Generative Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law



AI is divided into two parts the first is specific Artificial Intelligence and the Second is General Artificial Intelligence. The specific AI is designed for specific tasks and narrowed within its domain taking the example of the various voice assistants, whereas the general AI is more of a general manner taking the recent examples of “CHATGPT ” and “GEMINI .”

The AI role is increasing day by day in the areas of medical science, transportation, music, arts, and films. The creation of work with AI has been in the news recently, the main question that arises out of this is Who will be the owner of the work created by AI, this question has arisen more after the rapid growth of Generative AI. Traditionally copyright law does mention computer-generated works but comparing computer-generated work with AI is not an option available because computer-generated works are more inclined towards supporting the creative process, they are protected under copyright protection if they are original, requiring an Human Author. This paper deals in detail about the Copyright and AI.


The development of AI had a huge impact on the debate between Elon Musk and Larry Page , the debate majorly focused on the development of general AI and the Existential threat to Humanity, within their debate there were various developments with regard to the accuracy of AI which had impacted the market a lot, and the race of dominance started. A tendency to minimize human activities to ensure the efficiency of work has risen, there are many questions in debate right now also concerning whether AI can replace humans, jobs, etc. but the most important question arose after the recent development of general AI such as various “chatbots” about the intellect of the people. The open AI usually works as “learning the ins and outs of natural language by analyzing thousands of digital books, the length and breadth of Wikipedia, and nearly a trillion words posted to blogs, social media, and the rest of the internet” The general AI has created major issues concerning the ownership of the material generated by AI, this has created major challenges in copyright law.


Artificial Intelligence was developed in the other half of the 20th century, this term was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956. There is no specific definition of AI, there are various definitions given by various scientists. The basic definition we can pull of AI is “ it refers to the “learning the ins and outs of natural language by analyzing thousands of digital books, the length and breadth of Wikipedia, and nearly a trillion words posted to blogs, social media and the rest of the internet”. Herbert Simon and Allen Newell created AI, The intelligence is of different types because of goals. the main goal of the scientists was to create General AI but the first successful wave of AI in 2010 focused on specific AI rather than the general one later scientists started to believe that AGI was a myth and focused on the narrower and more specific area of AI.

Almost 15th months ago from now Chat GPT was first introduced by Sam Altman who is the CEO of Open AI which was the revival of Artificial General Intelligence. The AI works on neural networks which is also equal to Machine learning. The traditional programming of AI is given below-

A neural network basically works as above diagram, it answers as per the codes takes feedback given slowly develops itself, and covert itself to AI. The major evolution in neural networks happened during the 1990s and 2000s the shift from CPU to GPU . The deep Artificial Neural networks are replacing the traditional machine of neural networks in that regard, the most relevant examples of Artificial Development would start from the Chess game played by a computer which is fed with all the appropriate moves, and the program plays in that algorithm only. Self-driven cars in recent years, taking the example of Uber’s fatal self- driven Car Crash, there are 5 stages of Autonomous Driving –;

L-0 = No Animation

L1 = Driver Assistance

L2 = Partial Automation

L3 = Conditional Automation

L4 = High Automation (Self-Driven Car)

L5 = Full Automation (Futuristic Car)

In this particular case, Uber’s self-driven car couldn’t identify the lady with the bicycle and crashed her, the driver was at that particular time watching the series, and the question that arose here was who would be guilty of the car crash as the car was self-driven. The driver in this case pleaded guilty and was convicted of 5 years of Imprisonment.

We can see this development even more with the recent case Moffat vs Air Canada “In 2022, Air Canada’s chatbot promised a discount that wasn't available to passenger Jake Moffatt, who was assured that he could book a full-fare flight for his grandmother's funeral and then apply for a bereavement fare after the fact.”

Copyright and AI

[Image Sources: Shutterstock]

‘According to a civil-resolutions tribunal decision last Wednesday when Moffatt applied for the discount. the airline said the chatbot had been wrong – the request needed to be submitted before the flight – and it wouldn't offer the discount. Instead, the airline said the chatbot was a separate legal entity that was responsible for its actions. Air Canada argued that Moffatt should have gone to the link provided by the chatbot where he would have seen the correct policy.’


AI is in present exist in every industry and IP is also no exception to this but with the evolution of AI, it brings Challenges with it. The AI in present term is working towards the creative and innovation which has been working worldwide, taking the Instance of the Monkey Selfie Case (2018) where Naruto a monkey clicked a selfie with the camera later camera person saw the picture and filed for the copyright which was denied to him saying that the person who clicks the picture is the owner of the picture, in this particular no one would be the owner of the particular picture as the monkey is not considered as a person under copyright law.

Another stance is the case of Stephen Thaler vs Shira Perlmutter, In this particular case the facts were that the plaintiff created a Picture with the AI called “Creative Machine” and then filed for the copyright under USCO which was rejected by the USCO, the court stated “Undoubtedly, we are approaching new frontiers in copyright as artists put AI in their toolbox to be used in the generation of new visual and other artistic works. The increased attenuation of human creativity from the actual generation of the final work will prompt challenging questions regarding how much human input is necessary to qualify the user of an AI system as an author of a generated work, the scope of the protection obtained over the resultant image, how to assess the originality of AI-generated works where the systems may have been trained on unknown pre-existing works, how copyright might best be used to incentivize creative works involving AI, and more”.

Copyright protection serves as an incentive for the authors to produce more creative works, but due to the evolution of AI in recent years many issues for instance if we recognize AI-generated works under copyright protection then that would mean we are putting “human-generated work” and “Machine creativity” in the same pedestal which would kill human creativity in the long run. Considering AI-generated work can cause several issues, as the AI works on the codes/Algorithm fed by the coder. This can be biased taking the instance from the “GEMINI” issue which was recently seen in the news and showed some biased remarks against PM Modi being a “Fascist”. Another issue is that if AI-generated work is similar to that of existing work which has a copyright then who will be held liable for copyright infringement in such cases? if AI is recognized as an author then the transfer of rights from the bundle of rights won’t be possible as per existing laws.

But if we mention the European Parliament, they have advocated granting legal status to robots and electronic persons under copyright laws taking instance from the case of Virtual Artist (AIVA) Technologies’ “music composing AI becomes the first in the world to be officially be given the status of a composer”. It has been recognized officially as a composer by “SACEM, France and Luxembourg Author’s Right Society” which enables it to release music and get royalties under the name AIVA. Another view under this regime emerges that AI-generated work has no author and the work would fall under the public domain, as the AI has no personality as such so it can’t be the author Take the instance of a Humanoid robot Sophia has been given all the IP rights which means she had the personality rights too. the copyright is justified as his/her efforts are to be rewarded. On the contrary, an AI is immortal, does not experience fatigue, and is capable of producing any number of works. Conferring copyright protection on AI-generated works is therefore “equivocal and disputable”

If we see the Indian Copyright Act, there is one instance where an AI was given copyright as a co-author, the facts were an artist named Ankit Sahni who was an artist who created artwork with the help of AI named RAGHAV with the style of “Vincent Vin Goghs” style the photograph was of the sunset which was given with the image. Mr. Sahni then applied for a copyright for the same image with Raghav being the Co-author and it was granted. But later it was stated that Raghav wouldn’t be considered as a co-author, it was not held null as there is no specific law for that, and AI is the author . The Indian Act protects the works created by Computer programs, recent news and the deep fake videos of various celebs have raised the issue about the protection of people against AI-generated works and people also started questioning with regards to the current laws of copyright and IP with this regard, The Rajya Sabha by notification on Feb 9, 2024, stated that there is no separate proposal to create any separate IP law with regards to AI- generated Content. Also stated that the Current laws are well-equipped to deal with these kinds of issues .


If we use the creative works generated by AI, goes without any IP protection then it could create big trouble not only for creators but also for technology, it is a huge debate as to whether to give protection to AI-made works or not as discussed above that many people believe that it should be given protection but then the whole new question arises as to whom the protection should be given, to the coder who feeds data in AI model or to the person who is giving the prompt to deliver the specific work. The question may arise that the same work will be delivered to all who are giving the prompt for similar things, but it is not an issue because there are some or other differences in the prompt given even if it is the same the result provided by AI differs for every individual. Some people believe that the person giving a prompt to the AI should be given the copyright for the work as the Copyright says that similarities are bound to occur so even persons with similar prompts can be provided with protection, the technology is still growing and many suits are filing each second, many issues of AI is still coming in picture. What I believe is we need a balanced approach regarding the same and the Copyright Act needs some modification with respect to issues emerging each day creating a balanced approach with regards to the issue.

Author : Falguni Khaparde, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing or write back us via email at

Get In Touch