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July 3, 2023

Comment: Does Providing Copyright Ownership Of AI-Generated Work To Users Incentivize Investment In AI Technology

Author: Former Intern - Priyanka Jaiswal

As discussions on copyright ownership of creations through generative AI are still nascent, the potential effect of granting copyright to works generated through AI technology is an issue that requires close attention. While there exist varied views of who can enjoy copyright over generative AI works, the author opines that granting copyright ownership to users will serve as an incentive that encourages investment in the development of AI technology.

The bounds of creativity and originality are re-defined with leaps of development made in generative AI models. The apprehension surrounding incentivizing products of generative AI technology is that granting ownership over products of generative AI may hinder collective enjoyment and cultural development of society. But history has only shown that encouraging technology benefits society at large. Culture has transformed and evolved owing to the Internet providing avenues for new forms of expression and works utilizing generative AI is only a natural extension of the same.

The foreground of the debate is in understanding the function performed by AI technology in creating ‘original’ works. As it stands, a generative AI-platform is a framework designed to assist its users in actualizing creative works in a smart manner. In this framework, the creative thought or a ‘prompt’ originates from the user of AI platforms. It is argued that providing copyright ownership to users would indeed align with the purpose of copyright protection, i.e., to encourage innovation by allowing users to monetize their works and enjoy the economic benefits arising out of it. Furthermore, business models such as paid AI-platforms and services indicate the recognition of mutual economic benefits to users and AI-platforms. This works in common benefit for stakeholders and attracts more users to AI-platforms, thereby benefiting the developers of such platforms.

As laws adapt and untangle technological complexities that require attention, granting copyright protection to users seems to come as a natural solution. AI-generated works are only capable of training data – it is the user who hones the technology to create value for society, such AI-platforms would have no further role to play. Providing copyright ownership assures users the freedom to exploit their content and work within the contours of copyright law. This clarity eliminates potential hesitation among investors, ensuring a conducive environment for investment in AI technology. For that reason, it can be contemplated that copyright ownership of AI generated content to the user would catalyze AI platforms to invest and generate revenue.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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