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IP, AI, when & how to use online available AI, copyrights in AI products & why to seek legal advice.

Photo by Mike Mackenzie-

Artificial intelligence has been here - in many sectors and platforms - influencing a large part of our life. How should we address it?

In this post I chose to focus on the rights and obligations that apply to those who visit AI managed platforms that create images - apparently for free - according to the description of the desired image.

Can we now create photos for ourselves on AI image creation sites such as SHUTTERSTOCK - and will we own all rights in the photos- for unlimited use and free of charge? Not necessarily!

As I already wrote here - beware of "free" content you find - and if indeed it is open for free use - you need to be careful and check - which terms of use are attached to them. Content is often a "work" or includes other IP assets owned by 3rd parties - and entitles its owners to different IP rights(copyrights included) These are usually the owners of the website, the application, and the AI software we use. The terms of use published on these platforms include the terms of use of the content.

Offers of various websites and applications - to create images using AI engines - are simply an invitation to use the website in which the offer is made.

In essence, this does not introduce a change to the terms of use within those websites that offer content such as photographs or paintings or any other content. The terms of use in the AI image creation platforms, refers both to the content and use of the software offered on these platforms. The users are invited to use the software, including the AI image creators and even the underlying content - all subject to the terms of use on their platforms.

An example of such a platform , is the iStock website that offers the creation of images using AI-while entering combinations of words or terms by the user. A simple search on the site takes the user to a page that explains the rules of use of the content and the AI, or in other words, the software offered there:

"What license do I need?

When you download a file on iStock, you're buying a standard license that lets you use the file for any personal, business or commercial purposes that aren't otherwise restricted by the license (check out the full content license agreement).

That means you can use our content in advertising, marketing, apps, websites, social media, TV and film, presentations, newspapers, magazines and books, and product packaging, among hundreds of other uses. Adding an extended license lets you use our content in even more ways."

As expected - you can use the downloaded file , but subject to a license, the terms of which can also be read on the site. Often, what at first site seems to be free and limitless use, may be one that limits the user in various ways. To know what the restrictions are - you must check the license wording - that means to read the fine print :).

I entered words or terms into the AI system, and asked it to create images for me. Who owns the copyrights in the work created?

The question of copyright ownership in a work that is the fruit of AI is complex and I chose not to discuss it here. That said - copyright, like any intellectual property assets, is property that can be licensed - preferably via written agreements. As soon as there is an agreement between the parties to the creation of the work - in this case between the owners of the AI platform and the user - the agreement usually overrides the rights that the law grants to the property owners. According to the principle of freedom to create agreements - the owners of the work may agree to the terms of the agreement. Terms of use on websites and applications are nothing more than an agreement for use and conduct within them - and may include an agreement as to ownership of the AI created work - will it belong to the platform owner or the user.

Reading , understanding and acting within a platform's Terms of Use is recommended, especially if the user intends to use the create work commercially.

For those who are unsure about the said conditions or their wording, it is recommended to seek legal advice.

More about AI and its connection to IP - in the following articles.

*The above article is not considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For legal advice, contact a lawyer.

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