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AI generated images, what trends will it bring in the legal sphere



Human creativity has surpassed its limits. Our inventions such as the AI has allowed us to perform activities equivalent to human intelligence. It has made every task possible, be it predicting outcomes, analysing complex problems, recognizing patters and much more. On the visual side, AI has introduced features to create realistic yet artistic portraits. In later 2022, Prisma Labs, a company based in Sunnyvale, California, released an app called “Lensa AI” which created artistic and astonishing portraits. The user uploads a minimum of 10 selfies from which the app creates a series of computer-generated portraits, incorporating different styles and themes applied to the user’s facial elements as well as the image’s background. A few of these themes were anime, vintage etc.


According to Lensa AI, these portraits are created using a technology called Stable Diffusion. Stable diffusion is basically a text-to image model released in 2022. The model is capable of generating detailed images from text descriptions. It can also be used for tasks such as inpainting, outpainting, text-to-image and image-to-image translations. The Lensa AI, since its introduction has garnered a huge user base, with many renowned people also making their portraits and sharing it to their profiles. But with any new technology, a cyber risk also comes along. An app such as the Lensa AI which deals with manipulating existing images and creating new ones, surely brings legal issues into play.


With new technologies, users should consider issues of ownership and control of different IP assets. The creation of AI-generated images and text can often lead to legal issues involving patent and copyright law, protection of one’s rights of publicity and privacy and ethical issues. Below we have discussed some general takeaways to keep in mind while dealing with these fields of law.


Privacy

AI processing usually involves large amounts of data. It is important for users of apps such as the Lensa AI or any other analogous AI image portrait generator, to assess the applicable platform's terms of use. The terms are likely to include language that the user shall grant rights to create derivative works and also grant the persons behind the AI platform app the right to use the image(s) for other commercial purposes.


Publicity Rights

It is important to assess if the images generated by such platforms will be used for marketing and branding purposes. Although individual users have not used their own faces for trademark purposes or allowed others to do so, by granting rights to images via an AI app to a developer, a user could end up seeing their face on the developer's website or marketing materials. Therefore, for every potential user, it is important to become aware, that they could be potentially surrendering their rights of publicity and privacy.


Copyrights

If we take in consideration, the U.S. Copyright Office, the department claims that works can only be copyrighted if there is substantial human involvement in the process of creation. For instance, "Zarya of the Dawn," a graphic novel by Kristina Kashtanova, was created with the assistance of the AI image-generating technology MidJourney. On Sept. 15, 2022, the Copyright Office granted a valid copyright registration for such work, and it seems to be the first of its nature. However, a month later, the Copyright Office gave notice that cancellation of the registration was possible and asked the claimant to provide details of the creative process to show that there was substantial human involvement in the process of creation. As per the decision in the Thaler v. Vidal, the U.S. Copyright Office will only accept works that are partially or not completely assisted by AI during the entire creation process.

 

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