Legal and Ethical Issues with AI for Content Creation

Legal and Ethical Issues with AI for Content Creation

Many people have concerns about legal and ethical issues with AI and the creative content it can be prompted to generate. It has become incredibly easy for anyone to use AI tools to generate almost anything they can think of, but that doesn’t mean the critical eye of a human is no longer necessary. Care and attention need to be given to any content that has been created by AI.

This post will cover a few of the emerging legal and ethical issues that come to mind when thinking of AI-generated content. We’ll also provide you with some ways you can deal with those issues. At the end, we’ll offer you an opportunity to train yourself so you can use AI tools proficiently.

Legal Issues with AI Content

The rise in popularity of generative AI tools has created a wide range of new potential legal issues. This is especially true when it comes to creative content. If you use AI or work on writing that’s been created with AI, here are a few of the most important things you need to familiarize yourself with so that you can avoid any legal problems.


Let’s start with one of the first things that often comes to mind when thinking of AI-generated content – copyright and intellectual property laws. Those types of laws are already quite complex, and they don’t get any easier to understand with the introduction of AI. When it comes to who owns something that has been created by AI, there are generally two issues to consider:

  1. Whether or not you, as the creator of the AI-generated content, have ownership of what the AI has been prompted to produce (i.e., you can claim copyright)
  2. Knowing if the content you’ve created with AI breaches existing copyright or intellectual property laws

Unfortunately, copyright laws dealing with AI-generated content are still being developed in most countries. This means they are subject to change, and it may take some time before rules are set in stone. This means that issue number one can be tricky. Luckily, there are a couple things you can do to protect yourself while the legal wrinkles are getting ironed out.

First, make sure you use AI tools that have been created by trusted and reputable developers (OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, etc.). These will have clear terms of use that will help you avoid any issue with copyright or intellectual property laws.

Second, and most important, regardless of which AI tool you use, make sure that you don’t give it prompts to create something based on copyrighted works unless it falls under the guidelines of fair use.


This ties into the issues mentioned above. Generative AI tools work by examining and drawing from the vast online pool of existing content and information. Therefore, what AI generates can sometimes too closely resemble content that has already been created by a human.

It’s important to know how to avoid plagiarizing someone else’s work. The easiest way to do this is to rewrite any AI-generated text in your own words. If you’re not able to do this, you can safeguard yourself by looking at the sources the AI tool used and properly cite them.


AI-generated content isn’t perfect and needs to be checked so that it doesn’t spread misinformation or disinformation. The AI tools’ responses to certain prompts can be inaccurate, and you need to be careful when using that generated text as your own.

Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult an issue to avoid. Just like text created by a human, due diligence along with good proofreading and editing skills are all that’s required to locate and correct (or omit) any erroneous information.

Ethical Issues with AI Content

Ethical concerns are also present when creating and utilizing AI-generated content. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it can’t be considered harmful to others. Here are some ethical issues to keep in mind.

Offensive Content

As already mentioned, content produced by AI tools relies on all the preexisting information that makes the internet such an expansive source of knowledge. Unfortunately, that means it may contain online information that can be considered hurtful or discriminatory to certain people. Whoever uses that content risks having their reputation tarnished, which in turn could damage their careers.

AI tools don’t have a conscience, but humans do. Make sure you review everything that you’ve created with AI before making it public. While history might contain hateful and discriminatory events and ideas, we now live in a more inclusive world. There is no reason to accidentally produce offensive content.


While bias is similar to prejudice, it isn’t the same thing. When it comes to AI-generated content, if the prompt (or input) is biased, the content (or output) will also be biased. What AI can produce for you is limited by the information you give it.

It’s important to carefully consider the prompts you give any AI tool you use and try to make them as free from bias as possible. That way the content it creates will, ideally, be as fair and impartial as possible.

To a lot of developers, removing algorithmic bias in AI is of great concern. It isn’t hard to foresee that when the tools have been perfected, AI will be an extensive source of unbiased content.


This is one of people’s biggest criticisms of using AI-generated content – constant dependence on AI could lead to laziness. People’s writing, editing, critical thinking, and overall creative abilities could decline if they rely on AI tools to do all the work for them.

This concern is largely based on an oversimplification of what AI currently is. AI tools can’t think; they’re just good at analyzing, collating, and presenting existing information after being given human-generated prompts. It’s important to remember that these AI programs are tools, and tools require skilled people to utilize them effectively.

How to Use AI Properly as a Writer or Editor

If you want to take advantage of AI technologies, you should take our course AI Prompting For Writers And Editors. It’s designed to help you master prompt engineering and editing AI content.

Our course also covers the pros and cons of using AI, including the potential ethical and legal issues. It’s beginner-friendly, and no previous AI experience is required.

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