Photo of hand with pen and the words AI

WGGB joins sister guilds across the globe in calling for ethical use of AI

Members of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG), including WGGB, have today (11 April 2024) released a joint Position on the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence.

As resolved at their annual general meetings in 2023, the members of the IAWG and FSE agree that, whether through collective bargaining, mandatory clauses in standard contracts, or through lobbying for regulation and legislation, the IAWG, FSE, and its member guilds will:

1) Affirm that only writers create literary material and that large language models (LLMs) or any other present or future forms of artificial intelligence (AI), cannot be used in place of writers;

2) Work to create mechanisms for obligatory transparency and accountability and to ensure writers are informed if AI generated material is used to write, rewrite, polish or perform any additional writing services;

3) Advocate for robust licensing mechanisms that require explicit and informed consent for the use of writers’ intellectual property in AI training data with a goal to ensure only intellectual property that has been licensed for such use be included in the datasets of commercialized LLMs, or any other present or future forms of AI;

4) Ensure that only human beings are entitled to authors’ rights and recognised under copyright law in the context of machine generated material;

5) Advocate for fair remuneration for the use of writers’ intellectual property in LLMs or any other present or future forms of AI.

IAWG Chair Jennifer Davidson said: “The members of the IAWG seek to build on the hard-won protections our sister Guilds in America, the WGAE and the WGAW, were able to achieve during their strike: namely that it should be a tool to enhance our writing process, not diminish the value of our work or replace us. Last year, we campaigned at UNESCO and this year we will take our position to WIPO, support each other during collective bargaining, and invite representatives of the tech community to the 6th World Conference of Screenwriters in Galway.”

FSE President, Carolin Otto said: “While we applaud the work of the EU to enact the AI Act, there are unresolved issues with respect to the unauthorised use of our intellectual property for training large language models, and uncertainty regarding authorship and copyright of machine-generated script material. We intend to voice our concerns in both national and global policy arenas, as well as develop standard language film and television writers can demand in their contracts.”

The Federation of Screenwriters in Europe brings together 32 screenwriters’ organisations from 26 European countries. The International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) has 14 members from 12 countries.

You can read WGGB’s own policy position statement Writers and AI here.