Czech court finds that AI tool DALL-E cannot be the author of a copyright work

In a recent ruling by the Municipal Court of Prague, a significant decision was made regarding the copyright protection of images generated by artificial intelligence (AI).
The case involved a claimant who had requested an AI program called DALL-E to create an image for their website.
The defendant, a local law firm, subsequently used the image on their own website, leading to a copyright infringement claim by the claimant. The central issue before the court was whether an AI could be considered the author of a copyright work. The court emphasized that the Czech Copyright Act specifies the author of a work as "the natural person who created the work."
Despite the claimant's argument that the AI created the image based on their specific instructions, the court found that the claimant failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish authorship, thus lacking legal standing to bring the claim. 

Furthermore, the court ruled that the image, being created by AI, did not qualify as a work eligible for copyright protection, as it did not result from the creative activity of a natural person as outlined in the Act. 

This decision highlights the current limitations in copyright protection for AI-generated content in Europe, signaling that individuals using images produced by AI tools may need to seek alternative forms of protection, such as contractual safeguards, against unauthorized use by third parties. While the court's decision aligns with previous rulings on similar matters, it raises questions about the evidence required to establish authorship in cases involving AI-generated content.

The ruling underscores the need for individuals utilizing AI-generated images to carefully consider alternative means of protection, given the current limitations of copyright law in this context. It also suggests that future cases may prompt courts to determine the threshold for human authorship in works created with the assistance of AI, potentially paving the way for protectable content under specific conditions.

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