Should Your Law Firm Use ChatGPT For Website Content?

Should Your Law Firm Use ChatGPT For Website Content?

ChatGPT has quickly entered into the public consciousness, and its ease of use—at least at the moment—is making many people wonder how they can use it for their own benefit including things like website content and content marketing. Should your law firm use ChatGPT for website content? Civille would highly advise against it and not just for SEO reasons but also for legal reasons.

3 Legal Reasons You Shouldn’t Use ChatGPT For Your Law Firm

Legally speaking, there are several reasons why you might want to shy away from using ChatGPT or other similar AI-writing tools, especially for content on your law firm’s website or any related online materials.

1. ChatGPT Content Will Likely Not be Copyright Protected

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The law here is a little murky, but in light of recent cases, it would seem that the U.S. copyright office is not going to grant copyrights to any content not generated by humans. As they put it themselves in a recent copyright reversal, “copyrighted works must be created by humans to gain official copyright protection.”

This means any content on your site that is AI-generated would not be protected by copyrights and others could potentially freely use the content leaving you without much legal recourse. This reason alone is going to turn a lot of people off on AI-generated content.

2. Content Generated by Chat GPT May Violate Copyrights

ChatGPT and other AI-writing tools are getting all of their information from other sources. Depending on how much they modify and edit that source material before delivering it to you, it’s possible that enough remains to violate the copyrights of the original creators if the content was to be published.

In other words, not only would your AI-generated content not be granted copyright protections, but it may also be in violation of other people’s copyrights.

3. ChatGPT Will Make Your Site Legally Inaccurate

You already know how wrong the Internet can be about legal matters. Now imagine you have an AI that may not have the ability to fact-check sources scraping from everywhere and cobbling together legal content for you. Not only is it going to be often inaccurate, but it’s going to be hard to comb through to correct any inaccuracies.

On top of that, all of ChatGPT’s information is from sometime in 2021. That was 2 years ago. Any legal changes that took place in the last 2 years will not be reflected in anything produced by ChatGPT. This is likely the case with other AI tools as well, but they are less upfront about the information they’ve used for their AI’s machine learning.

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3 Reasons Chat GPT is Bad For Your Firm’s SEO

From a legal standpoint, ChatGPT has some issues. Let’s say that you are thinking about working around them somehow or are maybe even comfortable facing all those risks. You still have a problem. ChatGPT and other similar tools are not even good for SEO.

1. It’s Against Google’s ToS to Use AI-Generated Content

Google is the front-runner when it comes to search engines. If you aren’t ranking on Google, then you aren’t ranking. It’s the benchmark everyone uses and recently Google’s own Webmaster and Trend Analyst John Mueller has said “If you’re using machine learning tools to generate your content… it’s still automatically generated content, which means for us (Google) it’s still against the webmaster guidelines.”

Such a violation, if discovered, will result in a severe ranking penalty that could even extend beyond the offending pages or content. If you don’t think Google is serious about these penalties, their Chrome division once violated their own policies and they issued a 6-month de-ranking of their own product in response… to themselves. They aren’t going to think twice about issuing a similar or worse penalty on your firm.

2. ChatGPT and Other Tools are Highly Detectable

AI-Generated Copyright Law article detected by AI detector
AI-Generated Copyright Law Article Detected by AI Detector

You may have noticed that ChatGPT produces fairly believable content. It looks real, but is it detectable? Turns out, the answer is yes. Extremely so. Already, a free tool has popped up that at least in our own experimentation has come back with 100% accuracy. You can find it here, and you can also bet that Google’s own internal tools are even better. Moreover, OpenAI has even come out and said that they intend to cryptographically watermark all content to ensure that detection is possible.

Not only is it detectable, but according to OpenAI’s own ToS, you are not allowed to “represent that output from the Services was human-generated when it is not.” If you don’t want to violate a ToS, then you have to call out your content as AI-generated anyway making detection a moot point.

3. AI-Generated Content Isn’t Written With SEO in Mind

Let’s be honest with what OpenAI is trying to create with ChatGPT. They are not looking to revolutionize the world of SEO. In fact, they have no interest in it, and going down that route would likely be a dead-end for any AI-writing tool given Google’s stance on the matter.

A skilled SEO writer—like those that we have at Civille—will analyze keywords, study trends, and custom-write content with your firm and your firm’s needs in mind. Additionally, we will follow best practices as laid out by both Google and the SEO community to generate meaningful content with meaningful traffic.

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Does Civille Use AI Writing Tools?

Have we spent time playing around with AI writing tools in the office? Sure! They are fun little toys, but to us, they are nothing more and we have and will never use AI-written content on our sites, our client’s websites, or our client’s content marketing. In fact, we use an experienced U.S.-based writing team with SEO and legal experience.

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