Government of Canada launches consultation on the implications of generative artificial intelligence for copyright
Feedback will contribute to copyright policy development
October 12, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Canada’s legislative frameworks remain responsive to modern realities. That is why the government proposed the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act, as part of Bill C-27, and continues to consider how other legislative frameworks may need to be updated to address the changing technological landscape, including the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, launched a consultation to gather Canadians’ thoughts on generative AI tools and the implications for copyright holders to give consent and receive credit and compensation for the use of their works.
The questions to be studied over the course of this consultation, which are outlined in the consultation paper, will touch on:
- the use of copyright-protected works in the training of AI systems;
- authorship and ownership rights related to AI-generated content; and
- liability, especially when AI-generated content could infringe existing copyright-protected works.
The government first consulted on these questions in 2021 through the Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. At that time, many Canadians felt it was early to comment on the implications of AI for the copyright framework. However, with the more recent public release of powerful generative AI tools, many stakeholders, particularly in the creative industries, have highlighted the importance of revisiting these issues.
Canadians have until December 4, 2023, to submit feedback online. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Canadian Heritage will also hold a series of roundtables with a variety of stakeholders, including those involved in the creative industries and AI development. The comments collected will contribute to copyright policy development. An update on the consultation findings will be posted online in 2024.
“As developments in AI intensify, our government is seizing every opportunity to stimulate innovation and the possibilities offered by this revolutionary technology. Canada’s copyright framework needs to remain balanced and able to facilitate a functional marketplace, and that’s why we’re studying the best way forward to protect the rights of Canadians, while ensuring the safe and ethical development of AI.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Canada’s authors, musicians and artists are asking important questions about how to protect their work as generative AI evolves. These consultations are one step towards leveraging AI to improve our lives, while ensuring that human creativity and innovation continue to thrive.”
– The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Government of Canada continues to work toward amending the Copyright Act, as per the mandate commitment, and to review the stakeholder comments received during its 2021 public consultation.
The consultation launched today serves as a follow-up to the one held in 2021. It aims to better understand changes in the copyright marketplace since the government last consulted Canadians about how Canada should take modern realities into consideration.
On September 27, 2023, recognizing how quickly AI technology is advancing and impacting the Canadian economy, the government announced Canada’s Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of Advanced Generative Artificial Intelligence Systems. Fourteen organizations have already signed on to the code to demonstrate their commitment to responsible AI.
Through these kinds of efforts, including Canada’s leadership role in the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, the government is making sure that Canada’s digital and data-driven economy is built on a strong foundation of trust and that AI is developed and used responsibly to the benefit of all citizens.
- 2021 news release: The Government of Canada Launches Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for AI and the Internet of Things
- Copyright policy
- Copyright Act
- Canada’s Digital Charter and Bill C-27
- Canada’s Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Responsible Development and Management of Advanced Generative Artificial Intelligence Systems
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
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