ICOLC Statement on AI in Licensing

Information Industry News

March 22, 2024

Report or Statement:  ICOLC Statement on AI in Licensing 3.22.2024.pdf

As artificial intelligence – in particular, generative AI and large language models – has developed rapidly since the release of ChatGPT to the public in late 2022, electronic resource vendors have begun to present libraries and consortia with new license language defining rights and restrictions related to AI. As libraries and vendors navigate the rapidly changing technological and legal landscape of AI, ICOLC supports its member consortia in their efforts to ensure library user rights are maintained in alignment with organizational interests and values. ICOLC recognizes that such rights are imperative for supporting: 

  • Digital transformation in research 
  • Equitable access to information 
  • The open access transition in scholarly communication 

All of these revolutionary changes are limited in their potential without enabling the full legal use of AI technologies.

To that end, ICOLC endorses and upholds the following principles with regard to AI clauses in licenses negotiated and signed by library consortia:

  • AI clauses will permit the use of AI for any and all legal purposes that support consortia members’ core missions of non commercial research, teaching, learning, and equitable access to information.
  • Multi-year licenses that include AI clauses will formally establish opportunities for the revision and/or updating of language related to AI during the term of the agreement to reflect legal or technological developments.
  • AI clauses will not restrict user actions in ways that are fundamentally unenforceable.
  • AI clauses will in no way prevent authorized users from making licensed content fully accessible to other authorized users in any legal manner.  
  • AI clauses will not be introduced into a negotiation in a way that limits a consortium’s opportunity to fully review the clauses in accordance with the consortium’s regular review procedure.
  • AI clauses will not introduce new liability clauses beyond the scope of what has previously been agreed upon, especially for actions of authorized users.