Is AI-generated art illegal?

There is no doubt that we are living in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). From self-driving cars to virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, AI has already changed our world in countless ways...

Is AI-generated art illegal?

Is AI-generated art illegal? In recent years, however, AI app has also begun to create art - music, poetry and even visual works - that are sometimes so sophisticated it's hard to tell they weren't created by a human. However, as AI art becomes more prevalent, a troubling question arises: is AI-generated art illegal? In this video, we explore this fascinating and rapidly evolving topic.

The basics of AI art

First of all, let's talk about what AI art actually is. Simply put, it is art created by algorithms - complex series of calculations and rules that can recognise patterns and create artwork from scratch. One form of AI art is Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), where two neural networks are trained to create fake images that are indistinguishable from real ones. Another method is so-called style transfer, in which a computer programme is given an "input" image - e.g. a landscape photograph - and the programme then reinterprets this image in the style of another artist or genre.

The legal framework for AI-generated art

So is AI-generated art illegal? As with so many legal questions, the answer is "it depends". In general, however, the law treats AI-generated art the same as any other work of art. In other words: If an AI algorithm creates a work of art, the same legal protection (or lack thereof) applies to that work of art as to any other work of art. If the AI-generated art is original and creative enough to be considered an "author's work", it can be protected by copyright like any other work of art.

Challenges for the legal protection of AI art

However, the idea of extending copyright protection to AI-generated art poses some major challenges. For one, it can be difficult to determine who exactly owns the copyright to a particular piece of AI-generated art. Does it belong to the human who created the algorithm? The person who provided the "input"? And what if the AI algorithm was trained on copyrighted material - does that mean that the resulting artwork is itself an infringement of copyright?

Another major challenge is that AI app art is often difficult to categorise. 

Is AI-generated art illegal?

In general, AI-generated art is not illegal as long as it does not infringe intellectual property rights, such as copyright or trademark rights.

Exploring the Intersection of AI and Intellectual Property Law

For example, if an AI model is trained on copyrighted images and then generates new artwork that is too similar to the originals, this could infringe the copyright holder's exclusive right to reproduce, distribute or display their works.

Understanding the Copyright Law of AI-Generated Art

Similarly, if an AI-generated visual contains a trademarked logo or design, this could potentially infringe the trademark owner's rights to use its trademark.

The Legal Landscape of AI-Generated Art: An Overview

It should be noted that the legal status of AI-generated art is a complex and constantly evolving area of law, and that the specific laws and regulations that apply may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of each case. It is therefore important to seek advice from legal experts to ensure that the creation, use or dissemination of AI-generated art complies with applicable laws and regulations.