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Legal Implications Of Ai-Created Works In India


Since its independence, India has flourished into a global power, especially in terms of globalization and technological advancements – India has become the IT hub of the world[1] and one of the largest fields for the market and the development thereof. In a similar way or even faster, technology too has been on the rise – but it does not come as a conqueror, it is coming as a creator.[2]

These days we come across various works that have been made digitally or by a digital one; these range from matter-of-fact mechanical records to creative pieces of art. The creation of art with the help of technology is not something new; dating as far back as the 1970s, artists have been using machines as tools or catalysts to aid and enhance their creative work. Till now, the domain of creativity had been dominated by humans only, and such works, albeit made with a computer, relied majorly on the input provided by a human; hence, the human had been deemed the creator and the owner thereof, just assisted by a machine. Such practice has continued and has improved with the evolution of technology, allowing it to produce creative works on its own without specifically being manoeuvred by a human anymore.

            While it may be a blessing to the entertainment industry, lessening the burden in both mental and monetary aspects, it also leaves open an ambiguity in the legal aspect thereof.

Artificial Intelligence And Copyright

Any issues regarding creative works eventually call for the discussion of copyright. Copyright refers to the legal right given to the deserving creator and owner of the creative work, so they may claim the full benefit thereof and it shall not be used unfairly by anyone else. Copyright protects artistic expression, traditionally been made by humans, regarding music, films, literature, and so on. However, rapid advancements in technology have made Artificial Intelligence (AI) capable to the point where it can create original works without direct human intervention, and this raises questions about who should be considered the creator and copyright owner of such works. In such cases, there are two scenarios that arise:

  1. Works created by AI with human guidance: In these cases, the creative inputs provided by humans play a significant role, and copyright ownership can be attributed to the human contributors.
  2. Works created by AI without human guidance: When AI generates works independently, without direct human input, the issue of authorship becomes more complex. Attribution of authorship to AI itself requires careful consideration of legal and conceptual frameworks.
[Image Sources : Shutterstock]

AI Created Work in IndiaFor copyright protection, a work must meet the criterion of originality. It must be the result of the author’s skill, judgment, and creativity. In the case of AI-generated works, the question of whether AI can possess originality is debatable as they rely on existing data and algorithms programmed by humans. A popular example is ChatGPT which relies on vast amounts of data, including copyrighted material, to effectively train its algorithms[3]; then, Google has created a software that can produce original music from descriptions and recordings.[4] AI technologies have the ability to replicate and mimic existing copyrighted works, blurring the lines between original and AI-generated content and creating legal complexities. While AI may compile and arrange data in unique ways, determining whether it possesses the necessary creativity to meet the threshold of originality remains a challenge. This raises concerns about the potential infringement of copyright laws.

Liability and Infringement

Determining liability for AI-generated works is complex. It involves understanding the roles of AI developers, users, and the AI system itself. Both creators and users of AI-generated content bear responsibility for ensuring compliance with copyright laws. However, if an AI system creates work without human intervention, determining the rightful copyright owner becomes complex. In cases where AI causes copyright infringement, issues arise due to the lack of legal personality attributed to AI. The Copyright Act typically holds persons liable for infringement, but AI is not recognized as a legal entity. Addressing liability concerns requires establishing clear frameworks to attribute responsibility to AI creators, owners, or operators.

Many countries, including India, Ireland, New Zealand, follow the practice of granting copyright ownership to the programmer of the AI system.2 This approach recognizes that the AI’s existence is a result of the programmer’s intellectual creativity. Recently, India has opted for this lenient approach by providing the work by the AI RAGHAV the co-ownership for its creation called Suryast, the other co-author being its creator.[5]

Considering that, some argue that if an AI system independently generates a completely original work, it should be considered the author and hold sole copyright ownership. Furthering this perspective, Japan had allowed a short novel written by a computer program into the selection rounds for the national literary prize in 2016.[6] However, such an approach may face challenges because AI machines are not recognized as a legal personality in most jurisdictions. Copyright laws typically require human creativity and intellect for authorship. Countries like the United States, Spain and Germany have explicitly stated that copyright is granted only to works created by human beings.2 In the landmark decision of Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagbaldes Forening[7], the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had declared that copyright only applies to original works that must reflect “author’s own intellectual creation.” In another case of Acohs Pty Ltd. v Ucorp Pty Ltd.[8], the Australian Court had refused to grant copyrights to AI-generated work because it had not been produced by a human.

Another perspective is that AI-generated works should be considered free and not owned by anyone, similar to creative commons. While this approach benefits the public, it may discourage tech companies from investing in AI projects if they cannot derive economic rewards from the works produced.

Legal Scenario In India

In India, the subject issue of creative works is governed by the Copyright Act of 1957. India lacks inclusivity when it comes to AI-generated works. Section 2(d) of the act defines an “author” as the person who causes the work to be created, which includes a human or legal person. This definition excludes AI systems from owning authorship. Indian courts have reiterated this position in various judgments, clarifying that AI systems cannot be considered authors of copyrighted works.

The concept of fair use, a legal doctrine adopted from the United States, allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission under specific circumstances. Determining whether an AI-generated work qualifies as fair use requires considering factors such as purpose, nature, amount, and effect. Transformative use, which adds new meaning or expression to a copyrighted work, is often a crucial factor in fair use analysis.

Way Forward

To address the legal implications of AI-generated creative works in India, several steps can be taken:

  • Update Intellectual Property Laws: Intellectual property laws should be revised to align with advancements in AI technology. This includes recognizing and addressing the unique challenges posed by AI-generated content, copyright ownership, and fair use in the digital era.
  • Separate Criteria for AI-Generated Works: Even if AI is not granted legal status, its work may be acknowledged under a separate criterion from that of traditional copyrights. This may address the lacunae without compromising much with the existing legislations and principles.
  • Implement Data Usage and Governance Policies: AI projects should adhere to well-defined data usage and governance policies. These policies should include oversight and compliance mechanisms to ensure the responsible and ethical use of copyrighted material during AI training.
  • Mandate Compliance Officers: AI firms should be mandated to appoint compliance officers responsible for copyright protection, conducting audits, and assessments. These officers would ensure that AI-generated content adheres to copyright laws and identify any potential infringements.

The existing Copyright Act of 1957 in India does not specifically address AI-generated works or recognize AI as an author. Amendments to copyright laws could be considered to address the unique challenges posed by AI technology. These amendments may include the recognition of AI as a separate entity or the creation of a new category of works specifically related to AI-generated content.


The intersection of copyright infringement and AI-generated creative works in India presents significant legal challenges. As AI technology continues to advance, it is essential to strike a balance between protecting the rights of copyright owners and fostering innovation in AI. Adapting copyright laws, recognizing fair use in the context of AI, and implementing robust governance frameworks are vital steps towards addressing these legal implications and promoting the growth and advancement of AI in India.

Author : Neha Raj,  in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email to [email protected] or at IIPRD. 

[1] EY India, ‘How India is emerging as the world’s technology and services hub’ (EY, 27 January 2023) <> Accessed on 10 July 2023

[2] Andres Guadamuz, ‘Artificial intelligence and copyright’ (WIPO MAGAZINE, October 2017) <> Accessed on 10 July 2023

[3] Ruchi Shukla, ‘What ChatGPT is and How it Works?’, (TIMES OF INDIA, 29 January 2023) <> Accessed on 10 July 2023

[4] Daniel Dominguez, ‘Google Unveils MusicLM, an AI That Can Generate Music from Text Prompts’ <> (INFOQ, 1 February 2023) Accessed on 10 July 2023

[5] Rommel Khan, ‘AI Works The Future Of Intellectual Property Law’ (MONDAQ, 20 February 2023) <–the-future-of-intellectual-property-law#:~:text=In%202021%2C%20an%20AI%20painting,owner%20of%20the%20AI%20App.&text=Initially%2C%20the%20Indian%20Copyright%20Office,sole%20author%20for%20an%20artwork.> Accessed 10 July 2023

[6] Michael Schaub, ‘Is the future award-winning novelist a writing robot?’ (LOS ANGELES TIMES, 22 March 2016) <> Accessed on 10 July 2023

[7] Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening (C-5/08) EU:C:2009:465 (16 July 2009)

[8] Acohs Pty Ltd. v Ucorp Pty Ltd. [2012] FCAFC 16

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