TILEC Seminar: Bertin Martens | Is the EU Copyright Directive still fit for purpose in the age of Generative AI? An economic perspective
Title: Is the EU Copyright Directive still fit for purpose in the age of Generative AI? An economic perspective
The arrival of Generave AI (GenAI) models has srred considerable legal controversy about copyright (CR) issues. This paper complements the legal debate with economic consideraons. CR is an economic policy tool to overcome private market failures in media products. It reflects a balance between the negave economic effects of monopolisc private CR for authors of creave artwork, and the posive effects of incenvizing a connuous stream of creave output. This paper explores how GenAI changes that balance.
There is no economic need for CR protecon to incenvize the producon of GenAI media outputs because the marginal cost of GenAI output producon is close to zero, much lower than human media producon costs. This relave price effect will boost GenAI outputs and accelerate substuon between human- and machine-produced outputs. Human authors can always claim CR over hybrid human-machine outputs, provided they meet a legal de minimis thresholds for human inputs. Legal CR aribuon problems with GenAI may lose relevance in this context.
EU CR law grants a condional Text and Data Mining (TDM) excepon to CR protecon for the use of media products as training inputs for GenAI models, provided the CR holder does not opt-out of this excepon. This narrow excepon constutes an over-protecon market failure. Personal interest of CR holders ignore spill-over effects to other industries, innovaon and growth. There is no need for CR protecon because TDM will not have a negave supply effect on the producon of media output, quite to the contrary. Imposing licensing requirements on GenAI training inputs will fragment the knowledge base on which GenAI model are trained, generate windfall monopoly profits for CR holders, increase transacon costs for training inputs and result in inefficient licensing terms, reduce compeon in favor of very large GenAI developers, and constute a major comparave disadvantage for GenAI developers in the EU. An uncondional TDM excepon would overcome all these sources of private market failure.
Speaker: Bertin Martens
Time: 10:45-11:45 hrs
Host: Konrad Borowicz
Moderator: Konrad Borowicz