November 17, 2023

How generative AI makes us pay for content

Two key developments stand out that could reshape how we interact with online content.

First, OpenAI's introduction of the Copyright Shield program shows their new approach to navigating the world of digital rights, which is a pretty gray area at the moment. This initiative aims to protect business users of tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E from copyright infringement claims, reflecting the growing impact of generative AI in content creation.

At the same time, there's a notable increase in online publications adopting paywalls, driven by the need for sustainable revenue in the face of declining print revenues. More than two-thirds of leading newspapers in the EU and US now operate paywalls, a significant rise since 2017.

This trend, I believe, will be further accelerated by concerns around generative AI. As these advanced tools become more prevalent, original content creators might increasingly turn to paywalls as a means to safeguard their work from being used to train AI models, thereby protecting their intellectual property and ensuring fair compensation for their efforts.

The question is; how much do we care about original ideas? Will it be enough to pay for original (i.e. human-made) content on a large enough scale for creatives to make ends meet?

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