactment or be integrated within the impending Digital India Bill slated to supersede the antiquated Information Technology Act of 2000, Vaishnav told ET.

"There is a transition happening. Our position is that the transition should not be disruptive because lakhs of livelihoods are involved," Vaishnaw said.

"Secondly, creativity has to be respected both in terms of intellectual property as well as financial and commercial implications. We have shared these views with tech players. More or less they are in agreement in principle," he added.

In December, The New York Times filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Open AI, alleging unauthorised use of millions of its copyrighted articles to train AI models and chatbots.

In response to The NYT's actions, numerous authors, programmers, and musicians have taken legal action against tech giants such as Microsoft, OpenAI, Meta, and GitHub for utilising copyrighted material in their models without compensation.

Vaishnaw said that the new law will be "very balanced" as well as "strong on securing the rights and sharing the proceeds" among news publishers, content creators and AI-enabled technologies such as large language models (LLMs), "while keeping good space for innovation."

 "It will also be interesting to see how such contracts work between LLMs and individual creators as the process is easier said than done," he said.

"What is necessary, however, is some kind of enforcing regulation so that all the stakeholders are brought to the same negotiating table," he added.

In so far as all nations face same challenges regarding the AI, the companies have stressed the importance of collaboration between the industry and governments to identify solutions.

"One thought is to form a self-regulatory body," the minister said. "But we don’t think that would be enough. We think that this regulation should be done by legislative method. We have already consulted the industry. After elections, we will launch a formal consultation process and move towards legislation."

In January, the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) reached out to the ministries of electronics and information technology, and information and broadcasting seeking safeguards against potential copyright infringements by AI models.

DNPA, comprising 17 prominent media publishers in the country, including Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (BCCL), publisher of ET, is spearheading this initiative.

Indian news publishers are pushing for alterations to information technology regulations to guarantee fair payment for the utilisation of their content by generative AI models.




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