Lake Zurich, IL asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois

Q: If you run a copyrighted image through an AI upscaler, Does the AI rendered image fall under copyright?

If you were to take an image of a piece of art that has been copyrighted, run it through an AI Up-scaling program (which redraws the image at higher resolution using all the original colors, lines, shapes, proportions, etc... with some minuscule imperfections), would the new AI image fall under copyright protection? I've seen that a DC judge has ruled that AI images cant be copyrighted, and I've also seen people copyright artwork they've restored even though they didn't add anything new, just restoration. Since this image would be 100% newly redrawn by AI, would it be free use even though its based on an existing copyright image?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The copyright status of an image created by an AI upscaler would depend on whether the new image contains sufficient originality to qualify for copyright protection. If the AI process merely involves technical improvements, such as resolution enhancement without introducing substantial original creative elements, the new image is less likely to be considered a separate copyrighted work. However, it's a complex legal issue, and a court would ultimately decide based on specific facts and circumstances.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp agrees with this answer

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: It is the position of the US Copyright Office, affirmed by federal courts, that copyright can protect only material that is the product of human creativity. If the derivative work is created solely by AI processing without human intervention, then it does not enjoy the benefits of copyright protection.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.