AI copyright steering committee appointed

Brandon How

A group of 20 representatives from industry and academia have been appointed to screen the issues to be contemplated by the federal government’s AI and Copyright References Group.

Details of the 20-strong steering committee and the governance framework for the Attorney-General’s Department administered group broke cover on Monday.

The Copyright and Artificial Intelligence Reference Group (CAIRG) met for the first time at the end of February, with the discussion focus on the proposed structure and operational arrangements for the group.

The government committed to form the group at the start of December. It followed a lack of agreement on the policy approach the Australian government should take to AI and copyright at the roundtables held throughout 2023.

The group’s purpose is to “facilitate engagement, information sharing and open discussion between government and non-government sectors on current and emerging copyright-AI issues”, according to the governance framework released last week.

Of the 61 universities, tech companies, representative bodies, and other interested stakeholders that made up the reference group, 20 individuals were asked to form a steering committee for the group at the inaugural meeting.

The steering committee reflect broad interests, including the tech and arts sectors. The members are:

  • Dr Louise Buckingham – Arts Law Centre of Australia
  • Dean Ormston – Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS)
  • James Cheatley – Australia New Zealand Screen Association (represented by Motion Picture Association)
  • Eileen Camilleri – Australian Copyright Council
  • Siew Lee Seow – Australian Information Industry Association
  • Sarah Powell – Australian Libraries and Archives Copyright Coalition/Australian Digital Alliance
  • Trish Hepworth – Australian Library and Information Association
  • Dr Stuart Glover – Australian Publishers Association
  • Dr Kylie Pappalardo – Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for Automated Decision Making + Society (ADM+S)
  • Olivia Lanchester – Australian Society of Authors
  • Chris Louie – Business Council of Australia
  • Delia Browne – Copyright Advisory Group (CAG) – Schools and TAFEs
  • Jo Johnston – Copyright Agency Limited
  • Tui Raven – Deakin University
  • Bridget Fair – FreeTV
  • Angus Lang SC – Law Council of Australia
  • Annabelle Herd – Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) / Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA)
  • Carolyn Hough – Policy Australia
  • James Dickinson – Screenrights
  • Ryan Black – Tech Council of Australia

The steering committee will discuss ideas and policy proposals ahead of consultation with the broader reference group. Meetings will be chaired and convened by the Attorney-General’s department and conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

The use of copyright material as inputs for AI systems will be the initial focus for the group, with potential copyright infringements in AI outputs and the copyright status of AI outputs to potentially follow later in the year.

Unlike the temporary AI reference group set up by Industry minister Ed Husic in February and mostly comprised of academics, the CAIRG will “continue indefinitely at the government’s discretion, subject to periodic review of its usefulness to government and participants”.

Other government agencies will be invited to observe meetings where the topic of discussion is relevant to its portfolio.

The AI work being led by Mr Dreyfus on copyright is distinct from the work led by Mr Husic and which focuses on mitigating risks through by implementing guardrails on development and uptake.

The Attorney-General’s department is also supporting an IP Australia-led AI Working Group ‘exploring the issues at the intersection of AI and IP’.

An interdepartmental committee on AI being is also chaired by Department of Industry, Science, and Resources technology and digital division head Anthony Murfett.

With Justin Hendry

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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