Day of action will call on the US Congress to put the rights of individual human artists before the intent of corporations to exploit them.
On October 2, artists and their supporters will hold a broad-based day of action demanding a key protection for artists and creators across mediums, regardless of whether they have union representation.
With multiple cases on generative AI and copyright moving through US courts and less-than-clear guidance from the US Copyright Office, the campaign targets the US Congress. It demands “a law to block large corporations from getting copyrights for works that include significant AI-enabled elements.”
The demand aims at the heart of economic and human rights concerns when it comes to middle and low income artists and creators. Often, such artists are employed to create “works-for-hire”, aka corporate intellectual property that the artists themselves get no rights to. By reducing the rights corporations can hold in AI-enabled works-for-hire, it disincentivises corporations from replacing human artists with AI.
The website aims to organize artists, creators, and fans alike to spread the word about the day of action and its demand. It also provides easy tools for all US-based supporters of rights and protections for individual human artists to contact their representatives in Congress before and on October 2.
“AI represents an existential threat to so many musicians,” said United Musicians and Allied Workers Organizer Zack Nestel-Patt (he/him). “We know that corporations try to cut out and short change artists wherever they can and we have been shown over and over that we can’t trust corporations to look out for our best interests. Ensuring that only works created largely by humans are eligible for copyright would be a huge step towards protecting our work and our livelihood. Join us!”
“US copyright laws were ostensibly created to encourage individual human creativity. If a corporation wants to replace human artists with AI, they simply shouldn’t benefit,” said Lia Holland (they/she) Campaigns & Communications Director at Fight for the Future. “There has never been a better moment for Congress to take long-delayed action for the interests of artists and creators, and against the monopoly-like concentration of money and power in Big Tech and Big Content. From Taylor Swift to background actors, corporations frequently take rights that were intended for artists away from them, enriching shareholders and leaving many people who create our art and culture struggling to buy groceries and make rent. Now that Big Tech’s generative AI products mean even less money might go to artists, it’s time for everyone to demand that if corporations want to hold copyrights, they’ve got to at least pay human beings to make their content.”
Artist-organizers are available for comment, please contact Lia@FightForTheFuture.org