Government considers new AI legislation to safeguard news publishers' rights

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav proposes balanced approach for security and equity in AI legislation, consultations are underway.

By  Storyboard18Apr 5, 2024 9:47 AM
Government considers new AI legislation to safeguard news publishers' rights
Publishers across board and the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) has been in constant dialogue with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to push for introducing changes in the amendment to existing IT rules. (Image source: Moneycontrol)

The government is in the process of drafting a new legislation on artificial intelligence (AI) with the aim of safeguarding the interests of news publishers and content creators, while also mitigating potential harm to users.

According to media reports, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnav, the proposed law is intended to strike a balance by ensuring robust security measures and equitable distribution of benefits among news publishers, content creators, and stakeholders in AI-driven technologies such as large language models.

This legislation could either be an independent statute or a component of the Digital India initiative, which is slated to replace the 24-year-old Information Technology Act of 2000.

According to Vaishnav, preserving livelihoods amidst these technological changes are as important asrespecting creativity, both in terms of intellectual property rights and financial considerations.

He also said that these perspectives have been communicated to technology companies, with broad consensus reached in principle.

While acknowledging that similar challenges are being faced globally, industry representatives have expressed willingness to collaborate with the government in finding solutions.

As per reports, one suggestion has been the establishment of a self-regulatory body, but the minister expressed reservations about its effectiveness, favouring legislative regulation instead.

Consultations with industry stakeholders have already taken place, and a formal consultation paper will be launched post-elections, paving the way for legislative action.

Last year, major news organisations across the world have written an open letter directed at regulators and AI-focused tech companies. They called on lawmakers around the world to frame rules to protect copyright in the use of news content for training generative AI models. They also want regulators to facilitate compensation for publishers for the AI-centric use of their published news content by tech giants. The open letter was signed by Getty Images, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, European Publishers’ Council, Gannett, Authors Guild, European Pressphoto Agency, National Press Photographers Association, News Media Alliance, and National Writers Union.

In India too, publishers across board and the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) is in constant dialogue with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to push for introducing changes in the amendment to existing IT rules.

First Published on Apr 5, 2024 9:29 AM

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