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AI case judgment keeps pace with the times

By LI YANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-04 06:40


The Beijing Internet Court has recently issued a judgment on a copyright infringement dispute over artificial intelligence-generated pictures. This is the first copyright case in the field of AI-generated pictures.

The plaintiff said that the defendant did not obtain any permission before cutting the signature watermark of some AI pictures published by the plaintiff. The defendant used the pictures online, leading relevant viewers to mistake the defendant for the "author" of the "works", which violated the plaintiff's rights and interests. The defendant argued that it was not sure whether the plaintiff enjoyed the copyrights of the pictures in question, and the use of the pictures had no commercial purpose, and there was no infringement intent in the process.

Without the AI element, this would have been one of the most common copyright infringement disputes. The major questions are: whether the pictures generated by AI are "works" protected by copyright law, and who is the right holder of the copyright of AI pictures?

The judge made an unambiguous judgment: the AI-generated pictures were original and belonged to the owner of the pictures who generated them with AI technology.

Computing power, algorithms and data, as some other new production factors, have penetrated into many fields of production and life with various application scenarios. The creation of words, pictures, sounds and videos aided by generative AI applications is beginning to take over many aspects of literary and artistic creation. As such, there is no reason why pictures created with AI should be excluded from "protected works", and there is no reason why their creators' rights and interests should not be protected by the law.

So with the protection of the judiciary, the vitality of creators using AI to generate pictures or other works may be better stimulated. This is the meaning of the existence of the IPR protection system.


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