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Legal regulation regarding copyright for works created by AI

As of today, in the legislation of many countries, there is no established legal regulation regarding copyright for works created by artificial intelligence (AI), as well as the boundaries of its application and training.

To whom do the rights to these works belong? Who can protect and use them? These and other questions are yet to be answered by lawyers and legislators in different countries. However, one thing is already clear – AI has firmly entered our lives, and its further implementation will continue to encompass new spheres.

A breakthrough occurred with the creation of AI works because an integral part of copyright objects, such as paintings, texts, and other creative works, was traditionally considered beyond the capabilities of machines and technologies.

There are different perspectives on who the author of AI-created works is:

a) the programmer who created the technology,

b) the user who made the AI request,

c) the owner of the equipment,

d) the neural network itself.

Since clear legal regulation is lacking, AI "owners" specify the terms of technology use in agreements with end users. For example, whether the generated image can be used for commercial purposes, whether it can be modified, and even who acquires the copyright to the result – the user or the AI "owner."

The position the court will take in case of a dispute is still unknown. It may happen that such results are entirely deprived of legal protection and recognized as part of the public domain.

A unified approach and legal regulation regarding AI have not been formed in other countries either.

In the United States, the prevailing position is often that copyright cannot protect the result created by a non-human entity. This means returning to the postulate that the author is a person, a citizen, or a group of people.

The European Union has gone a bit further. In a resolution of the European Parliament, AI-created works are mentioned, but they are not protected by copyright.

An interesting approach has been formed in the United Kingdom – the author of works created with the help of a computer is usually recognized as "the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken," i.e., the user. A similar position is held in New Zealand.

Technologies are developing rapidly, and legislators will face new challenges every day. 

Anny Ryazanova, Senior Partner

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