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Olga Králíčková | February 13, 2024

Are works created by artificial intelligence copyrighted work?

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The most famous Chat GPT has been with us for over a year now, and artificial intelligence is slowly making its way into all areas of daily life. Before long, one of the first lawsuits was handled by a Czech court. Under Case No. 10 C 13/2023, the Municipal Court in Prague dealt with a claim to, among other things, determine the authorship of an image created by artificial intelligence. In the given dispute, the plaintiff claimed that he gave an artificial intelligence the task to “create a visual representation of two parties signing a business contract in a formal setting such as a commercial room or a law firm office in Prague. Just show the hands.” The result was the image used by the defendant on his website.

During the presentation of evidence, the plaintiff failed to prove that he was indeed the one who instructed the AI, and the court was forced to rule that he was therefore not in a position to sue, and the action was dismissed. More interesting, however, is what the court said beyond the decision. Under copyright law, only a natural person can be the author of a work, which artificial intelligence is not, by any means. The plaintiff’s assignment, which was supposed to be the basis for the image, was rather a suggestion for the work or possibly an idea, which are not in themselves copyrightable works under the Copyright Act. Thus, not only is the image not the plaintiff’s copyrighted work, it is not copyrighted work at all.