Media magnate Barry Diller issued a blunt warning last week that publishers must use copyright law to protect their content from unfair use by generative AI .
“You can’t have fair use when there is an unfair machine that knows no bounds,” Diller said, speaking at the Sir Harry Evans Global Summit in Investigative Journalism in London, according to Financial Times.
Diller, the chair of Dotdash Meredith parent IAC, is working with News Corp and Axel Springer to protect their journalism from the AI threat.
“We are leading a group that is going to say we are going to change copyright law if necessary, to work to say that you cannot take our materials or we will litigate,” Diller said, Financial Times continues. “What you publish you have the right to control.”
This is occurring as Google has announced a change in “the way it presents search engine results by using artificial intelligence,” as Matt Novak writes on Forbes.
The move amounts to “dropping a nuclear bomb on an online publishing industry that’s already struggling to survive,” Novak adds.
The problem is that the shift “could significantly decrease the traffic that Google sends to publishers’ sites, as more people get what they need right from the Google search page instead,” NiemanLab writes.
“They could also do some damage to the affiliate revenue that publishers derive from product recommendations,” it adds.
Novack contends that “Google is essentially creating answers to hard questions using all of the content available on the open web, but Google Search users won’t have to visit the pages that actually contain that information. And the modern online publishing industry requires users to visit a page in order for those eyeballs to be turned into ad dollars and subscriptions.”
Diller argued, “I think it is a terrible mistake for publishers to allow [AI] to suck up every known piece of work that has ever been done.”