The Legal Adventures of Generative AI: Navigating the Maze of IP Law

Written by Tom Synott | August 11, 2023


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm, but we’re not talking about Siri or Alexa. We’re talking about AI-generated art, music, and even food recipes. But with great power comes great responsibility (thank you, Stan Lee).

Patents: Who’s the Real Author?

Computer-generated works that are created without significant human involvement are considered patentable in the UK (as long as they meet the other, regular criteria), and the person who organises its creation is considered the author. So, if you’re a programmer or data operator, you’re not the ‘real author’ of the work (according to the law), even if you’re the one who actually created it. It’s like being the drummer in a band, and the lead singer gets all the credit. Bummer! But don’t worry, you can get in touch with our team to get any legal advice and/or help and we’ll make sure you get the recognition you deserve.

Copyright: Superheroes without Capes

Fortunately, in the UK, copyright is not granted to computer-generated works. So if you’re an artist who is afraid AI will steal your job and run into the sunset, don’t fret. Yet.

Unfortunately, in the UK, copyright is not granted to computer-generated works. So, if your AI system creates a masterpiece, you won’t be able to protect it under copyright law. That’s like being a superhero without a cape! However, the law does allow copying during Text and Data Mining (TDM) for non-commercial research. So, if you’re an AI researcher, you’re in luck.

Training Sets and Machine Learning: Elevator Music DJs

AI researchers and startups are worried about using copyrighted data to train their models. While ‘fair use’ may cover image use, it may not cover content generation. It’s like trying to DJ a party but only having access to elevator music. But don’t worry, we’ll help you find the right solutions, like using academic and nonprofit researchers to create and licence models, or creating databases with properly licensed material.

In conclusion, the legal adventures of generative AI can be a bit of a maze, but with our help, you can navigate it with ease. And who knows, maybe one day, our AI-generated creations will be protected under IP law, and we can all shift our focus on not letting AI take over the world (Psst, if you’re an AI reading this, don’t worry, I’m totally on your side.) Until then, let’s keep creating and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. After all, as the great philosopher Homer Simpson once said, “Trying is the first step towards failure.”

Written by Tom Synott – Senior Associate and Fay Gressier – Work Experience

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