S. Korea launches working group to discuss intellectual property issues regarding AI-generated images

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 24, 2023, 17:13 Updated : February 24, 2023, 17:13

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea has launched a working group composed of experts from various sectors to discuss issues regarding intellectual property rights over artificial intelligence-generated images. Thanks to the development of AI technologies, anyone can generate artificial images to match their preferences. However, generated images are based on datasets of pictures and drawings created by human artists.
AI-generated image services became popular during the last few years as they offer image generation based on users' demands. AI uses datasets pre-collected from the web to instantly generate still images or moving pictures. Conventional copyright protection laws normally cover only works created by humans. Fierce debates are currently taking place in online and offline spaces over whether AI violates intellectual property (IP) laws.
In early February, American-British online stock image service operator Getty Images filed a lawsuit in the United States against Stability AI, the operator of open-source AI image generation service Stable Diffusion. The stock photography company accused the AI image generation service operator of "brazen infringement of Getty Images’ intellectual property on a staggering scale," claiming that Stability AI copied more than 12 million images from Getty Images' database.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that a working group designed to improve copyright laws regarding AI-generated images was launched on February 24 and the group consists of scholars, lawyers, AI industry experts and creators held its first discussion. The working group will be operated until September, the ministry said.
Through the working group, the culture ministry seeks to set up guidelines for the proper use of AI-generated images based on the current copyright laws. The ministry said that it hopes that the experts would come up with standards that would be legally applicable.
"It is important to prepare related laws in order to lead the era of AI-generated content, as well as the continuous development of technologies," Vice Culture Minister Jeon Byung-geuk said in a statement on February 24. 
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