Q: I asked ChatGPT to write something for me but I don’t know who owns it. Can I use it as my own?
A. Things have changed since ChatGPT first emerged and users were told they owned anything it produced for them. But when I asked ChatGPT to give me the answer on this one now, it said:
“No, you cannot use the content generated by ChatGPT as your own without proper attribution or permission from the owner of the content. The content generated by ChatGPT is the intellectual property of its owner, which is likely to be OpenAI. It is important to respect the intellectual property rights of others and give credit where credit is due. If you would like to use the content generated by ChatGPT, you should seek permission from the owner or give proper attribution as required by the license agreement.”
OpenAI is hardly going to come back to you with a contract, so you can accept one of the conditions given here: use it, but give proper attribution as content produced by ChatGPT. Bear in mind that lawyers and regulators are probably going to be arguing this one for years to come.
Oh, and there is one thing you own: the text you type in to get the answer, known as a prompt, is your work.
ChatGPT confirmed this for me: “If you provided the prompt for ChatGPT, you would own the copyright on the prompt itself, but not on the content produced by ChatGPT based on that prompt. The content generated by ChatGPT would be considered a derivative work, and the copyright in that work would belong to the owner of the underlying AI model, which is likely to be OpenAI. It’s important to note that the use of AI-generated content can be a complex legal issue, and the rules can vary by jurisdiction and specific circumstances. It’s always best to consult with an attorney familiar with intellectual property law if you have any concerns about copyright ownership or infringement.”