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University of Portland Clark Library

AI Tools and Resources

Using Copyrighted Materials

Generative AI tools are trained on collections of material gathered from many places. Some AI image and text generation tools have been trained on material scraped from web pages without the consent or knowledge of the web page owners. 

There are several ongoing lawsuits claiming that the use of artists’ or writers' content, without permission, to train generative AI is an infringement of copyright. The courts will have to decide if this is justified fair use or infringement.

Ethical Question:

  • Do generative AI tools violate copyright? Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided by the laws of the United States to the creators of "original works of authorship."

What can you do? When using AI tools, be cautious about entering or uploading any copyrighted material into a prompt. Here are a few scenarios to consider: 

  • If you are entering copyrighted material into a generative AI tool, you are protected by Fair Use as long as you use the information for educational purposes and in a way that follows the University's Code of Academic Integrity.
  • Don't enter copyrighted material into the prompts of any generative AI tool if you are not doing so for educational purposes. This may violate copyright. 
  • Be cautious about entering your own work into a generative AI prompt, as that material may be shared with others without acknowledging your authorship. 

Protecting Data Privacy

Information shared with Generative AI tools using default settings is not private and could expose proprietary or sensitive information to unauthorized parties. As with any technology, data breaches are also a risk. 

What can you do?

  • Don't share personally identifiable information such as addresses, emails, birthdays, passwords, etc. Also, while chat AIs can seem conversational you do not want to divulge any private information that you might share with a therapist, doctor, or other trusted human confidant. 
  • Don't enter workplace data classified as confidential (Levels 1 and 2, including non-public research data, financial data, human resources records, student records, etc.) into publicly available Generative AI tools, in accordance with the University’s Information Security Policy.
  • If using AI tools to summarize meeting minutes or write emails, remove any information that could identify you or your colleagues.
  • Learn more about Digital Privacy. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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