When you’re using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to create part of the code for a client’s project, should you disclose that fact to the client?
However, there’s an easy way to do it without setting off red flags.
Now in the software development contract, you should let the client know you reserve the right to use multiple resources to help you fulfill the client’s goals. This includes subcontractors, open source code, public domain code, and other third-party licensed code such as AI-generated code.
If you don’t make a big deal of it, chances are the client won’t either unless the client is represented by a sharp technology IP lawyer. And by disclosing it up front as part of the contract (which is likely to be skimmed), the client can’t come back later to argue that you concealed it.
Is there a downside to using AI-written code? Yes. For now, it’s unclear what rights are truly owned/licensed for most code generated that way. There’s no global standard applied to the training materials used for AI tools.
Of course, the data sets being used to train AI included copyrighted materials. This means it’s safe to assume that code generated by artificial intelligence tools may infringe on others’ intellectual property.
So, it’s a good idea to review any AI-generated code to see if there’s any potential copyright issues when using it.
For example, Japan appears (at the time this is published) to be taking the view that data used for AI training isn’t copyright infringement. Yet it’s unlikely all countries will take this stance.
Of course, if you need help crafting a software agreement that protects you on this and other legal dangers, it’s time to schedule a phone consultation with Software Lawyer Mike Young.