Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law

We’ve all heard of the term copyright at some point in our lives. After all, it’s something that’s mentioned on television, in film and we’ve all seen that little ‘c’ next to brand logos. You’ve probably seen it a lot in the news over the last few years, with popular music artists like Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams being sued all in the name of copyright.

For those of you out there in the know, you’ve no doubt employed those litigation lawyers to ensure you’re never slapped with a copyright suit. As the world revolving around copyright changes all the time, hiring the right people to keep you safe is always important.

One other thing that’s been mentioned a lot in the last few years in AI. Although you may not think AI and copyright would be directly linked – they actually are.

What is AI?

A broad term, this is used to describe the functionality of various type of software. Designed to help us in our everyday lives, the capability of AI has increased significantly over the last few years and continues to do so. Because of this, there’s a lot of talk at the moment about how copyright laws apply to work generated by artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence

Does Copyright Recognise AI Work?

Here in the UK, traditional copyright laws protect things that are created by everyone from authors and artists to composers, and every other form of a creator out there. Therefore, a creator is defined as the person who creates a specific piece of work.

The work created has to be the author’s own, and while the threshold for this is low, it crucially requires a human author. This means that without a human author, the work in question can’t be original.

But, Who’s the Creator?

This, therefore, becomes a grey area. This is because a lot of the time creators use tools. An example of this is a photographer using a lot of equipment to get the correct shot. While the thought and process were all done by the photographer, without the mind behind it, the copyright and its existence can be up for debate.

Of course, if there is enough evidence to suggest someone has had input into it, then there should be enough of an argument for them to hold the copyright. But, with AI becoming more advance, there may have to be a change soon, as humans do less and less in achieving the work they’re creating, they may not hold the copyright at all, therefore, meaning there isn’t one at all as it wasn’t made by a human.

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