A Spanner in the Works? The Interface Between Copyright and Artificial Intelligence

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Held on October 23, 2018.

Training AI systems to appear more recognizably “human” requires data – lots and lots of data. With data sets being identified as increasingly valuable, they are also increasingly the subject of copyright claims – meaning that AI and Canadian copyright law will inevitably interface and, potentially, clash. Might fair dealing offer a safe harbour for the development of improved AI? Do we need a bespoke exception to infringement to facilitate innovations such as improved machine learning and natural language processing?

AI is also increasingly being used to create works. Traditionally, copyright protection hinges on original human authorship. If the intellectual effort contemplated by the originality test is ‘artificial’ will the resulting work not be original? Will Canadian courts simply view AI as a tool for human authorship? Is there a need for copyright laws to be amended to address works created by or using AI?

Listen in for a lively discussion on whether Canada’s copyright system is equipped to handle the challenges and opportunities of the artificial intelligence revolution.


Prof. Teresa Scassa  University of Ottawa
Paul Barter Paul Barter and Associates
Maya Medeiros Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP


Catherine Lovrics Bereskin & Parr LLP 

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