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Help protect our art and data from AI companies

We are the European Guild for Artificial Intelligence Regulation. Join us.
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A proposal to regulate AI in EU

Our Manifesto for AI companies regulation in Europe

We are a group of artists, creatives, publishers and associations from all over Europe united in bringing to the public attention how our data and intellectual properties are being exploited without our consent, on a scale never seen before. Such an unprecedented situation has led us to join our forces to reach out to the European Institutions and have our voices heard.  If you believe that your data and creative work should not be exploited with impunity for profit by a handful of corporations, join us in supporting this battle. 

Summer 2022 has seen the rise of a new, incredible technology: generative AIs. 

These forms of artificial intelligence can generate images, videos, texts, programs, audios, 3d models and other contents from textual prompts or other media given by the user. To do so, an AI needs to be trained on a dataset of media. The quality of a generative AI is defined by the quality of its dataset – for example, in regard to images, the more pictures and illustrations an AI learns on, the more styles the AI is able to replicate and the more things it can do. Therefore, the products sold by AI companies are the result of operations on datasets, which contain all sorts of data, including millions of copyrighted images, private pictures and other sensitive material. These files were collected by indiscriminately scraping the internet without the consent of the owners and people portrayed in them and are currently being used by AI companies for profit. This use of sensitive materials and biometric data (such as voice actors’ voices) is foremost a violation of privacy and image rights, introducing new dangerous avenues for identity thefts through unprecedented means. At the same time, some of the companies offering content generation services via generative AI are using and manipulating works and names of artists to train their Ais, which allows them to offer on the market the chance to imitate the styles of these artists and their work with the promise of being able to generate original images for any use, making their product irresistible. This exploitation of our work and datas not only does not respect the rights that regulate our society, presenting a huge security risk: it is also severely damaging the art market, potentially scarring it forever. We see this as only the beginning of a crisis that will afflict all sorts of jobs and occupation, whether they are creative jobs or not. The art market is the first one to be affected only because of its structural vulnerabilities, which make it an easy prey. Every time a groundbreaking technology comes to life, our society has to oversee its deployment in order to avoid any harm or infringing of human rights. This hasn’t happened with AI technology yet. It is time to change this. 

These are the key points we want to enforce:

1) Any data related to people or works, in any form, be it digital data – such as text files, audios, videos or images – or captured from reality by camera, microphones or any other mean of registration, shall not be used to train AI model without the explicit and informed consent of its owner. We ask for an extension to the AIs of the principles protecting personal data previously introduced by the GDPR and the introduction of a new form of protection specifically for this kind of exploitation: the “training right”. This protection establishes three alternative scenarios for AI companies when it comes to using a content for training: the impossibility of using said content without explicit consent of the holder; the authorization of the holder to use the content without restrictions; the authorization to use the content regulated by a licensing commercial contract between the parts with clear terms and conditions.  

2) Using the names of people, stage names or titles of works not covered by a license to exploit for AI training shall be prohibited for those software that allows the use of textual or vocal prompt to generate images, videos, texts or audio. 

3) Using videos, images, audios and texts not covered by a license to exploit for AI training shall be prohibited for those software that allow the upload of media contents to generate an image, a video, a text or an audio, such as image-to-image software.

4) A “human and machine readable” indexing and certification system shall be established, reporting all AIs’ activities and the full content of their datasets of images, texts, videos and sounds, be them fully or partially reproduced. Captions such as “entirely made by AI”, “made using AI-generated material” should become the standard.

5) The distinction between “copyrighted material” and “public domain" is no longer adequate to identify what can and cannot be used for the datasets. Learning datasets contain personal sensitive data, protected by the privacy laws, but not by copyright. We can find examples of material released when it would not have been possible to foresee its use in a dataset to train an AI model. Any data used in training a model shall be curated and authorized by its legitimate owner and willingly inserted in the dataset by its author with full knowledge of it. AI companies shall produce internally original materials for the training or license external material following terms and contracts previously established with the authors or rightful holders of said material.


Here you can find the manifesto translated to different languages:

English version

Spanish version

French version

German version

Italian version

Romanian version

Swedish version


Currently 8.371 people signed the manifesto.

(updated 2023/11/04) 

Become a supporter of our proposal
Sign the manifesto
  • Help us getting our voice heard.
  • Become part of the European alliance against exploitation of our art and data.
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Supporters

Ambassadors and Associations

EGAIR members

People, associations and companies signing the manifesto

These are some of the more prominent supporters of our cause. You can find the full list by clicking here.

MeFu
Ligue des Auteurs Professionnels
Initiative Urheberrecht
eif
central vapeur
SNAC
Illustratoren Organisation
Autori di Immagini
AIDAC
Associazione Nazionale Attori Doppiatori
ANART
ANAC
AUT-Autori
C.atwork
CENDIC
ICWA
Sindacato Nazionale Scrittori
Strade
Unione Nazionale Autori
BAM! Popauteurs
Doblatge Unida de Barcelona
Association of Illustrators
Concept Art Association
ARTE ES ÉTICA
Illustrators Platform
Asociación de Dibujantes de Argentina
ARF! Festival
Napoli Comicon
Treviso Comic Book Festival
Gigaciao
Fumettologica
Bao Publishing
Coconino Press
And more...

To address European Union specific issues

Why EGAIR?

Concept Art Association of America launched its own battle to address the problems raised with the introduction of AI image generation services. They are doing great, but they are acting in the best way possible according to the US law which is very different from the european ones. That's why EGAIR was born, to follow a EU specific path of regulation proposal.

We believe in the importance of fighting for AI companies regulations simultaneously and together.

You can help EGAIR

EGAIR is a non profit guild. Donate to help us achieve all of our goals

By funding this campaign, you’ll help us bear the legal fees necessary to enforce a EU-level regulation of how data are collected for AI training. We expect the work to go on for at least 2 years, with a monthly expense of 3.000€. The expenses you are financing are the following: - Working with the institutions to change the AI ACT. This is by far the most expensive objective, as it involves of specialists in copyright law and data processing and an extensive communication effort with the European institutions in Bruxelles. - Communication activities gathered towards all the professionals in the creative field. In order to maintain the campaign’s momentum, we will need an ongoing communication strategy towards investors and members of the global creative community. - Media relations activities. - Social media strategies and content creation to raise awareness in the institutions and in the Government.

Funds Raised

EGAIR lobbying experts

EGAIR works with copyright and international human rights experts

We have asked the help of VERA Studio, a company founded by Francesco Schlitzer. Francesco and his colleagues have a unique and invaluable experience in the copyright and intellectual property rights fields.

In 2012 thanks to VERA Italy became the first EU country to liberalize video and music artists' proprietary rights, which used to be badly managed and not distributed to those artists by an inefficient monopoly, which got liquidated at a later time. In 2021 VERA successfully fought to change the text of the European directive on copyright to protect the economic rights of those artists whose work is exploited by streaming platforms. Another reason behind our choice is that VERA Studio doesn't have as clients any company involved in the art, movie or entertainment fields, working exclusively in defense of artists' and creatives' rights. During the last three months, VERA has offered us its counseling in setting up the early stages of our campaign and the activities with the European institutions for free.

If you want to know more:

http://www.verastudio.it/
https://www.vanityfair.it/mybusiness/news/15/3/4/imbizzarriti-contrasto-books-diritti-attori

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FAQ

Who is EGAIR and what does it do?
It is a European alliance founded by creatives, professionals and associations from all over the artistic fields to represent them unitedly in their relations with European institutions and the Media on the issue of the regulation of AI applications in the creative arts.
What do you think about the use of AI in the creative industries? What are your positions on the issue?
We believe that major software and AI companies are carrying out an illegitimate exploitation of data for the training of Ai TTI (Text to Image). It is a process that violates both privacy rights and copyrights at different levels on global scale. We believe that the data used in the AI training can be only exploited with the prior consent of the rightful owners or transferred under conditions in accordance with a proper license of use in the case of copyrighted data.
Are there similar initiatives in other Countries?
Yes. In America, the CAA (Concept Art Association) has promoted a fund-raising campaign to work on the US legislative platform and regulate the use of AIs.
Is there an extended alliance at international level? Who is part of it and how is it structured?
Yes. Right now, CAA and EGAIR and Arte es Ética are allied in the defense of the profession and act as a hub for all associations related to their areas of competence: EGAIR acts as a point of reference for all associations in the different European countries, CAA for all those in the USA and in the rest of the world and AÉ for those in Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, etc.
Are you against to the use of Artificial Intelligence in the visual arts simply because you cannot earn anything from it?
No. The main problem is not the remuneration, it is rather the impossibility of denying consent to the data exploitation even for an adequate economic offer. Although our proposal also includes the option of a possible economic counterpart for the exploitation of any form of data that is covered by copyright for machine learning purposes, the point is not the lost profit, but the predatory exploitation of data. Before any question about economic arrangements, we believe that consent is the priority as it concerns not only content creators, but also the right to privacy of every free human being.

Would you accept to license your work for AI training?
Should our proposal become a reality, this will depend on the free choice of individual creators. More specifically, we believe that licensing one's work for a fee should be done according to detailed terms of use, including, for example, a time duration of the license of use, limits of applicability to specific services and countries etc. Today this is not possible, because the data is exploited without asking for any authorization. What is missing at present is precisely the possibility of choice. The willingness or unwillingness to give up the rights to exploit one's own data now is irrelevant: we want this to change by returning the freedom of choice to individuals.
Is your position taken on a matter of principle or economics?
It is a question of rights and labor protection, it’s impossible to separate the two levels. They are first and foremost universal principles, but they also have an immediate practical, hence also economic, implication. In rights, principle and economic implication are two sides of the same coin exactly as it was for the institution of copyright.
Don't you think you are anachronistic? Doesn't Artificial Intelligence represent an inevitable future?
We do not think we are anachronistic simply because we are in no way against this technology, and indeed we can only hope for a future in which it can help us improve everyone's living conditions. We are against the misuse of data. We think the problem is in defining a better agreement between human beings, not between man and machine. There are already companies using machine learning-based technologies applied to creative fields that demonstrate how a virtuous way of applying them is not only possible but also desirable for the good of society. You can look up the cases of companies such as Kioxia for their "Phaedo" project realized within the "Tezuka 2020" exhibition, or the use of curated music material by AIMI for the production of generative radio stations: in both cases there was no illicit exploitation of data, and all the people involved, from entrepreneurs to technicians to artists, consciously collaborated and then made an economic and artistic profit.
Does EGAIR keep anything from the money I'm donating?
Absolutely not. EGAIR and all its members work only for political activism, spending their own time, money and professionalism exclusively for the cause, just like you who are funding it.
Are you really going to be able to carry on such a difficult and harsh battle using only those funds you are asking for?
No. We want to involve all those companies that work in the creative field, such as publishing and production houses, animation studios, fashion houses, design labels, creative studios and those companies that manufacture all the materials needed for creativity, be them traditional art or digital art material. We hope that each and every one of these entities will also help us on the operative side, offering logistical, strategical and economical support.
I have no idea of what you are talking about. Should I really be worried? Can you give me some more information?
Sure! Feel free to go to our useful links section of our website.
Are you luddites? Are you against progress?
Absolutely, categorically no. Here’s an example: in the printing field technology has made incredible steps forward, yet there are things that can’t be printed freely (such as money, otherwise we wouldn’t have needed this campaign!) or that can’t be mechanically reproduced for profit without publishing and editorial rights (movies, books, comics, etc.). This happens not because of limits in the technology, but because of ethical and normative rules. Likewise, we don’t want to limit the technology and we hope it can reach even more amazing and incredible feats. We just believe that technology has to be used with more respect for the community, and not just to speed up the run towards a technological monopoly and a market ruled by few private entities. We hope for a world in which using AIs for visual projects can be done without having to ethically compromise ourselves.
I'm not a EU citizen, but I want to help. Any suggestion?
We will accept any kind of help and donation, but check out the Concept Art Association's gofundme as well. They are working to enforce AI companies regulations in the US.
Get in touch with us

Do you have any question?

Do you want to join EGAIR as a team member? Do you have a problem and you can't find a team member from your country? Fill this form.

Here you can find EGAIR members actively working on AI regulation.
You can reach out to the representative from your country by clicking on their name.

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