From code to law, protecting intellectual property rights in the world of AI

6 June 2024 6 minutes Author: Murder

From this article you will learn: Who will own the text, audio, image or video created with the help of AI? Will you be liable if third parties claim ownership of AI-created objects?

Let’s start

The question of whether an AI can be the owner or author of a work is debatable (as you may have noticed, the regulation of AI is really still in the process of formation) The development of AI in general calls into question existing legal norms and requires a new approach to legislation in order to adequately reflect changes in technology and culture.

If you take the legislation of different countries – they may simply contradict each other, so copyright in many jurisdictions, including Ukraine, requires human intervention or “personal creative work” to recognize a work protected by copyright.

Recently, a new version of the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” entered into force, thereby continuing attempts to regulate the issue of copyright for works created with the help of AI. The main thing to understand is that copyright applies to specific objects. That is, the form is protected, not the idea.

The above-mentioned law stipulates that objects generated exclusively by a computer program are protected by a special kind of right and are called non-original. However, you may have ownership rights in such objects, which means that you have the right to use, distribute and receive the material.

The right to non-original objects may be held by persons who own property rights or licenses to the relevant program, including the authors of the programs, their heirs, successors, or lawful users. Objects generated with significant and original human input + computer software are copyrighted and registerable + monetized.

In situations related to intellectual property, the following rule applies – the first to register their rights is really well done, because they become legally protected. In order for a work to be considered a “personal intellectual creation”, significant human participation is required. And here a logical question immediately arises – is a mouse click already a significant human participation or not?

At the same time, there is legislation in the UK that allows copyright in “computer-generated works” if a person has taken “necessary steps to create the work” (in which case a click is still sufficient)

What is the AI ​​entitled to/what is the user entitled to?

If you violate someone’s rights, for example, by knowingly writing a mickey mouse on a table generative neural network and then using the images, registered intellectual property objects for commercial purposes without the appropriate licenses, you may face legal consequences. So that you do not violate certain intellectual property rights – I will leave links to registers that will help you avoid this.

Now let’s put everything on the shelves so that we clearly understand what AI is entitled to, and what we as users are entitled to.

According to Ukrainian and international legislation, AI owners may have rights to:

  • Patents include algorithms, technical solutions, new data processing methods that are novel, inventive and industrially applicable. In simple language, it is impossible to steal the existing algorithm of conditional AI, which deals with image processing for medical diagnostics.

  • The following is copyright: Software, source code, documents, as well as AI-generated content (texts, images, music), if they are original and creative. For example, neural network code for speech recognition or AI-generated text for a marketing campaign. (if you are confused here, then what are you entitled to – we will discuss it in the next paragraph)

In addition to the above, there may be:

  • Trademarks: For example, the name and logo of a financial market analysis program that uses AI.

  • Trade secret: This can be a unique algorithm for personalizing content on a website or a database used to train an AI model.

  • Industry samples: for example, the design of a robot assistant or the user interface for an AI application.

And here it is, the most interesting thing, what are we entitled to as users?

Sigh,  AI users can own copyright in original works created using AI, as long as they themselves contribute creatively to the final product. For example, if a designer uses an AI program to create a graphic design, but independently selects design elements and composition, he can be recognized as the author of such work.

Further, innovations developed with the help of AI can be patented if they meet the criteria of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. For example, an invention in the field of machine learning that significantly improves existing technologies – yes, it can be patented.

Trademarks: You as an AI user can register trademarks for products or services, or, for example, nicknames under which works are published.

If AI helped you create some new design of furniture, interior items – that is, a unique industrial design – you also have a copyright for it. Also, we as AI users have rights to protect confidential information and trade secrets used in the AI ​​process. We will talk more about how to protect yourself in the next article.

But, an important note right away: when you agree to AI’s terms of use, you often consent to certain ways of using your data, including its processing and publication. I think that everyone has noticed that, for example, the results of generation in Midjourney are visible to all other users, or they can use the prompt text. It is important that you read these terms carefully to understand exactly what rights you are transferring.

So how to protect intellectual property created with the help of AI? Everything is quite simple – you need to add your own mental, creative contribution to the work created with the help of AI, and then such a product can already be protected by copyright. And it is already possible to do this – you have to impose copyright on certain works created with the help of AI, in order to be protected from the legal side in this matter in the future.

We are the first to provide such services on the Ukrainian market and are ready to help make your interaction with AI not only simple, but also protected from a legal point of view.

Currently, even large global companies are actively using AI in their advertising projects – you might not have even noticed it, but literally last year, Levi`s saved time on filming and replaced real models for displaying clothes on the site – with ones generated with the help of AI.

Cosmopolitan generally generated cover magazines using the Dall-E service. We definitely recommend that you put aside your doubts and go with the times, and we will help you do it legally.

These legal recommendations were developed by a lawyer in the field of protection of business interests and intellectual property. For professional legal advice, contact via Telegram: @your_legist.

Other related articles
Found an error?
If you find an error, take a screenshot and send it to the bot.