How do different jurisdictions around the globe treat intellectual property created by artificial intelligence? Below, we look at some examples.
1. In the People’s Republic of China, the Beijing Internet Court1 recognized that a set of AI-generated images possessed “originality” and reflected human creative intellectual input – and should be recognized as works protected by copyright law.
The court concluded that a natural person sets the corresponding parameters and selects the image; the final output is created directly based on the intellectual contribution of the person.
2. In the United States, the graphic novel Zaria of the Dawn was granted limited copyright protection by the US Copyright Office. It found that only the textual content and its arrangement, which involved sufficient human authorship, was granted copyright protection, not the individual images created solely by the generative AI, Midjourney.
The author of the graphic novel, Kris Kashtanova, used Midjourney AI to create images in her book. Despite initially obtaining copyright protection for the entire book, a secondary review found that images created by Midjourney did not qualify for copyright protection.
This led to the annulment of the previous registration and its replacement with a new one, covering only original elements contributed by a natural person (text and material arrangement).
3. In Kazakhstan, a certificate was issued for a graphic novel created using AI as a composite work.
Under Kazakhstan law, a composite work encompasses a collection of works and other materials the selection and (or) arrangement of which is the result of creative activity.
Thus, akin to the decision in Zarya of the Dawn, protection is granted for the arrangement of materials as a result of human creative activity, but not for the originality of images generated by AI.
We believe that such decisions are ultimately based on how key the role of natural persons are in the creative process. Therefore, AI-created intellectual property cannot be protected as objects of copyright. There are cases in the world when non-original objects generated by computer programs are protected by sui generis rights.
In upcoming articles, we will delve into the use of personal data by AI systems. Stay tuned!
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Senior Associate, Almaty
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