A lawyer from OpenAI, named Sy Damle, was involved in creating a letter that was sent to members of Congress. The letter argued against passing new copyright laws related to artificial intelligence (AI). The letter was signed by various organizations, including the American Library Association and the R Street Institute. Although Damle did not sign the letter himself, the document was authored by someone with the initials “SDamle,” which is believed to be him. Damle has previous experience as the general counsel at the U.S. Copyright Office and currently works for a law firm called Latham & Watkins.
The letter’s creation highlights the influence that big tech companies like OpenAI have on AI policy discussions in Washington. The issue of AI and copyright is still relatively new, and Congress relies on outside advice to shape its policies. Damle has previously represented OpenAI in a lawsuit regarding copyright infringement claims. He has also testified against AI-driven changes to copyright law in a congressional hearing.
OpenAI and the law firm Latham & Watkins have faced criticism for their involvement in the letter’s creation. Critics argue that the influence campaign by AI firms like OpenAI is diverting attention away from addressing the immediate harms caused by AI technology. The letter argues that existing copyright law is sufficient to address any concerns related to generative AI and warns against introducing restrictive measures for AI developers.
Other signatories of the letter confirmed that they were invited to join by Damle and agreed with the arguments made in the document. However, some experts, including a former general counsel at the Copyright Office, dispute Damle’s claims about the legality of using written works in generative AI.
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