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The AI Art Copyright Problem

The AI Art Copyright Problem

The world of AI art copyright is complex and messy.

And with the invention of AI art, things just got a whole lot messier.

In this video, I’m going to explore some of the challenging questions that AI art is posing us.

And what you need to know as an AI artist.

Who Owns the Art?

ai art copyright

One of the first questions that come up with AI art is who owns the art?
Is it a man, is it a machine, is it an algorithm, is it a company, or is it none of them?

Copyrighting AI Art

In the US there have been a number of recent attempts trying to copyright work created by AI.
However, the US copyright office has stated that “the AI art lacks the human authorship necessary to support the copyright claim.”
Under US copyright law these images are technically not subject to copyright protection, because they are not created in their eyes by a human.
ai art copyright
This is also currently the case under UK law, but in Australia and South Africa, they have recently given copyright and patents to AI-generated works.
Last year a patent was granted to Thala in South Africa.
And on that patent, one of the inventors was stated as the AI.
So currently in most countries, you’re not able to copyright the works that you create on Midjourney or DALL·E 2.
But can you sell them?
Yes, yes, you can sell your works.
But on the terms and conditions of some of these websites.
They state some very interesting things.

Midjourney Copyright

Firstly, on the Midjourney copyright.
ai art copyright
They say that you got to Midjourney an irrevocable copyright license to reproduce derivative works that will publicly display any image prompts you input to services or assets produced by the services at your direction.
So that means to my understanding that Midjourney can use anything that you create inside of their services.
And they are allowed to redistribute and commercially profit from your works.
And they also go on to say subject to the above license, you own all assets you create with the service.

Stability Diffusion Terms of Service

On those Stability Diffusion Terms of Service, they state that “you are granted a limited license to access and use the site and to download or print a copy of any portion of the content to which you have probably gained access solely for your personal non-commercial use.”

Is It Ethical to Take Somebody’s Style?

Another interesting quandary posed by AI art.
Is it ethical to take somebody’s style and create a work in their likeness?
Is that infringing on their copyright?
Especially when the algorithms are trained specifically on images that were made by the original artist.
For me, I can appreciate an artist feeling some displeasure at having their works amalgamated into new creations.
And it is a fine line because I believe that all works of art are merely inspirations of other works of art.
There is truly nothing unique in the world.
There are only unique connections between things that already exist.
So there is no easy answer here.
There is no black and white.

Brands or Characters that Are Copyrighted

Another interesting copyright question being created here is that it’s very easy to put in brands or characters that are copyrighted and to get out a very strong likeness that in my mind is definitely infringing on some sort of intellectual property.
For instance, here is a simple prompt.
Mario being inputted Midjourney.
And the likeness, it’s incredibly close.
Not argue that this is not Mario from Nintendo.
And if you were then to sell this, I think you would be infringing on the copyright of the works.
So how do we work around that?
What are things stepping too close?
I mean you can also look at these examples of Nike.
Just putting in Nike or Nike trainer.
And you are immediately creating works that have logos on top of them.
This is another gray area that’s being brought up by Midjourney and other tools.
And here is Mickey Mouse.
Furthermore, you can also put famous people’s names into these programs and you get a strong likeness
outputted there.

Final Thoughts

Now, are you infringing on the copyright of the individuals here?
While the future is uncertain, attempts to copyright AI art are continuing.
And I believe that more and more regions are going to accept the rights of ai artists and AI-generated artwork.
More and more questions are coming out.
And I believe that this is going to be an extremely complicated situation and only further confuse us all in the world of copyright.
How do we protect the rights of creatives, individuals, and brands when they can be adapted and manipulated, and outputted extremely easily with new AI art generators?
I hope you’ve appreciated some of the questions that I’ve identified in this video.
And why not drop a Like and a Comment and tell me what your thoughts are on AI art copyright.
and if you’re interested in learning more about Midjourney, I’ve created a course on Udemy which I’ll link to in the comments.
Have a delightful day.
If you find this video on AI art copyright interesting, do check out our other articles below.

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