You hear a lot of things at real estate conferences. A notion Marilyn Wilson most recently heard while at NAR REALTOR Legislative Meetings was that OpenAI owns the content that you provide them. As someone extremely interested in most things AI, I immediately did some research. Where did I start? Naturally, OpenAI’s Terms of Use – Section 3 (

The important details are summarized below:

“(a) Your Content. You may provide input to the Services (“Input”), and receive output generated and returned by the Services based on the Input (“Output”). Input and Output are collectively “Content.” As between the parties and to the extent permitted by applicable law, you own all Input. Subject to your compliance with these Terms, OpenAI hereby assigns to you all its right, title and interest in and to Output. This means you can use Content for any purpose, including commercial purposes such as sale or publication, if you comply with these Terms. OpenAI may use Content to provide and maintain the Services, comply with applicable law, and enforce our policies. You are responsible for Content, including for ensuring that it does not violate any applicable law or these Terms.”

The blue portion very clearly states that the user owns both the Input and the Output. But it also says, “OpenAI may use Content to provide and maintain the Services, comply with applicable law, and enforce our policies.” So what does that mean? Great question – it depends on where you live. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has become an international sensation, so it really depends on your location and what the laws are in your area.

Interestingly noted in this article on JDSupra, OpenAI may not have the right to assign all these rights to you.

“It should be noted that OpenAI only assigns all “its” right, title, and interest in and to the output to the user. However, if OpenAI does not initially own the rights, it cannot assign them. Another related issue is that other ChatGPT users can narrow the assignment scope. OpenAI’s Terms of Use state that due to the nature of machine learning, many users may receive identical or similar outputs from ChatGPT.³ This leads to another set of issues, including determining original ownership rights (if available), the potential destruction of ownership rights over time, and murky usage rights in the future.”

Unsurprisingly, who owns the rights to the content is as clear as mud. But what we do know is that the content is probably not considered intellectual property (IP) if it was exclusively generated by AI. A certain amount of the content must be created by a human. Of course, this begs another question: what’s the difference? For example, I took this article and had ChatGPT proofread it (oh the irony). So most of this article was written by a human but all of it is considered Output.

The key takeaway is simple: the ownership of the input and/or output of AI-generated content is based on where you live, who you are, what tools you use, etc. To determine the ownership of your content, check with your lawyer.