Project ECHO: Legal template agreements for artist-AI collaborations
All culture is a multigenerational collaboration. AI parallelizes that process with unprecedented speed. Machine learning algorithms can be trained on a corpus of artwork to learn a model of its underlying structure, which can be used to generate new work. In this sense, new creation is a manifestation of a collective body of structure, to which future creative iterations add. This feedback loop calls for a revised understanding of authorship, and the development of an ecosystem of attribution. Who owns the output of collectively cultivated models for making, built upon generations of culture, or closely inspired by the work of specific artists? We need infrastructure and norms around contributing to shared models, and around the idea of models as a shared resource. We need guidelines that facilitate collaborations between artists and programmers to help realize a renaissance of culture as a shared resource.These templates, and the invitation to revise and iterate them, are a first step.

We are introducing two legal templates for artist-AI collaborations: a short license for artists and a longer agreement for collaborations. The former is ideal for artists who want to license their work for use as input to a machine learning algorithm. The longer agreement is for cases where ouptut may be similar to the artist's work, so it is treated as joint work. The accompanying how-to guide provides further detail.

AI Art License template (.docx, .pdf
AI Training Agreement template (.docx, .pdf)  
Guide for the perplexed (.docx, .pdf
You can also find copies on the project Github.

These templates are a collaboration between Jessica Fjeld and Mason Kortz from the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and Sarah Schwettmann at MIT, with input from SJ Klein at MIT. They are available under a CC-0 dedication.