China’s Beijing Internet Court(BIC) has made a first-instance judgment on the first copyright case in the field related to AI-generated images. The Court found that the defendant’s conduct constituted infringement and must make a public apology and pay 500 yuan in compensation.
According to the judgment released by the court, plaintiff Li XX, a Chinese social media Xiaohongshu account owner, used the open-source software Stable Diffusion in February to generate an image by text inputting and then posted the image on the Xiaohongshu platform.
Defendant Liu XX used the unauthorized image in March by cutting off the Xiaohongshu watermark in her post in Baijiahao, a blog-style platform under Baidu.
The plaintiff then filed an infringement lawsuit against the defendant at China’s Beijing Internet Court, asking for a public apology and 5,000 yuan in compensation.
The Beijing Internet Court heard the case in late August and made a judgment recently in favor of the plaintiff.
The court reasoned in the judgment that the plaintiff made the relevant setting of the AI model based on his need and eventually selected the figure in the image. The disputed image was produced based on the plaintiff’s intelligence input and reflects the plaintiff’s personalized expression. The plaintiff therefore is the author of the image and owns its copyright.
The court then determined that the disputed AI-generated image had "originality" and should be identified as works and protected by the copyright law.