Google has taken a significant step in safeguarding users of generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems within its Google Cloud and Workspace platforms, pledging to protect them in cases of potential intellectual property infringement allegations. This move aligns Google with industry peers like Microsoft and Adobe, who have also made similar commitments to protect their users in the face of AI-generated copyright concerns.
In a recent blog post, Google clarified its stance, asserting that customers using products integrated with generative AI capabilities would receive legal protection. This decision aims to address the growing apprehensions surrounding copyright issues linked to generative AI.
Google’s announcement explicitly listed seven products covered by this legal protection. These include Duet AI in Workspace, encompassing text and image generation in Google Docs, Gmail, Slides, and Meet, as well as Duet AI in Google Cloud. Other products mentioned are Vertex AI Search, Vertex AI Conversation, Vertex AI Text Embedding API, Visual Captioning on Vertex AI, and Codey APIs. Notably absent from this list is Google’s Bard search tool.
Google’s commitment is clear: “If you are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved.”
What makes Google’s approach unique is its two-pronged strategy for intellectual property indemnification. Under this initiative, Google extends protection to both the training data and the outcomes generated from its foundational AI models.
This means that if a legal dispute arises due to the use of Google’s training data that incorporates copyrighted material, Google will take on the responsibility of addressing the legal challenges.
While indemnification related to training data is not a novel concept, Google’s clarity on this aspect addresses the desires of its customers for explicit confirmation of this protection, particularly when utilizing AI technologies.
Furthermore, Google extends protection to users who may face legal action concerning the results they obtain while using the company’s foundational AI models. This encompasses situations where users create content that bears resemblance to published works. However, Google emphasizes that this safeguard is contingent on users not intentionally infringing upon the rights of others with the content they generate.
It’s important to note that Google’s move parallels similar commitments from its industry counterparts. Microsoft has pledged to assume legal responsibility for enterprise users of its Copilot products, while Adobe has committed to protecting enterprise customers from copyright, privacy, and publicity rights claims when using Firefly.
The tech industry’s collective efforts to protect users in the realm of AI-generated content reflect the growing importance of copyright and intellectual property considerations in this evolving landscape. However, Google’s omission of its Bard search tool from this protection raises intriguing questions about the boundaries of this commitment.