"After all: the purpose of copyright law is, to a very large extent, to preserve the livelihood of intellectual property creators, who would otherwise have limited ability to profit from their own works due to the ease of reproducing it once made. Modern AI systems are threatening this, whether or not they technically violate copyright."
While it's probably true that copyright/patent/IP law generally in effect helps "preserve the livelihood of intellectual property creators," it's a mistake IMO to see this as more than merely instrumental in preserving incentives for more art/inventions/technology which, but for a temporary monopoly (IP protections), would be financially unprofitable to create. Additionally, this view ignores art consumers, who out-number artists by several orders of magnitude. It seems unfair to orient so much of the discussion of AI art's effects on the smaller group of people who currently create art.
IMO the key questions (both morally & legally) should fall into two camps:
I.e, whether, in a regime where to training algos on copyrighted works is permissible, there are
than in a regime where people can only train AI art/inventions on public domain & proprietary art/inventions.
No. 2 seems pretty clearly true, but I'm struggling to articulate why. No 1. Seems somewhat conditional on No 2, since I suspect there would be less art created if the AI art tools create "worse" art.
I.e whether - conditional on copyright "infringing algos yielding net societal equal or lower terminal art//innovation volume and/or equal/diminished quality - the detection and enforcement costs of techniques to stop the creation of art from algorithms trained on copyrighted works are sufficiently low.
I doubt there's a lot of societal value in creating an expensive cottage industry of copyright inspectors whose end output degrades the aggregate quality of humanity's art-stock. I don't have priors for the costs of such an enforcement mechanism, but IP lawyers seem expensive & regulatory orgs can get bloated pretty easily.