Valve won’t publish games that feature copyright-infringing AI assets

Earlier this week, began surfacing that Valve was refusing to publish games with AI-generated art and other content. Over the weekend, the company finally commented on the matter. In a statement shared with , Valve spokesperson Kaci Aitchison Boyle said the company is not trying to “discourage the use of [AI] on Steam.” Aitchison Boyle attributed the confusion to Valve “working through” how to account for the technology in its existing review process, which is a “reflection” of current copyright law.

“Our priority, as always, is to try to ship as many of the titles we receive as we can,” Aitchison Boyle said. “We welcome and encourage innovation, and AI technology is bound to create new and exciting experiences in gaming. While developers can use these AI technologies in their work with appropriate commercial licenses, they can not infringe on existing copyrights.”

Aitchison Boyle added that Valve has been refunding submission credits to those who ran afoul of the company’s current rules on account of their game’s use of AI-generated content. It’s not surprising to see Valve attempt to get ahead of what is quickly becoming one of the thorniest issues in tech. We’ve already seen generative AI create headaches for the music industry. In April, for instance, streaming services like Spotify and YouTube spent the better part of a week responding to a copyright claim from Universal Music Group after someone uploaded a viral to their platforms.

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