Creators Have the Copyright over AI-Generated Images, Says Beijing Internet Court
The Beijing Internet Court ruled that using an AI-generated image not created by self can lead to copyright infringement violation.
A Chinese court has declared that using a picture generated by artificial intelligence (AI) software on someone else’s online platform violates copyright.
The Beijing Internet Court instructed defendant, identified by surname as Liu, to pay 500 yuan in compensation to Li – the complainant. It further asked Liu to issue a public apology on social media within seven days.
During the trial, it was revealed that Li used AI software to create an image of a woman by entering descriptive words into the AI generator, and then posted the picture on an online platform.
Subsequently, Liu used the image as an illustration for her poem on her account, leading Li to file a lawsuit, alleging copyright infringement and violation of information network transmission rights.
Moreover, according to media reports, the hearing generated much interest that it was broadcast by China Central Television and also live-streamed on multiple platforms attracting huge viewership.
In its decision, the court said creators have the copyright over the generated images and they are protected by copyright law. However, the recent verdict pronounced by the Beijing Internet Court carries ramifications for the domain of AI-generated content.
Ruling’s Implications for AI-Generated Work
It establishes a precedent by recognizing the copyright protection of images created through AI software and highlights the legal responsibilities associated with their use.
The court’s decision underscores the importance of respecting the intellectual property rights of creators who use AI to generate original content. By affirming that creators have copyright over AI-generated images, the ruling acknowledges the creative input and effort involved in producing such works. This recognition is crucial in a landscape where AI is increasingly contributing to artistic and creative endeavors.
Moreover, the ruling emphasizes transparency in the use of AI-generated content.
The court suggests that creators should disclose whether a picture was created using artificial intelligence or other models. This transparency not only informs the audience but also aligns with principles of good faith and protects the public’s right to accurate information. The case also sheds light on the potential legal consequences for individuals who use AI-generated content without proper authorization or attribution.
On the contrary, AI art, being crafted through algorithms and accumulated image data, lacks a human artist.
In a pivotal development in 2023, a federal judge in the United States decreed that AI-generated artwork falls short of meeting federal copyright standards. The ruling emphasized that copyright law pertains to the “original intellectual conceptions of the author,” and in the absence of a human author, copyright protection does not apply.
If people didn’t directly create the artwork themselves, even if they made the computer or programmed the AI, it can’t be copyrighted in the United States. The critical factor is the absence of human involvement in the actual creation of the artwork. This principle, echoed by numerous countries globally, results in the inability to secure copyright protection for AI-generated artwork.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI art, the future of copyright in this realm remains uncertain. Countries such as the United States, Germany, and Spain, with their stringent regulations on artwork copyright, present a formidable challenge for AI-generated creations. As the field continues to advance, it appears that copyright barriers will persist for AI-generated work in these jurisdictions.
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