Copyright in the Age of AI

This piece by Ms. Shivani Singh explores the complex and developing subject of law pertaining to AI and copyright concerning author.

Copyright in the Age of AI
Image credit: Canva


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the simulation of human intelligence in robots that have been designed to reason and acquire knowledge similarly to humans. Rule-based systems adhere to a set of rules to arrive at a result, and machine learning systems, which learn from data and develop over time, are two different types of AI. Applications for AI include picture identification, self-driving cars, natural language processing, and many more. AI is a topic that is continually developing and changing thanks to fresh research and innovations.


It is a complex and developing subject of law when it comes to AI and copyright as an author. Original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form, such as literature, music, and software, are normally covered by copyright law. However, the authorship and originality of AI-generated works may be called into question. Depending on the jurisdiction, the regulations governing AI and copyright may be different. By extending copyright protection to AI-generated works and treating the AI's inventor as the author, some nations have started to solve this problem.

An author is regarded as a person who creates a literary, theatrical, musical, or artistic work in India according to the Copyright Act of 1957. Books, plays, music, paintings, and pictures are among the types of works that fall under this category.

The legislation gives the creator of a copyrighted work certain exclusive rights, such as the ability to reproduce, distribute, and perform the work in public, as well as the ability to modify the work. In accordance with the law, the author is also entitled to royalties for the use of their work and the right to protest any unlawful uses of it. With the author's express permission, the copyright in a work may be transferred to another party. The author retains the original owner of the copyright. In addition, the statute guarantees authors' moral rights, which remain theirs even after the copyright has been assigned.

Numerous creations, such as original artwork and musical compositions, have been attributed to autonomous AI systems. The generative art movement has demonstrated that self-sufficient AI is capable of producing fresh artworks and original poetry. These successful works made by AI that, if created by a human, would have been deemed innovative and original.

At the Colorado State Fair's fine arts competition, an artwork created by artificial intelligence (AI) took first place. It was produced using the Mid Journey artificial intelligence software by Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West. With these applications, all one has to do to make a realistic image is give a written description of what they want to see and wait for the AI to do the rest.

The Next Rembrandt project is a noteworthy illustration of AI's miracles in this regard. The project's aim was to have a machine create a brand-new Rembrandt painting that appeared to have been created by the Dutch master himself. (Design, D. D. ,2018)

The Day a Computer Writes a Novel was a novel written by Japanese AI that came close to winning a literary award in Japan. Researchers from the Kimagure Artificial Intelligence Writer Project wrote the book. (Eric Margolis, 2019)

The owner of the AI software is acknowledged as the creator of the specific work in a few jurisdictions. In Shenzhen Tencent v Shanghai Yingxun, for example, China granted copyright protection to the designer of the AI tool for literary works made by it. Other jurisdictions have recognised AI developers. (Ishaan K. Paranjape and Sangita Sharma ,2022)

An artificial intelligence (AI) system called "DABUS" (Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) system was cited as the inventor on a patent application for a "food container based on fractal geometry" that the South African Patent Office issued a patent for in July 2021. An AI system has been acknowledged as an invention in this case is a first for the entire world. (Patil, U., 2021)

The artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT, which has gained worldwide attention, has made its official entrance into the scientific literature, earning at least four authorship credits on preprints and published publications. In a preprint1 published on the medical repository medRxiv in December of last year, ChatGPT is one of 12 writers discussing the use of the technology for medical education.

In December 2021, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) granted a copyright registration for an artistic work titled Suryast. Suryast has two listed co-authors, one of which is an AI application named RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App. The Robust Artificial Intelligent Graphics and Art Visualizer, or RAGHAV, was recognized as the co-author by the Indian Copyright Office for the artwork (Suryast Sarkar, S., 2022). But after giving RAGHAV co-ownership, the Indian Copyright Office sent a withdrawal notice on November 25 asking for information about the legal standing of the AI tool Raghav citing Sections 2(d) (iii) and Section 2(d) (vi) of the Copyright Act.

·       Section 2 (d) (iii) ‘author’ means in relation to an artistic work means an artist, and

·       Section 2 (d) (vi) “author” means the person who causes an artistic work to be created shall be its author

When an AI is engaged in the creative process, who should be credited with creating a work of art or invention? There is currently no clear legal framework for determining who owns the rights to work created by AI authors. This raises questions about who has the right to profit from AI-generated content and how to protect against plagiarism and copyright infringement. AI authorship also raises questions about who should be considered the "author" of a work. Should the AI be considered the author or the person who programmed the algorithm? This could have implications for issues such as royalties and legal liability. The data that AI systems are taught on determines how impartial they are. If the data is biased, the AI's output will also be biased. This can lead to the perpetuation of discrimination and stereotypes in books written by AI authors. The use of AI authorship raises concerns about the collection, use and storage of personal data. The use of personal data in AI authorship could be a violation of privacy laws. It can be difficult for readers and publishers to understand how an AI algorithm works and where the data used to train it came from. This lack of transparency can make it difficult to hold AI authors accountable for the content they produce.


1. AI-generated artwork wins prize in art competition in US! Find out how. (2022, September 5). The Economic Times.

2. Design, D. D. (2018, January 24). The next Rembrandt: Bringing the old master back to life. Medium.

3. Eric Margolis. (2019). The day a computer wrote a novel. Home.

4. Ishaan K. Paranjape and Sangita Sharma / March 24, 2022 / C. O. on T. H. E. R. A. G. H. A. V. I. S. S. U. E. S. H. O. U. L. D. A. I. B. E. G. R. A. N. T. E. D. A. U. T. H. O. R. S. H. I. P. R. I. G. H. T. S. / C. (2022, March 24). The raghav issue: Should ai be granted authorship rights? American University Intellectual Property Brief. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from,have%20actually%20acknowledged%20AI%20creators.

5. Patil, U. (2021, October 19). South Africa Grants A Patent With An Artificial Intelligence (AI) System As The Inventor – World'.

6. Sarkar, S. (2022, June 9). Exclusive: India recognises AI as co-author of copyrighted artwork | Managing Intellectual Property. MIP.

7. ChatGPT listed as author on research papers: many scientists disapprove. (2023, January 18). Nature.