In India, copyright protection extends to all original literary, theatrical, musical, and creative works. This includes diverse artistic expressions, including novels, poems, plays, films, paintings, sculptures, pictures, and architectural designs. To qualify for copyright protection, a work must possess originality and emanate from the creative endeavours of its author. Moreover, it must express the author’s ideas, distinctly divergent from duplicating existing works.
Copyright protection in India is inherently automatic and does not necessitate formal registration. However, registering one’s work with the Copyright Office imparts certain advantages. Notably, it establishes a public record solidifying the author’s ownership, serving as crucial evidence in infringement cases.
In the music industry, the integration of AI music generators is underlined by several potential advantages, as illuminated by scientific research. Primarily, artificial intelligence contributes to musicians’ creative processes by offering novel sources of inspiration and facilitating music composition. This proves particularly beneficial for artists seeking innovative approaches to their craft.
Impact of AI on the Music Industry
AI music generators also cater to musicians needing more formal expertise in music theory. These tools democratise access to advanced musical techniques by assisting in creating sophisticated musical compositions and fostering inclusivity within the artistic community.
An additional dimension to the transformative impact of AI in the music industry lies in its capacity to augment efficiency and production for artists. These technologies streamline repetitive tasks in the music production process, such as generating drum patterns or handling the intricate aspects of mixing and mastering songs. As a result, artists can focus more intently on the creative aspects of their work, enhancing overall productivity.
Collaborating with AI systems allows musicians to leverage the distinctive capabilities and perspectives inherent in these technologies. This synergy expedites the creative process and cultivates innovative and original musical compositions. The symbiotic relationship between artists and AI is a testament to the evolving landscape of creativity in the music industry.
AI Solutions in Copyright Law
The prevailing copyright legislation in India needs more comprehensive provisions to register and protect artificial intelligence-generated content effectively. This deficiency is particularly pronounced as the Indian copyright law does not explicitly designate AI as a creator. Consequently, ascertaining ownership of content produced by AI technologies, exemplified by entities like ChatGPT, is an intricate and burgeoning issue.
ChatGPT asserts that, within the framework of Indian law, determining ownership of content generated by AI tools poses a challenging and evolving problem. The legal landscape in India has yet to incorporate specific regulations that distinctly address the ownership intricacies associated with AI-generated content.
Indian Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
The 161st report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, conducted two years ago to assess the Indian Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) system, advocated for establishing a new category of rights tailored for Artificial Intelligence and related technologies. The report proposed viable options for protecting these rights within the broader framework of Intellectual Property Rights.
Notably, concerns have been raised regarding the potential infringement of original content by ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools, also known as Large Language Models (LLMs). Prominent intellectual property lawyers in India have acknowledged the possibility that content generated by these tools may infringe upon third-party copyrights. However, the infringement determination is contingent upon each case’s unique circumstances.
The eligibility for copyright protection to AI-generated content is also a contention. According to established copyright law principles, the original creator of a work is recognised as the rightful copyright holder. Regrettably, the existing Copyright Act of 1957 in India does not explicitly address AI-generated works nor acknowledges artificial intelligence as an author, further contributing to the complexities surrounding copyright eligibility in AI-generated content.
Challenges and Ethical Considerations
Artificial intelligence, employing extensive datasets and computer science functionalities, replicates human intelligence to facilitate problem-solving and other cognitive outputs and is renowned for its efficacy and real-time capabilities.
The inaugural artificial intelligence tool acknowledged by the Indian copyright office was the RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App, co-authored by Ankit Sahni, with ownership rights attributed to the painting ‘Suryast’ (Diary No. 13646/2020-CO/A). However, a subsequent withdrawal notice was issued by the Indian Copyright Office to Ankit Sahni, invoking Sections 2(d)(iii) and (iv) of the Copyright Act, which delineates the term ‘author’ in the context of artistic work creation.
Mr Sahni has sought protection in alternative jurisdictions, including Canada and the United States. The Canadian Intellectual Rights Office (CIPO 1188619) granted copyright protection to the AI tool, while the United States withheld such recognition. This disparity in copyright acknowledgement across different nations signifies a pivotal juncture in the discourse surrounding AI-generated content and its legal ramifications.
Legal Ownership of Work
Legal frameworks may expressly prohibit AI-generated content from copyright protection or attribute authorship to the machine’s creator. Western jurisdictions, exemplified by the United States, typically adopt the former approach. For instance, the U.S. Copyright Office explicitly states that it will register an original work of authorship only if created by a human being.
The landmark decision in the case of Infopaq International A/S vs. Danske Dagbaldes Forening, rendered by the European Court of Justice, underscores that copyrightability hinges on the originality of the work, reflective of the author’s intellectual production. Legal scholars contend that human authorship constitutes a fundamental prerequisite for the existence of any copyrightable work. Furthermore, with the denial of copyright to the RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App, India aligns itself with the stance adopted by the United States Copyright Office. This convergence underscores the evolving global legal landscape concerning AI-generated content and highlights the need for a cohesive international framework to address these intricate issues.
In January 2024, the Beijing Court in China recognised the copyright of an image generated by artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to catalyse innovation and boost the expanding AI industry, according to the presiding judge responsible for the landmark order.
While the verdict has sparked debate over whether copyright rules should protect AI-generated content, the Beijing Internet Court maintains that future disputes regarding an author’s expression in AI-assisted image creation should be handled case-by-case.
The court’s judgement is consistent with China’s developing objectives for generative AI, which coincide with global advances in AI technology.
For numerous years, music has served as a source of solace and entertainment, acting as a unifying force that shares and shapes societal identity. Culturally relevant and deeply ingrained, music has played a pivotal role in connecting people. The advent of AI-generated music introduces a potential paradigm shift in the music industry, altering the landscape of listeners’ preferences and consumption patterns.
The integration of AI-generated content necessitates careful consideration within the framework of policy inclusion in countries’ legal systems. A critical aspect involves determining the applicability of rights against AI-generated material in instances of copyright infringement and establishing the corresponding accountability. A significant challenge lies in the absence of a global consensus among nations regarding the extent and nature of protection afforded to AI-generated works within their respective national laws.
In this context, it becomes imperative for India to proactively address these issues, striving for a balanced approach that considers ownership rights, potential risks of infringement, and the broader implications on the music industry. The following vital topics merit careful consideration:
- Criteria of Originality: Establishing clear criteria for the originality of AI-generated music, ensuring that it meets the standards necessary for copyright protection.
- Authorship and Ownership of AI-Generated Works: Defining the attribution of authorship and ownership rights for music created by AI, addressing the nuanced aspects of creative input and control.
- Immorality of AI under Section 23 of The Copyright Act 1957: Examining the ethical implications of AI-generated content, particularly in alignment with Section 23 of The Copyright Act 1957, to ensure that it adheres to societal norms and values.
- Infringement and Issue of Asserting Rights Against AI-Generated Works: Establishing a framework to address instances of copyright infringement involving AI-generated music, determining the legal mechanisms available for asserting rights against such works.
By addressing these issues comprehensively, India can contribute to developing a robust legal framework that safeguards the rights of creators and stakeholders and fosters innovation and growth within the evolving landscape of AI-generated music.