China’s Guangzhou Internet Court holds AI company liable for copyright infringement

Guangzhou Internet Court holds an AI company accountable for copyright infringement, ordering a $1,389 payout for unauthorized use of Ultraman images. This marks a pivotal moment in AI regulation, prioritizing human creators’ rights.

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In a groundbreaking decision, the Guangzhou Internet Court in China declared an AI company guilty of copyright infringement due to its provision of AI-generated text-to-image services. The case centered around the iconic character Ultraman, owned by Tsuburaya Productions. The plaintiff contended that the AI company replicated copyrighted Ultraman images without authorization. The court held the AI company accountable, mandating it to pay 10,000 RMB ($1,389) in damages. This landmark ruling underscores the significance of implementing keyword filtering to prevent the creation of images substantially similar to copyrighted works.

Why does it matter?

This legal precedent signifies the first instance in which an AI company is held legally responsible for generating copyrighted material. Unlike the Beijing Internet Court’s stance, which deemed user-modified AI-generated images as potential artwork, the Guangzhou ruling leans towards safeguarding human creators rather than prioritizing the interests of the AI industry. This development raises concerns regarding the legal risks Chinese AI companies face, potentially influencing their investment and development decisions.