As a new milestone for the discussions on authorship of ‘AI-created work’, India Copyright Office has recognized co-authorship of the Artificial Intelligence RAGHAV, Artificial Intelligence Painting App.
The India Copyright Office has granted copyright protection for the painting titled as ‘Suryast’ on 02 November 2020.
In the copyright-protected work, ‘Suryast’, Sahni (a human author) and AI were shown as co-authors, so that for the first time an AI is recognized as a co-author.
Sahni had actually filed two copyright applications before the Indian Copyright Office and one in which the Artificial Intelligence RAGHAV was indicated as the sole author was rejected by the Indian Copyright Office. Thus, in the second application, both the owner and the AI app were named as co-authors and this time the Office has granted a copyright registration for ‘Suryast’.
This decision has once again highlighted the debates for definition of ‘author’.
It is argued that in the Indian Copyright Act (1957), there is no explicit provision stating that author shall be ‘natural person’; therefore, it eventually leaves a room for AI to be named at least as a co-author.
Nevertheless, The India Copyright Office’s refusal decision for the application in which AI is shown solely as the author shows that there is still ambiguity with regard to the concept of ‘author’ and AI can only be recognised as a co-author along with human author(s) who is the person having caused the work to be created.
We see that the India Copyright Office’s practise is also consistent with the resolution no. two of AIPPI - International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property dated 2019 in relation to the Study Question of “Copyright in artificially generated Works” stating; “AI generated works should only be eligible for protection by Copyright if there is human intervention in the creation of the work and provided that the other conditions for protection are met. AI generated works should not be protected by Copyright without human intervention.” (2019 AIPPI World Congress – London, Adopted Resolution, “Copyright in artificially generated Works”, September 18, 2019).
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