Undoubtedly, the two industries most affected by the AI revolution are Fashion and Art. AI (artificial intelligence) offers tremendous potential to fashion designers and artists in these industries. AI-generated images, created by programs like DALL-E 2 or Midjourney, no longer produce flat 2D images. They pop out of the screen and look realistic.
Everyone knows copyright laws, intellectual property rights, etc., regarding artwork and images posted on social media. These laws are in place to protect the creator. Under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, several countries automatically recognize and give the creator or artist credit for the artwork.
However, when it comes to images created by a machine which then is the creator and owner of those images? AI raises several questions about the legal implications of AI-generated images.
The following article sheds light on the legal implications of AI-generated images, whether designers and artists can use AI-generated images in fashion and art shows, and who owns AI-generated images.
Copyright Law And AI-Generated Images
One issue that the use of AI-generated images raises is copyright law. Copyright law protects original compositions, including images, from unauthorized use. However, regarding AI-generated images, the question of who holds the copyright is unclear.
According to the United States Copyright Office, they do not recognize and refuse to register machine-created images. The US copyright laws protect artworks if they meet the following requirements;
1. An original art composition
2. Created in a tangible medium
3. Has minimal creativity
Any artwork or design not meeting these criteria is not registered for copyright protection. In essence, the existing copyright laws have provisions only for protecting artwork created by humans and not those created by machines.
Ownership Of AI-Generated Images
Ownership of AI-generated images is one of the most significant legal issues that arise. Ryan Meyer, a Dorsey & Whitney LLP lawyer, states that the United States copyright law does not apply to AI-generated images. So neither the creator nor the AI company has rights to the artwork.
Typically, ownership of an AI-generated image depends on the creator of the underlying code that generated the image. If an individual or company hires a programmer to create an AI algorithm that generates images, the rights to those images will typically belong to the person or company that commissioned the work. However, if the programmer developed the algorithm on their own time, the rights to the images may belong to them.
AI usually reviews or contains reproductions of other original pieces of artwork that it uses to create new artwork. That artwork it creates could be an unauthorized derivative, a copyright infringement. And if the AI also stores a reproduction of that artwork, that is an infringement.
These concerns AI ownership, and who is liable for infringement. But since copyright infringement laws do not protect AI-generated artwork, it is unlikely that the AI or the AI company has any rights to the image.
Regarding ownership of AI-generated images, companies and individuals need to have clear agreements that specify ownership rights to any AI-generated images they create. These agreements must include details on how the artists and designers will use the images and who has the right to license or sell them.
AI-Generated Images In Fashion Shows And Art
Every image created is copyright protected. And although the potential for AI-generated images in fashion and art is excellent, artists and designers must consider the legal implications before use. For example, if an artist or designer uses an original artwork without first notifying the creator, this can lead to copyright infringement claims or unfair competition.
Artists and designers must ensure that any AI-generated images they use in fashion shows or art do not infringe on existing intellectual property rights. The designer or artist must conduct thorough research to ensure the images are original and do not resemble existing designs or artworks too closely.
AI has opened an extensive avenue for everyone, even those without artistic or creative ability. Fashion designers and artists use AI-generated images as inspiration to create original designs and artworks. However, they must have clear agreements, obtain permission when necessary, and conduct thorough searches before using AI-generated images in connection with their products or services.
When artists and designers are aware of these legal implications, they can use AI-generated images in a way that is both innovative and legally sound. Until the current laws regarding AI images change, designers, artists, and coders must protect themselves from copyright laws’ legal ramifications.