By: Sorab Ghaswalla
Some days ago, a court in Shenzhen, China ruled that a creative work produced by artificial intelligence (AI) enjoyed copyright protection. With an increase in use case of AI in content generation, be it an article or a painting, whether such work attracts the provisions of a country’s copyright act needs to be addressed. The sooner the better.
In the China case, an online platform accused of reproducing an informative article created by an AI tool without permission was asked to pay a fine for financial losses and for infringing copyright.
The question left on the table though, was — what about the copyright of those content owners whose works were used by the AI tool to generate that info article in the first place?
Before the advent of AI in content matters, copyright laws were fairly easy to understand. The thumb rule is never to reproduce works of any writer or artist without permission and/or payment of royalty/fees.
In the case of IT services, any works, including software, etc developed using licensed tools does not attract the provisions of copyright because the tools merely “support” the creative/development process. Of course, the output of this process is “copyrighted”.
Here’s an example: developers use Y platform to make a phone app, and then sell it in the market for a fee. The copyright/patent/trademark of the app rests with the developer. The fact that he used Y platform to make the app though, does not mean he has “violated” any copyright of that platform/tool. It’s akin to using a pen, a palette or a brush.
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