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AI and IP On a Collision Course
April 18, 2023
Two new E-tools, DALL-E and Midjourney, use AI to create images based on user text prompts. They do their task by wading through billions of web images and correlating the text prompt with text captions to compose a new image. IP lawyers will be quick to spot the copyright and moral rights issues that arise from images and other information snatched off the internet. According to a Canadian attorney quoted in the above-referenced article, the potential moral rights claims are considerable if the “new image” looks like any of the old ones, and the old image-maker objects to how that work appears, or what it is associated with. The question of whether any AI creation qualifies for IP protection is an emerging legal issue. One of the first US copyright cases about the scope of copyright protection for AI-produced works involved Midjourney. The US Copyright Office ruled that images the tool produced for a graphic novel couldn’t be copyrighted because they weren’t the product of human authorship.
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