Last Updated: 27 Sep, 2023     Views: 44

Copyright

Currently, in Australian copyright law, copyright only applies to original material created by humans (refer to page 2 of the Australian Copyright Council's fact sheet An Introduction to Copyright in Australia).

Material generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software program is, by its very nature, a pastiche, so the originality of the work is in question. It has also been generated by a computer program, not a human being, so it fails on the "created by humans" count as well. In theory, this means the work generated by AI software is not subject to copyright.1

Terms of use

However, software developers can place conditions of use on their products which include stating who owns the content generated by or used in conjunction with their software,2 and what can and cannot be done with that content. You need to read the terms of use to determine whether you are free to use the content in the manner you wish. You may be in breach of contract if you use the material created by the software in a manner contrary to the terms of use.

This is most likely to become an issue if you attempt to use the content for commercial purposes, as some software agreements have different conditions depending on:

  1. what level of service you have paid for, and
  2. the commercial implications and applications of the work you have "created" using the software (remembering that content "generated" by the software might not have been "created" by you).

Check the terms of use carefully.

 

1. The original material that "inspired" the pastiche is subject to copyright, and the question of whether AI generated content is itself in breach of copyright itself is one that is still under debate.

2. Software terms of use might also indicated that material uploaded into the software becomes property of the software owners. This means content that was your own "original work" might be made available to the software developers and other users, with the software's terms of use applied.