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The public recognition of generative AIs (i.e., chatGPT, MidJourney) in late 2022 and early 2023 has revolutionized many fields and industries, including creative fields like art and design.
AI art generators like MidJourney and Adobe FireFly can create amazing images from text prompts or even random inputs, but at the same time have also raised many questions about creativity, originality, and intellectual property ownership.
What happens when AI-generated images resemble—or worse, copy—existing artworks? Is it a form of infringement, and if that’s the case, who’s responsible?
In this post, we will explore:
AI-generated art is a form of art (typically images) that is generated by AI-driven software that can generate images based on the user’s text-based prompts, sketches, or even random inputs.
These generative AIs typically use large databases of images collected from the internet—including copyrighted works— to teach themselves how to create new images that match the user’s prompt.
Some examples of generative AIs capable of generating AI artworks are:
At the moment, AI-generated artworks from these platforms are not protected by copyright because, according to the U.S. Copyright Office, works produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically without any creative input or intervention from a human author are not registrable as copyrighted materials.
Thus, at least at the moment of this writing (March 2023), AI-generated art still falls outside the scope of copyright protection.
In recent years, AI art generators like MidJourney, DALL-E 2, and others have become increasingly popular not only among artists and designers but also among the general public.
Yet, the massive adoption of the technology has also raised legal and ethical questions about the use of copyrighted artwork or design to train the AI and to generate the AI art itself.
In fact, many legal cases have been filed against AI art generators’ manufacturers and operators in recent times. Some high-profile examples include:
On the other hand, the creators and operators of these generative AIs often defend themselves by invoking the fair use doctrine, claiming to use the data of copyrighted works only for educational and research purposes (technically, in “training” or educating the AI.)
“Fair use” is a legal doctrine that allows the use of copyrighted material without permission and compensation for purposes such as teaching/education, research, news reporting, and criticism. Yet, as we know, fair use is not a clear-cut legal rule, and whether or not an AI art generator qualifies for fair use will likely depend on the court’s interpretation.
Whether the creator or operator of generative AI can be held liable for infringement is complex and case-specific. However, here are some possible considerations:
These legal cases surrounding generative AIs are just the tip of the iceberg, and the debate surrounding the legal rights and responsibilities of AIs in the digital age will continue to evolve and become more complex.
With AI tools, including AI art generators, expected to become more accessible to everyone and more advanced, they will continue to challenge the existing notions of authorship and intellectual property ownership in the art and design world.
Red Points is a company specializing in digital brand protection, offering a range of services to help businesses achieve their copyright and intellectual property (IP) rights in the digital world.
Red Points’ copyright protection solution offers a comprehensive set of services, including but not limited to the following:
With Red Points’ copyright protection services, businesses can protect their copyrights, including from being infringed by generative AI arts. Red Points enable businesses to take a proactive approach to safeguard their copyright and protect their intellectual property.
In this article, you’ve learned the importance of protecting your business’s copyrights and intellectual property rights from potential infringements by generative AI art.
It’s clear that the rise of generative AI has led to new challenges for businesses in protecting their intellectual properties. On the other hand, there are still legal gray areas surrounding the use of AI-generated art and design. Thus, it can be difficult for businesses to detect and enforce their copyright against these generative AIs.
This is where Red Points comes in.
Due to the rapid advancements of AI technologies, not taking proactive actions to protect your copyright can be very dangerous. You run the risk of losing control over your brand and your intellectual property, and in the long run, this can damage your reputation, hurt your bottom line, and even jeopardize your whole business.
Red Points can help your business stay ahead of the game and protect your business from potential copyright infringements from AI-generated art. This will also protect your customers from being deceived by counterfeit or impersonated products.