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Anti-SLAPP laws could protect AI companies

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Anti-SLAPP

The use of artificial intelligence software to create art and other intellectual property has become a hot-button topic. AI companies claim that their software merely references other works in the same way that human artists and writers do.

Meanwhile, artists and other creatives allege that AI programs infringe on protected IPs. Anti-SLAPP laws could play a role in determining the success or failure of lawsuits arising from the use of AI.

What is anti-SLAPP law?

Anti-SLAPP law arose out of a desire to curb the use of the legal system as a means to silence criticism by threatening critics with legal action.

California’s anti-SLAPP law makes it possible for defendants in lawsuits to petition to strike claims against them on the basis that the plaintiff is attempting to infringe the defendant’s constitutionally protected right to free speech by pursuing the lawsuit.

How may anti-SLAPP law apply to AI?

AI companies argue that their software facilitates the creation of new intellectual property that constitutions an expression of the software user’s free speech. Meanwhile, opponents say that the software merely copies the work of artists and uses it to create copyright-infringing derivatives.

How can a plaintiff defend against an anti-SLAPP claim?

Plaintiffs facing anti-SLAPP claims must either prove that anti-SLAPP statutes do not apply or demonstrate evidence that the plaintiff will probably win the lawsuit if it goes forward.

Historically, anti-SLAPP laws have protected activists, consumers and journalists from big companies. However, in the case of AI, corporate giants may turn the table on independent artists and other creators in an attempt to get lawsuits dismissed.