Copyright law in India is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") and falls under the ambit of intellectual property rights. Copyright law credits creators of any original work with authorship which can be expressed using codes, schemes or any other forms. Authorship in Indian copyright law aims to protect the monetary rights of the author and the case of Amarnath Sehgal v. Union of India recognized the moral rights of the author under Section 57 of the Act. The question, in the case of artificial intelligence, is whether the work created by growing artificial intelligence with the help of certain human input could be granted authorship. These issues need to be addressed since the growing interference of artificial intelligence with private as well as public entities requires making policies and altering the laws to delete the scope of any loopholes.
Section 2(d)(vi) of the Act defines an 'author' as "in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created;". The shortcomings in the Indian copyright law are reflected here as the definition uses the phrase 'the individual who makes the work be made'. Therefore, the Act does not paint an accurate picture of the production of work in cases where the original maker is not a human.
It is largely argued that authorship is redefined to be inclusive of human and non-human authors. Professor Ryan Abbott advocated authorship and inventorship be assigned to non-humans for promoting the growth and development of artificial intelligence. This could face challenges since non-humans are not natural persons which prevents them from being held legally responsible in a court of law. In the Indian context, issues arise as the Act implies authors be human entities.
Section 2(d)(vi) holds that for any work generated by a computer, the human behind it would be the author. Only computers operated by humans are considered; the computers are the tools for humans' creations. The 1984 case called Sony Corp. v. Universal Studios Inc ruled that benefits associated with copyright ownership are intended to motivate creative activity of inventors and authors by providing a reward. Copyrighted work serves as an incentive to creativity and also increases number of works available in public domain after copyright expiration.
The reasons for considering human authorship is to provide financial incentives and providing copyright to human authors. Artificial intelligence machines have no requirements for financial incentives and their performance is not dependent on material rewards rather on the investment of time by AI programmers as well as the financial backing of the companies for which they work. The case of Alfred Bell v. Catalda Fine Artsis a USA case that ruled that the author contribute leading up to something recognizable. The option to guarantee copyright of the yield was created through the artificial intelligence framework, as they are not duplicated.
Another issue that arose in 1884 was whether copyright insurance can be awarded to a photograph in the case of Burrow Giles Lithographic v. Saron. The case gave a division between imaginative and mechanical work by extending copyright protection to photographs. In this case, the camera used was considered as a tool aiding the original work of art. Court talked of mechanical yield without anyone else in uninventive and that this methodology would make it difficult to allow copyright assurance to work created by them. This precedent set in 1884 is still used to justify issuance of copyright to photographs. Technology has come a long way since and the cameras are digital and in every smartphone therefore can be compared with creating art using an artificial intelligence program. An artificial intelligence machine, just like a camera, is simply a tool employed by an author to give a tangible form to their ideas. Copyright law needs to be updated to include how artificial intelligence be governed. Growing technological advancements and popularity of artificial intelligence related inventions requires attention to be paid to the legitimacy and legality of their inventions.
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