Below is my best understanding of how art is generated by machine learning. I understand that the copyright ownership of the final product and any infringement in the process is currently an open question.

Are any of the steps below:

  • already obviously fair use
  • identified as the core of the legal problem (e.g. "we don't know if step X is transformative")

I am asking in the context of international law.

  • 1
    One problem with the question is that "fair use" is a term of art in US law, as is the consideration of transformativity.
    – user6726
    Mar 17, 2023 at 15:00
  • @user6726 I didn't realize that, my point of reference is the EFF so I guess that explains it; I'll do some reading and internationalize my question (edits welcome)
    – lofidevops
    Mar 17, 2023 at 15:03

1 Answer 1



Copyright can only be granted to a human author. The end user might have a copyright in the prompt, but as it is currently held, nobody can hold a copyright in the resulting images, as they have no human author.

  • so this could be a system for generating public domain work? fascinating! (and too good to be true, I'm sure :D)
    – lofidevops
    Mar 17, 2023 at 14:30
  • @lofidevops no it is not: if you prompt the AI to "draw iron man" it infringes on iron-man.
    – Trish
    Mar 17, 2023 at 14:46

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