Artificial Intelligence Legal Issues with Sarah Waldbuesser
August 3, 2023
Did you know that if you use the creative output of an AI tool without editing it, you don’t actually own the intellectual property (IP)?
Regardless of what context you provide to the tool. Regardless of what proprietary information or trade secrets you supply the AI tool to improve the output you get from the AI tool.
Which means that blog content, those sales pages, that course content isn’t actually yours unless you’ve made significant edits of your own.
Have I scared you yet?
I’m sorry! But it is a scary thing, and I do want you to be as informed as possible so you can use AI tools strategically and safely all while saving you time, money, and resources (oh, and without worrying the law is going to come down hard on you).
In this episode of Talk Copy to Me, Sarah Waldbuesser and I dive into the complex artificial intelligence legal issues surrounding AI output and content creation. We’ll talk all about what intellectual property is, everything you need to know about trademark and copyright, how to source information given to you from AI tools, and how to safeguard yourself and your business when using AI as an asset.
Here are the artificial intelligence legal issues Sarah and Erin want you to know about
Why it’s so hard to choose a business name, and Sarah’s approach to naming her business Destination Legal
Whether there are any legal issues around using AI to help you name your business
The importance of copyright and trademark protection when using AI in marketing
Why you should be verifying information obtained from AI tools and ensuring proper sourcing before publishing anything
If it’s possible to maintain privacy when using AI tools for your marketing
Why it’s important to be cautious about the information shared with AI tools
The artificial intelligence legal issues that come with using AI-generated content
Why you should use AI as a tool, not a replacement, and the importance of exercising creativity while doing so
Whether AI will collapse upon itself as it keeps consuming generic, AI-created content
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
How to search for trademarks using USPTO.gov in the United States
Additional Talk Copy to Me episodes you may like if you’re interested in artificial intelligence
Is AI Good or Bad? (and the Pros and Cons of AI for Marketing)
AI for Copywriting, Content Creation, and All the Other Marketing Tasks with Menekse Stewart
Quotes about AI legal issues from Sarah Waldbuesser and Erin Ollila
“AI can be a great tool, but it is definitely not the end of the story.” — Sarah Waldbuesser
“If you are going to use [AI] to help you with naming conventions, you have to be very clear on whether people already using them already.” — Erin Ollila
“Google it. See what comes up. See if someone else within your industry is using it.” — Sarah Waldbuesser
“The lesson with AI in general at this point is that it can be a great tool, but it is definitely not the end of the story.” — Sarah Waldbuesser
I’m so frustrated with us as a society that we’re only always looking for shortcuts for everything. And I think in some ways, this is gonna be the downfall of our society, is this, like, convenience shortcut factor.” — Erin Ollila
“[AI tools are] not…this is not a replacement. This is not gonna do everything for you.” — Sarah Waldbuesser
“If you take content from an AI tool, and you use that content as if it were you who created it, you don’t have the intellectual property because you did not create that content.”— Erin Ollila
“Copywriting and copyright are two very different things. They’re spelled differently for one, but copywriting is when you write words as part of marketing assets, like your sales pages, like podcast show notes. Copyright is a legal thing — a legal protection.” — Erin Ollila
“I don’t think it’s gonna wipe out the copywriting industry or similar… the people that want good copywriting and want customization and brand persuasion are still gonna go to copywriters. They’re not gonna expect an AI tool to create it for them.”— Sarah Waldbuesser
“To know that someone has gone out of their way to compliment you – even if it’s the lightest compliment, just to mention something that you’ve done – is such a good key of reference that you’re doing things well, and you’re doing things right.” — Erin Ollila
Do everything we talked about in the episode! All joking aside, Sarah recommends doing the work to make sure you’re using AI correctly to avoid any artificial intelligence legal issues in the future.
She says, “I feel like we gave some pretty good homework assignments [in the episode]! But again, I think the most important one is just to put your own spin on [the AI output] and do that fact checking. Especially if you’re using it for naming, too; just double check things at uspto.gov to make sure they aren’t trademarked first.”
Sarah Waldbuesser, Esq., is an attorney for coaches and online business owners. After several years at a law firm and a few career jumps, she ended up falling in love with online business and loves helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams in a smart and protected way. She is also a wife and mama, traveler, and food and wine lover. When not at her computer, she loves hanging with her kiddos, having wine with friends, flying around the globe and connecting with other online business owners.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
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Here’s the transcript for episode 084 about artificial intelligence legal issues with guest expert Sarah Waldbuesser
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
ai, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence legal issues, ai legal issues, trademark, copyright, legal, written, intellectual property, tool, create, content, Destination Legal
Erin Ollila, Sarah Waldbuesser
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends. Welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hey everyone, today I am here with Sarah wall bucer. And you may know her as the founder of destination legal and a smarty pants about all things legal. But what you may not know about her is that she is well traveled. All right, you may know that. But do you know some of the small things she’s done with traveling, such as kissing giraffes in Kenya, being inside pyramids in Egypt? or walking along rice paddies in India? All of that sounds incredible. Do you have a favorite one of those experiences?
Sarah Waldbuesser 00:57
Oh, that’s a tough one. But I have to say, not necessarily kissing a giraffe in Kenya. But definitely going on a safari in Africa has been one of my favorite experiences.
Erin Ollila 01:09
I love that you have used your love of travel and have that also influenced your business, you know the name of destination legal. I had listened to the episode that you did with Sarah on the copyright or on call podcast. And you had it kind of explained then about how you chose your name. And I’m going to kind of ask you that same question. Because I think it’s really interesting. For the people who are listening, I one, I will say I am not the best small name chooser, like business name, program name it takes, I can do a good job in it. But it takes me a while of suffering. But a lot of my clients, they’ll you know, when working with me for things like content strategy, or just their website. That’s they’re suffering through it. And they’re always like, Well, how do you do it? And I’m like, well, the same amount of suffering that you do. But I I don’t think they consider league legal approaches to it, which is so key. So do you think you could kind of give me a little review on how you chose your name and why it was important to approach it the way that you did?
Sarah Waldbuesser 02:10
Yeah, for sure. You know, as a trademark attorney, I get names and program names and business names thrown at me all day long. Sometimes people are a little too late and choosing and you know, we can talk about that a little bit. But in terms of destination legal, I went through a lot of names like I’m sure every business owner does, I had my notebook out and just thinking about things that I liked, and that were related to legal. And of course, you want to make it clear what you’re doing. But you also want it to be fun. And, you know, I think I had gone through a few names. And for me, of course, before I get too far down the road, I’m always first checking to see if it’s trademarked or not, because if it is I can’t use it. And so there were definitely a few that were taken. And I had to go back to the drawing board. And you know, I remember it very clearly one day that at the time I was living in Chicago, I was walking along Lake Michigan, and it just kind of hit me. You know, I love travel. Obviously, I wanted to build it into the brand. Legal, you know, some people think legal, isn’t that fun and kind of boring. And so I was like, How can I bring some personality into this? How can I make it interesting to me, and destination legal just kind of hit me. Not only did I want to be the destination for legal on the internet for online business owners, but also, you know, destinations around the world. And I have a laptop and I travel and I could be working from anywhere providing legal and that’s such an awesome thing that exists today that certainly didn’t exist 15 or even 10 years ago.
Erin Ollila 03:53
Yeah, I think that’s so interesting, right? Because I think what happens is so often we create these fun names, and we start kind of putting it into practice in our business, only to find out that maybe we’re infringing on someone’s trademark or copyright. Is that what you meant by people choosing names?
Sarah Waldbuesser 04:09
Yeah, exactly. So I’ve had so many clients and other people just come to me like I found the best name for my podcast or for my business or my program. I want to trademark it and then we go and look and oops, it’s been trademarked for years you actually can’t use it now. Right? And so you know, trademarks, for those of you that may not know is a way for you as a business owner to own your brand name, whether it’s the name of your business, a signature course a program, something like that. And then you really control it in the marketplace within your industry. Nobody else can use it. So as you are designing program names and things like that, you always want to look and see if somebody else has a trademark within your industry. It doesn’t. It doesn’t mean someone else can’t because it is industry specific. If you think about like dub Chocolate and Dove soap. They both have the trademark. But hopefully you’re not going to be confused. If I say I had the most delicious piece of stuff today, right? You know what I’m talking about. And trademarks exists so that people can distinguish goods and services from each other and who created it. So if you see me walking down the street with a cup of coffee and a green circle on it, you know that it’s Starbucks, right. And so trademarks are really awesome and powerful. But one thing that you want to learn is just like at the beginning of your name, search, like, here’s the takeaway. Google it, like before you, you know, go to your branding and marketing and all of that, Google it, see what comes up, see if someone else within your industry is using it. And then you can always go to uspto.gov, they have a public search engine there. And you can type it in and see if it is if it is trademarked. And if it is, or if anything close to it is then you’re going to want to go back to the drawing board.
Erin Ollila 06:02
This is such a great start to the conversation, because you know, I haven’t explicitly said it yet, since we started talking, but we’re really here to talk about how AI and legal work together, right, like, what can you do using artificial intelligence? What can’t you do? What shouldn’t you do? And I also hear of the many ways that people use AI, and there’s many in the marketing world, there’s writing blog content, there’s coming up with copywriting using copywriting frameworks to help write copy for landing pages or sales pages. There’s ideation there’s content, strategy, and SEO. But one thing that I do hear people using it for is naming or naming conventions, right, whether it’s for your own business, your podcast, your programs. And one thing that I found, I’m hoping I can remember who I heard this from, or I will add it to the show notes later. But I’d listen to someone in a conversation that they had either in a training or a podcast, and they mentioned, it might have been Maggie Peterson in one of her podcasts, I’ll find out and add to the show notes, because gonna drive me crazy now. But they mentioned, if you’re doing this, you really should be then double checking. Because she had done that as an idea. It was Maggie, I know this for sure. Now, she had done this for a test in a training that I’ve bought from her to see, are these names even valid? Are they going to give good output to find out if they’re interesting? And then are they giving name suggestions for businesses that already exist? And of the tests that she had done? All of the names were businesses that existed? So there’s the idea of, could it help with brainstorming? Sure. But if you’re going to use it to help you with naming conventions, you have to be very clear on are people already using it already? And there’s I think a lot of research when it comes to trademarks of of, is it legal to use these names? So do you have any suggestions on either how to use it? Or if we should even be using it in the first place for choosing? Yeah,
Sarah Waldbuesser 08:02
I mean, it’s that’s a really interesting story to to hear the that all of the names were actually businesses, you know, I think the lesson with AI in general at this point is that it can be a great tool, but it is definitely not the end of the story. Whatever comes out of it, there’s always going to be another step, whether you’re, you know, revising and tweaking the copy, or in this case, if you get I think it’s fine to use AI if you want to brainstorm names or slogans or things like that. But then you need to take it a step further and do exactly what I just said, which is then also put it into Google. And then also do it yourself or reach out to a trademark attorney to do a search and make sure that it’s not trademarked, because that’s going to be the most important step. So and you know, of course, the other thing to always keep in mind is, your next door neighbor could be putting in the exact same prompt and be getting the exact same things out, right. So you never really know. And that’s why it you know, is always going to be the starting point, not the ending point,
Erin Ollila 09:06
everyone that sums up our entire conversation so you can turn your earphones off. That’s the key, right? Is we need to also for copy for content for ideation for any of these things. We need to look at it as a tool that we use, but not as an employee. Because, you know, I love the next door neighbor suggestion, if you and I both use a tool like chat GPT or any other type of AI tool at this exact moment, and we ask the exact same question, very likely are we going to get the exact same answer because it is not a human? We’re not learning from a teacher in grade school, right? We’re not like learning from our co workers or our bosses on and they’re using their own filter of like how they approach things or how things strategically work together. We’re learning from like a bot technically that has pulled pieces from the internet to be able to regurgitate that to us based on how we asked.
Sarah Waldbuesser 10:03
Exactly. And here’s a little piece of interesting law that happened this week or kind of news, an attorney use chat GPT to help write a case brief to submit to court. Did you hear about this?
Erin Ollila 10:17
No, I’m, but I’m excited. Especially because the legal and the legal industry. Yeah.
Sarah Waldbuesser 10:22
So to submit legal arguments, which typically involve a lot of case law, which is, you know, precedent from past cases that have been decided. And it turns out that this brief the chat GPT, produced with a bunch of case law was actually not real cases. It it just grabbed who knows what, and so this attorney got in big trouble. But it was also just another reason why, of course, you shouldn’t be relying, you know, be careful, right? This is not, this is not a replacement, this is not going to do everything for you.
Erin Ollila 11:00
Yeah, I think I mean, I fall on both sides of the fence with my opinion on AI, and I’m pretty positive, that episode is going to come out before this episodes. You you if you’re listening already may know this, but I think some of the downfalls of it is, I’m so frustrated with the US as a society that we’re only always looking for shortcuts for everything. And I think in some ways, this is going to sound way crazier than I mean, but I think that’s going to be the downfall of our society is this like, convenience, shortcut factor. I like convenience. There are a billion things in my life, even just surrounding me in the room, there’s an air conditioner near me, right? There’s a coffee that I made with a coffee pot convenience is great. But I think we also have to just remember that we have a job to do as humans, you know, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re relying on it in some of these ways. I think it’s a fun tool and exciting tool at the same time. So I’m not there’s not a prejudice against using artificial intelligence. It’s just really kind of figuring out the line or the boundary that you have for yourself, and that we have as a human kind on what is too much of a shortcut, like what is a reliance, what is not okay, because it’s taking the power away from us. And not just the power, but taking that like creativity and like, push that we should give ourselves to create better work? And what is a helpful thing? And what could spark creativity? I’m not the expert in this. So I can’t make those, like draw that line for you or like make the suggestion. But I think that I think it’s easy enough to, for me to understand what my comfort level is. And I think you know, if you’ve learned anything from these episodes, maybe take what you’re given of this information, like using star as your legal guidance, even though she’s not a lawyer, in this case, this is just information and education. disclaimer here legal disclaimer, but use what you’re learning from this conversation to really kind of make that draw that line in the sand for yourself.
Sarah Waldbuesser 13:01
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And, you know, I think we’re kind of in this honeymoon phase right now, where we’re testing it out. And we’re trying it Oh, my gosh, it’s so much easier to write a blog post or do some emails or things like that. But I think our I think we are all smarter than that. And that that will end and week will kind of revert back. You know, I hope you know, that’s my hope that we will kind of revert back and that AI will totally take over everything. But I think you’re right, you kind of have to decide it for yourself. And another interesting legal piece is that under the terms of chat GPT if you are posting something or putting something out there that has been completely written by chat, GBT, you’re supposed to tell people, like their terms actually say you’re supposed to disclose this. If this is completely written by AI. And of course, we know that people aren’t necessarily doing that. But I feel like that’s the company’s way of trying to control things a little bit. Yeah,
Erin Ollila 14:07
I remember when I first learned of that, I was like, one, I thought it was excellent. And two, I was surprised that with the amount of research that I’ve done, because I was an early adopter, so I like I think I had it within a day or two of it coming out. Because I remember it was like two weeks after I was using it. And then all of a sudden, it was like everyone on the internet was talking about it. And I was like, What, no one else was using it the past two weeks. So I was pretty excited. For myself, I felt pretty cool to know about it, because I’m always behind on all of the trends in the world. But what I had remembered was as much research as I’ve done, I didn’t know that right away. So I thought and I’m trying to stay up to date with the research. So I think the average AI user doesn’t understand that that we should be disclosing things. And that’s within everywhere that we put it. I think this might be a nice little segue into a A slightly different conversation that I’d love to have. Because I loved that we started with trademark. I think that trademark is confusing but but people know it. If they’re running a business like they know they want to protect their business assets, like their names or their course names or podcasts, for example, where they, where it gets a little bit more confusing is what is copyright. So I will, I will leave that one to you. But to start quickly, just so everyone is very clear. I am a copywriter. I know most people know this, but I will. I’m always shocked on the amount of intelligent people who do not know this. The copywriting and copyright are two very different things. They’re spelled differently for one. But copywriting is when you write words as part of marketing assets, like your sales pages, like podcast, show notes, copy, right is a legal thing, a legal protection that I am going to butcher the explanations, I’m going to pass that ball over to you very quickly.
Sarah Waldbuesser 15:55
Yeah, so there’s an area of law called intellectual property. And basically, there’s three different types of intellectual property, I like to think of, of breaking it out into exactly what it is, which is intellectual intellect, what comes out of your mind and property, something you own because you created it. And the three types are trademark, copyright and patent. So trademark we talked about which covers, you know, we’re like, programs and names and slogans, logos and slogans. And then patents, which protect invention inventions, we aren’t even gonna go there, you know, none of us, probably none of us are in the patent world. It’s crazy over there. And then you have copyright. And so copyright protects content and other things that you create in a fixed form. So copyright law is automatic. It protects content, as I said, which in our world means anything you’re writing blog, post, social media posts, ebooks, regular books, courses, anything like that. It also protects images, photography, jewelry, music, videos, films, basically, you know, again, anything that someone is creating and putting out into the world in a fixed form, copyright law protects you own it, you get to say, you know who can use it, you get to say, who can sell it, who can’t sell it, who can do things with it, right, you have complete control. However, it’s a little bit more complicated than that, because similar to how we register a trademark, you can also register your copyright. And so while there are certain protections you have, people aren’t supposed to take your blog posts, they aren’t supposed to take your photos, if they do, you have some recourse, you can send a cease and desist letter, you can reach out to the social media or other platform and have it taken down. But you cannot sue or bring a claim for copyright infringement unless you have registered the copyright with the government. So you’re not going to do that for everything you create. But if you are an author, if you have a signature course, if you’re a photographer and have a few like key prints, you you probably will register it. And then if someone steals it, you automatically get damages. There’s no, there’s no fighting your way out of copyright infringement. You can’t say my VA did it, you can’t say it in No, you can’t say I just found it on Google, like, there’s no, you know, there’s no way out of it. And you can get fined anywhere from 750 to $150,000. So it’s a big thing to be aware of, especially, you know, working in the online world, make sure that the images you’re using you have permissions to use, you’re using them in the right way. Obviously, don’t take other people’s, you know, content. And, you know, the issues that kind of come up, interestingly, with AI and Chachi Beatty, is that whatever chat GPT puts out there cannot be copyrighted because under cannot be registered as copyright. Because what the law says that it has to be created by human. And so this is a big discussion right now, in the copyright world, people are challenging it, the copyright office is, you know, isn’t sure what to do with a lot of things, how much change, you know, how much of your own spin do you have to put on it? What if you’re just using it for an outline? You know, what about those, you know, the AIS that are creating images, who owns that and so, I’m not sure that the book is really written on all of this yet, you know, AI kind of upset the copyright world, we’ll see how it all plays out. But that’s just one thing to be aware of, if you’re using AI and Chachi Beatty, is that that whatever is coming out of that technically cannot be copyrighted and you can’t own it. Because of like, exactly what we said before your next door neighbor could be producing the exact same thing. Yeah, so
Erin Ollila 19:51
let me ask a follow up question to make sure I’m understanding it correctly. As you mentioned, that there’s you can like actually go and register a copyright but uh, other intellectual property, you have copyright for like, even if it’s not registered. So with those two different groups, when it comes to things, like we just mentioned about, like not being able to use it in courses or in a book or anything like that that’s been generated by AI is that same protection for both types of copyright, whether you’re registering and are not happy,
Sarah Waldbuesser 20:19
right? Law is automatic. Okay, let me just back up a sec, because I know it’s confusing. So whatever you create you own, the only differences with registered copyright is that you can bring a claim for infringement, you can still, you know, try to get other people to take it down or not use it through cease and desist and other things like that. But you can’t bring a legal claim. So it’s really a legal distinction. Does that clarify a little bit?
Erin Ollila 20:47
Yeah, totally. Because then basically, what you’re saying is anything that you may assume you have copyright for you do not if you are using something that you’ve generated from Ai, as part of the content that you’ve created?
Sarah Waldbuesser 21:01
Correct. So under Chechi, Beatty’s terms that it will say that you are the owner of whatever they put out that you put the prompt in for, they’ll say, you’re the owner, you know, that’s a, this is the legal gray area. So technically, you you own the copyright of that the copyright office would disagree, because that is not something that can be registered or own in that way, because it’s not, it’s not created by humans. So I, you know, I get that it’s like, a confusing area. And I think it’s gonna continue to develop. But you know, the bottom line is to just remember, someone else could have the
Erin Ollila 21:46
exact same thing. Yeah, and I do agree that it is confusing. And I think that like the developments will make things a little bit more confusing as they kind of happen. But I do think it’s actually easy. I think it’s if you take content from an AI tool, and you use that content, as if it were you who created it, you don’t have the intellectual property because you did not create that content. And you know, I’ve had clients asked me, Well, what if I just do like, for example, they wanted to use AI tools to create blog post, and just taking your like, average, middle school high school essay of intro conclusion, with a couple of supporting paragraphs, they wanted to know if they could use the AI content for the supporting paragraphs, but but do some storytelling for the intro and just like sum up the conclusion, like, would that be enough? And I was like, no, because it’s, here’s, I think an easy way to understand it. If you and I wrote a book together, or we wrote a blog post together, and you wrote the middle, and I wrote the beginning and the end, we would both get a byline, which would mean our name, we’re both getting the credit for the work that we did. So now imagine that you’re using an AI tool as an assistant, you do not own the whole credit, right? Because you did not finish it. So it goes right back to what we said in the beginning of the conversation. It’s like taking a taking the work and assuming that the end result is not intellectual property that is AI generated content that you did not create. I don’t care how many good questions you’ve asked that tool like you didn’t create it. So not to muddy this conversation up. But the way I look at it is, unless I have done the writing, I do not own the intellectual property. So have I used it to help me create content? You betcha. Because I also like to take shortcuts, even though I like to make make fun of the human race for their love of shortcuts. But what I’ve done is use it as like an idea generation. So even if I say, hey, write a whole blog post on topic XYZ. I’m going to read that. And I’m going to say, well, one, it’s going to be generic, right? But I’m going to say, Okay, well, that’s a really valid point. And I definitely want to make that as my first point in the article. So I take a little note on my little notepad and do that. And maybe I’ll say, write a blog outline, using these three sub points or whatever, so that I can have an organized thing I can jump into, but then every word is mine, every word that is my intellectual property, because I have completely put my own spin on something that’s kind of created an outline or an idea for me.
Sarah Waldbuesser 24:31
Yeah, absolutely. I love that analogy of kind of the byline. If you wrote something with someone, you know, in this case, you know, it looks like by Sara and Chet GPT. Right. That’s, that’s the reality of it. And I totally agree. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great tool. I think there are ideas and things that come out of it. And then exactly as you said, you know, each person will draw their own line there, but I use it as you to like it. goes and you know, topics and, you know, things like that.
Erin Ollila 25:05
Yeah. And I think that if maybe we kind of stick with the byline thing for a second one helpful tip would be, you know, remember we’ve talked about how it’s actually written within the terms of chat GBT and other some other tech tools as well, that you have to give credit or a disclaimer that some of the content was written by an AI generated, you know, tech tool. If that’s the case, you could give that byline like written by Aaron and chat GPT. That’s actually the legal like the right legal approach to what you should be doing. But it still doesn’t make it your intellectual property. So there’s the kind of differentiator like you’re following the rules by disclaiming that some of its generated by AI by giving that byline, whether it’s right there on the top of like, who’s written it, or whether it’s just like, dislike italics disclaimer at the bottom of the post, but it’s still not your intellectual property.
Sarah Waldbuesser 26:01
Right? And they’re saying, you know, Chechi Beatty is saying, like, sure you can, you can own this, I’m using air quotes, like you can own this. But your again, your neighbor can also own it too, right? And with with, technically, with copyright, and with IP, that wouldn’t be the case,
Erin Ollila 26:18
right? You know, so kind of funny when you said that, I don’t know why this popped in my head. But it reminds me of the idea of when you buy like an anniversary card for someone, it was my wedding anniversary yesterday of the day that we’re recording this. So I happen to get a couple of anniversary cards from like my grandma and my mom. They gave me a card, I now own that card that they’ve given me. But do I own the copyright for the words in the card? No, because I didn’t write them. So I try to share examples like this, because I think it helps sometimes understand like, Yes, I physically do on this car, it has been given to me it is within my ownership. But you wouldn’t like go to your next door neighbor, show them the card and be like, This is my intellectual property, because it just makes sense that you would not do that, right. That’s the same way when we create this content or copy, or any other type of way that we’re using it, of course, building ebooks, these kinds of things. It’s the same exact thing, we only own what we have done as a business owner. And I love that we kind of just kind of shifted a little bit into like permissions, right, because I think another thing that people are not considering. And this kind of goes back to what I had mentioned before about Maggie and the naming conventions, is sourcing. And I have such a bone to pick with that because you may see things that look like stats or facts. And you may even see that there is a source referenced within an AI tool. But it’s not always correct. Actually, I have seen it very often be incorrect. And the reason I bring this up is because what you’re doing is you’re misinterpreting someone else’s intellectual property, which gets you in that muddy waters of the whole copyright thing that we talked about earlier, I started my career writing content for really big brands. And it was very much drilled into us that we needed to fact check our sources, and we needed to give credit when credit was due. So as an example, I just wrote an article for descript, actually yesterday. And they have a really good article that their managing editor had just posted, I think this week or last week about the copyright laws that are happening of like people creating things, I’ll share that in the show notes. But I wrote an article and I had a I was trying to explain podcast analytics in this article. And I was talking about how Spotify and Apple have different names for downloads or listens, for example, Apple calls them plays, Spotify calls them screams. Now when I did this, I wanted to obviously share the definition of what those two podcasting apps consider streams are plays. I had to give credit to Spotify, I could not just use their words and like put within quotes, part of it was checking to make sure that if I am taking things word for word, I’m linking back to the original source. And that is because I do not have the permission to just start using the content that they have shared on the internet for my own personal use or commercial use seeing this case that I’m writing for a different company. So explain that because I think the average small business owner is not considering that the information they may get from AI is already protected by copyright, and that they need to do their due due diligence to source. So I guess part of what I’m saying is if you get a stat or you get something that seems like a fact or a definition, you cannot rely on the tool to make sure they’re giving you the correct source. You have to go out and do that on your own. And even if it doesn’t give you a source, you really, really really want to make sure that you source things to make sure you’re not taking things word for word from a different business. Do you have you seen anything different or is there any guidelines on how to approach the
Sarah Waldbuesser 30:01
No, I mean, I’ve seen similar and I’ve seen incorrect stats. And as I mentioned earlier incorrect caselaw coming out of, of there. So I couldn’t agree more again, you know, double checking, looking at at what the sources, there really aren’t guidelines yet that I’ve seen. I know the government is working on, you know, some regulations and things like that. I think they are kind of like, oh, boy, what do we do with all of this, you have to look at what you’re prompting what you’re asking. But from a from a larger, you know, more philosophical question like, are you just using it to take a shortcut, right. And if you are like, you might need to put in the legwork. And double check on again, like, especially if you’re sourcing things and as I said, copyright infringement is automatic. It’s statutory like they’re, you know, you cannot blame it on Chad CPT, that will not get you out of an infringement lawsuit.
Erin Ollila 31:03
I know one thing that I heard from a lot of my peers who especially peers in the literary world, and not so much the copywriting world is that they were very worried about their own intellectual property. Because the you know, the AI tools are not going out of their way to make sure that they’re processing information correctly. So another thing that I was very happy to find out after a few months of using chat GPT specifically, was that you can actually opt out of how well this has two topics. And one, I should probably say that so that you can opt out on the information that they collect from you. But it is speaking back to our previous thing that we were just saying, it’s very important to make sure we’re not using other people’s intellectual property. So do you. I guess maybe the question here is, could you explain more about why privacy within using these apps is important? And how to protect your own intellectual property that you input into a tool? Like try GPT?
Sarah Waldbuesser 32:03
Yeah. So again, going back to chat GPT is terms they will tell you there is no privacy here, like whatever you’re putting in, who knows? Who knows who’s looking at it, who knows how it’s going to be regurgitated? Everything like that, using other people’s IP is a big thing. There are certain rules around there’s a there’s a law called fair use, which is if you’re just using a piece of something, and it’s for satire, or you know, education, and you’re not making money, and then little clips are okay. But if you’re using chat GBT and all of a sudden it’s pulling chapters from somebody else’s book that you’re then using in a commercial use, again, that’s going to be copyright infringement. And so, you know, to your question on privacy, just be aware there is none right? Like, be careful what you’re putting in there. I, my personal opinion is that nothing is private anymore. And so it doesn’t bother me so much. But I know companies are really considering that. I was with some friends like last week that are lawyers and law firms. And they’re they are not allowed to use chat GBT for certain things because they cannot put client information and things in there. Because you don’t know who else is utilizing it on the other side. Right. And so I think the the cautionary tale is just to be aware, and be careful, because there really aren’t privacy rules around it yet.
Erin Ollila 33:29
Yeah. And then going back to one of the the first things you said when you just explain that is they’re not giving there’s no like flashing lights, or a disclaimer within these AI tools that say like, FYI, this was taken from X number of chapters from this specific book. So they’re not telling you where they’re getting their information. And I think that’s the like, the little tiny missing piece people aren’t considering. They’re thinking of it as Okay, well, this is sourced information. But if you’re sourcing it from something that is actually copyrighted, you don’t know that you don’t know where you’re getting the information. And the easy answer is factchecking. Right? But it’s like how we have to commit to when we take shortcuts to put in the extra work to validate those shortcuts. So, sure, take all the information you want from the tool, like take it all, but then check is it correct? Or is it copyrighted from does someone else own the intellectual property here? Because the tool itself is not doing that for you, period? 100%.
Erin Ollila 34:29
So, I agree, I think that what we have to also consider is like, you know, the privacy that isn’t there online, right? Like, we like to think that things are private. I’m gonna go I’m gonna go real dramatic for a second here. I watch a lot of crime TV, but think about the things of like, you know, if anything were to happen, maybe you would be sued. Maybe you were did something illegal, they could check your searches, right? That sounds crazy in this conversation. So I’m not trying to suggest you guys are doing bad searches. Dear listener, but what I’m suggesting is that the way that you search the private information that you put into the tool, just I guess, a reminder, is not private. So I don’t remember what company is going to drive me crazy. But remember, when Chet GPT first hit the scene, one of the hugest brands had put a ton of proprietary information in there. And that I’ll find it for the show notes. But, you know, it’s humorous for us little guys to think like, well humorous, and I also feel horrible for the the people who thought it was a good idea. And then, you know, I’m sure it came crashing down on them that it was a very bad idea. But just remember, whatever information you’re putting in on your own business, what you’re doing is you’re using it to teach the tool to help other people. So if there is anything that let’s say, maybe you’re changing your brand, or maybe you’re doing something within your course, like you’re updating it, and as of right now, what you have is 100%, human created intellectual property. If you add all of that intellectual property into the, the platforms, let’s say maybe you want to summarize it, you know, you’re adding in transcripts, you want to summarize it, you’re giving them that data to use with other people. So it’s not just what data should you check, like as an output? It’s also how do you approach the input of what you share with these tools? So again, that’s why I mentioned the detectives, again, not trying to go too crazy, but I like to think of well, I’m giving you this stuff. So how does that impact me? Well, there’s a there’s a search history. And also, I’m giving it to you to use with other people. Yeah, I
Sarah Waldbuesser 36:47
think that is an amazing point that a lot of people don’t think about, and that, you know, they’re wanting those shortcuts of summarizing and doing things. And then, you know, down the road, your friendly competitors, like, Please outline my course on XYZ. And they’re like, Oh, well, we just happen to have that right here.
Erin Ollila 37:05
Now, Sarah, before we end the episode, is there any other key points that you have been hearing or talking about when it comes to using AI and marketing that you don’t think we’ve covered today?
Sarah Waldbuesser 37:15
No, I mean, I feel like we did a pretty good job again, you know, the the reminder of just use it as a tool. That’s, that’s the big one.
Erin Ollila 37:24
Actually, I’m glad I said that. Because I thought of one very quick point I wanted to make. I read a really interesting article on VentureBeat. The article that I’m going to share talked about the idea that eventually, AI could potentially kind of collapse on itself, because what’s happening is, we’re training it with information, right. And eventually, all of this content that we’re claiming is our own that people are mass producing on blogs, let’s say for example, is AI generated so AI will learn on what AI produces. And in doing that, the feedback loop is gonna get all messed up. So that’s why if you like this as a shortcut, you want to put in the effort to make sure you’re still using your creativity. So that feedback loop doesn’t get distorted so that AI continues to learn based on the stories that you share based on the life experiences that make it into your blog post based on the the voice of client research that you gather and then use to create your sales pages. So if you want to use it, do yourself the service of adding creativity into it so that the tool itself continues to grow and not collapse.
Sarah Waldbuesser 38:44
I totally agree and I you know, I I’m with you, I don’t think it’s going to wipe out the copywriting industry or similar you know, I was on another podcast yesterday and they were asking about AI I guess there’s some AI like legal tools out there I you know, I’m not super familiar but like, Am I concerned that people you know, are gonna stop coming to destination legal? And the answer is no, because the people that would go to chat GPT for a legal document are the same people that would try to piece it together from Google and not buy an attorney draft a template anyway. Right. So the people that want good copywriting and want you know, customization and brand persuasion are still gonna go to copywriters, they’re not going to expect an AI tool to create it for them.
Erin Ollila 39:42
And I think the people on the fence are like in the middle ground and maybe are unsure of how they will utilize both copywriters, marketers and AI will see that over time in the near too short ish nearish future content will do yet not so good for at least a little while, right? Because it’s just going to be mass produced content at scale without personality. And without this human element, so what’s going to happen is consumers will get very frustrated by that. And the smallest good content, like you don’t even have to be a good writer here, like something that just is written by you will end up looking really good. And then the really good content will look excellent. So I think we’re just going to get you mentioned this earlier about something, too, is just like the transitionary time, right? We’re going to have a lot of really crappy out crappy content on the internet, we’re going to get frustrated. And that’s going to really remind people the importance of doing it yourself well, of hiring well, so that what you see for content is good as well. We’ll just kind of see how that plays out. But I have kept you here long enough. Let’s just jump really quickly. In the final two questions. Based on this entire conversation. Is there any teeny tiny homework assignment that you would share with our listeners who wanted to make sure that they were using AI correctly in their business? Yeah,
Sarah Waldbuesser 41:08
I mean, I feel like we gave some pretty good homework assignments. But again, I think the most one is just to put your own spin on it and do that fact checking, and especially if you’re using it for naming, too, you know, just double check email@example.com to make sure they aren’t trademarked first.
Erin Ollila 41:29
All right. And my final question is, is there any copy or content doesn’t have to be written could be audio, video, anything in your own business that’s really transformed how you’ve done business or something that you’ve just really been proud of? or excited about?
Sarah Waldbuesser 41:43
Oh, gosh, you know, I guess it’s hard to make legal exciting.
Erin Ollila 41:48
But people never, never people tell
Sarah Waldbuesser 41:51
me that I have a way of doing so. So I think through my blog, and, and emails, and hopefully things like this, where I try to make legal simple and understandable. And I think that that is exciting to me at least.
Erin Ollila 42:10
Thank you so much, Sarah, for your time today. You’ve really been so helpful. And so educational, everyone, I will put down all of the ways that you can contact our work with Sarah and her business, and just learn more about some of the things we’ve talked about in the show notes. So find her on socials, visit her website, hire her most importantly, and we’ll get back next week. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends.
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