Study: Digital watermarks and AI will expedite copyright cases

Study: Digital watermarks and AI will expedite copyright cases

Digital watermarks combined with AI will speed up the resolution of legal cases about copyright infringements, a new study says.

The technology would enhance the assessment of data about potential breaches and make it easier for lawsuits to be be brought. It will also lead to more evidence being available to the courts.

But the increasing use of watermarking – which makes it easier to detect copying – and AI is also likely to mean a proliferation of small-scale disputes, experts have warned.

Existing laws means AI can be used for arbitration and mediation, through examining data and supporting the use of robot judges to help make decisions.

The study was carried out by Professor James Griffin from the University of Exeter Law School and others. Researchers applied an existing AI system to copyright case law, to see how it could read and understand cases and produce outcomes in disputes concerning 3D printing. They found more complex watermarks will lead to faster and more accurate resolutions.

At the moment, digital fingerprint watermarks are used within digital services such as YouTube. It is possible to use such watermarks on traditional physical media and within newer technologies such as 3D printing.

Professor Griffin said: “AI will revolutionise the administration of law due to the intersection between digital watermarking and machine learning. It can use digital fingerprint watermarking and natural language programming technologies in order to resolve 3D printing copyright disputes quickly and efficiently.

“This provides evidence about infringements in more detail than ever before and provides a means for computers to directly interface with this information for the purposes of copyright enforcement. The law in these areas is encouraging the technology to grow in particular directions which will further increase the spread of the law and its interaction with AI.

“This will mean more disputes – and consequent to this, potentially more discussion about the boundaries of copyright subsistence.”

The study outlines how AI can assist in streamlining processes ahead of online copyright infringement hearings and support a faster and more neutral process of 3D printing copyright dispute resolution via the use of ADR methods and with the aid of machine learning.

Professor Griffin said: “The integration of AI in arbitration promotes consistency and predictability in decision-making. AI-powered analytics can help identify patterns and trends in past arbitration decisions, enabling parties and arbitrators to make more informed and reliable judgments.

“AI can assist arbitrators with their case and process management, the gathering and analysis of facts as well as with their decision-making by providing prediction models.”

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