Korean IP Law The Korean Law Blog by IPG Legal Law Firm

Chat GPT by OpenAI has increased employee productivity and some employers have even incorporated it into their work systems for improved efficiency. However, Chat GPT brings up many legal issues that have not, yet, been litigated in courts.

Chat GPT, an “artificial intelligence” (AI) service developed by OpenAI, has gained widespread popularity for its remarkable ability to comprehend language patterns and structures. Many companies, including those in the legal industry, are considering leveraging Chat GPT for tasks that require human-like thinking. However, the utilization of Chat GPT raises significant legal concerns, particularly in relation to intellectual property (IP) rights.

Data Mining and Legal Issues in Korea

To train AI models like Chat GPT, extensive data mining is required, involving the collection of substantial amounts of text-based data. Web scraping and crawling techniques are commonly employed to extract relevant information from websites. However, indiscriminate web scraping may run afoul of Korean laws, such as the Korean Copyright Act and the Korean Unfair Competition Prevention Act (UCPA). Notably, Korean courts have recognized instances where web scraping or crawling infringed upon database rights or constituted unauthorized use of others’ achievements under the UCPA.

Korean Case Examples

Several legal disputes serve as examples of the potential legal issues surrounding web scraping and crawling activities. In a case between JobKorea and Saramin HR, the latter crawled recruiting information from JobKorea’s website without permission, resulting in an infringement of JobKorea’s database rights.

Similarly, Enha Wiki Mirror infringed upon the reproduction and transmission rights of Rigveda Wiki by crawling and using its content.

In a dispute between Yanolja and GC Company, the court ruled that GC Company’s crawling constituted unauthorized use of others’ achievements. These cases demonstrate the legal implications of copying substantial amounts of databases through web scraping or crawling for training AI models like Chat GPT, potentially infringing on database rights or unauthorized use of others’ achievements under the Copyright Act and the UCPA.

Legal Considerations for AI Model Development

Companies intending to develop AI models similar to Chat GPT must ensure that their training data collection methods comply with the law. It is crucial to recognize that many websites now block access to robots using the robots exclusion standard (robots.txt). This precautionary measure aims to lawfully collect training data and avoid potential legal repercussions.

Samsung’s Temporary Restrictions on AI Generative AI Tools

In light of the accidental leakage of internal data to Chat GPT, Samsung has implemented temporary restrictions on the use of generative AI tools, including Chat GPT, on its company-owned devices. This ban also encompasses services like Microsoft’s Bing and Google’s Bard. The objective is to establish a secure environment for utilizing generative AI within the company. Samsung is actively developing in-house AI tools for software development and translation to address these concerns.

Data Privacy, Copyright Violations, and Accuracy Concerns

The popularity of Chat GPT has raised concerns regarding data privacy, potential copyright violations, and the accuracy of its responses. To mitigate these risks, Samsung has instructed employees not to submit company-related information or personal data through generative AI tools. Retrieving and deleting data from external servers has proven challenging, and an internal survey revealed that approximately 65% of participants perceive security risks associated with using generative AI tools.

OpenAI’s and Industry Response

OpenAI, the organization behind Chat GPT, has been working diligently to address these controversial issues and implement privacy controls. As a testament to their commitment, Chat GPT services were recently resumed in Italy following the introduction of new privacy measures. Other major businesses, including Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan, have also imposed restrictions on employees’ use of Chat GPT due to similar concerns.

Industry-wide Challenges

Beyond Samsung, other prominent tech companies in Korea, such as LG and SK Hynix, are grappling with the establishment of guidelines for utilizing generative AI tools. The complexities surrounding data privacy, intellectual property, and legal compliance present significant challenges that necessitate careful consideration and guidance in adopting these advanced AI technologies.

The growing prominence of Chat GPT and generative AI tools has spurred a range of legal implications. Concerns regarding data privacy, copyright violations, and the accuracy of AI-generated responses have prompted companies like Samsung to implement temporary restrictions. It is crucial for organizations to navigate these legal challenges proactively, ensuring compliance with IP laws and safeguarding sensitive information in the AI-driven era. As the industry evolves, the development of comprehensive guidelines and regulatory frameworks will be pivotal in addressing these complex legal issues.

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