Who Owns AI Art?


October 25, 2023

Sharp Decisions
Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to remain at the forefront of today’s leading-edge conversations – and for good reason. AI is quickly impacting the way we live and work, in part by offering an array of benefits.

But with these benefits come some unique challenges. One such challenge involves the artistic applications of AI. And more importantly, the sticky question of just who owns AI art?

So, who owns AI art?

As the debate of AI artistic ownership continues to form, the stakes have become increasingly complex, and not surprisingly, litigious. A recent Class Action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeks compensation for damages caused by three separate firms that claim to produce AI-based artistic solutions.

In essence, the lawsuit claims these firms have created products that infringe the rights of artists and other creative individuals under the guise of alleged “artificial intelligence.”

The plaintiff’s argument is based, in part, on the premise that much of the firms’ Artificial Intelligence images are comprised of billions of copyrighted images contained in the LAION-5B dataset, and that these images were downloaded and used without compensation or consent from the artists who created them.

It is argued that if similar AI images and products are allowed to continue to be used as they are now, it’s possible they could soon supplant the work of the artists whose stolen works power these AI products, and with whom they are competing.

While technology no doubt has and will continue to greatly alter our work productivity and everyday lifestyle, those entrenched in the AI art debate feel it is critical that we recognize the rights of artists and protect them against unlawful theft and fraud.

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