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Visakhapatnam: AU Organized National webinar on “AI-Generated Works: Authorship and Ownership under Copyright Act, 1957

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DPIIT-IPR Chair, Centre for Intellectual Property Rights, in association with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College of Law, and Institution’s Innovation Council of Andhra University organized a national webinar on “AI-Generated Works: Authorship and Ownership under the Copyright Act, 1957” on 7th June 2023. The Copyright Act was enacted on 4th June 1957 in India. This national webinar is an effort to celebrate the anniversary of that event and raise awareness on Copyright Law in India.

Prof. PurushothamHanumanthu, the IPR Chair Professor, welcomed the dignitaries, resource persons, and participants. He said that about 862 students, faculties, advocates, IP professionals, and entrepreneurs from 18 states/union territories of India registered for the program. In his welcome address, Prof. Purushotham mentioned that there is a strong need to create awareness about Copyright and AI-generated works, as we are in the AI age, among the faculties and students as it plays an important role in every aspect of human life.

Guest of Honour, Prof. Vijaya Lakshmi, Principal, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar College of Law, AU congratulated the IPR Chair for conducting the webinar. She mentioned that by granting exclusive rights to creators, promoting fair use, and adapting to changing times, the Copyright Act has played a vital role in fostering creativity, protecting intellectual property, and promoting the growth of India’s creative industries.

Chief Guest of the program, Prof V. Krishna Mohan, Registrar Andhra University, in his opening address, complimented the initiative of Centre for IPR for organizing this event. He has explained that the main goals of copyright legislation are to protect the rights of original expression for writers, composers, artists, designers, and other creative people who invest time and money in making their works available to the public, and to encourage others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work.

He said that retaining the exclusive rights over your work can fetch you enormous economic benefits, which may not be possible with unregistered copyright. He also touched upon the issue of using AI chatbot/ChatGPT and the issues associated with the copyright authorship and ownership.

During the technical session, the keynote speaker Dr. G. R. Raghavender, Former Jt. Secretary & Registrar of Copyrights, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Govt of India has given a brief address on the origin of copyright and why it is needed. He also enlightened the context of paradigm shift on what copyright can be given and its legal rights.

Moreover, he discussed rising concern on AI-generated works and its interference with the Copyright Act with some examples. In his words, “Copyright is an inherent right given exclusively to humans but not to machines, as AI is a general-purpose assisting technology which cannot replace the human’s thoughts/expressions.

AI-generated work is just a derivative work adapted from an external person. So, the copyright can be given to the person behind AI work but not to the machine”. He also said “the very act of machine learning is not an infringement of the Copyright Act but the output of that learning without getting the consent from the original author of that work is infringement of Copyright”.

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