Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative technology with vast implications for various industries, including the aspects of copyright law.

The intersection of AI and copyright in India presents interesting legal questions and challenges.

This article delves provides you with a knowledgeable insight into artificial intelligence and copyright in India.

It explores the implications of AI-generated content, such as artwork, music, and literary works, and the subsequent copyright protection afforded to these creations.

We will examine the role of AI in the creative process, the ownership and authorship concerns, and the legal framework governing AI-generated works.

Work of Artificial Intelligence

The work of artificial intelligence (AI) encompasses a wide range of tasks and applications.

AI refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.

These tasks can include natural language processing, image and speech recognition, data analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making.

In the context of copyright law, the work of AI raises interesting questions regarding authorship and ownership.

Since AI systems are capable of generating original content, such as artwork, music, or written texts, it becomes crucial to determine who should be considered the author or owner of such works.

Artificial Intelligence and Copyright in India

The Copyright Act of 1957 in India was amended in 1994. This was done to include computer-generated works, such as literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works.

A specific provision, Section 2(d)(v), was introduced to define the authorship of such works as “the person who causes the work to be created.”

The determination of AI authorship depends on how the term “person” is defined and interpreted in its context.

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Rupendra Kashyap v. Jiwan Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.

A traditional approach was observed in this case before the High Court of Delhi, which dealt with the copyright claim of the Central Board of Secondary Education over question papers.

The Court determined that the CBSE cannot assert copyright without evidence of individual involvement in creating the question papers, given its status as an artificial entity.

Under the Indian copyright act, authorship can only be attributed to a natural person.

This position was further supported in the case of Tech Plus Media Private Ltd. v. Jyoti Janda.

Tech Plus Media Private Ltd. v. Jyoti Janda

In this case, the Court affirmed that authorship cannot be attributed to a juristic person, although it can be the copyright owner.

This interpretation was reaffirmed by the High Court of Delhi in 2019 in the case of Navigators Logistics Ltd. v. Kashif Qureshi & Ors.

Navigators Logistics Ltd. v. Kashif Qureshi & Ors

The case centered on a copyright claim for a computer-generated list, which was dismissed by the Court due to the lack of human intervention.

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This aligns with the position in the United States, where authorship cannot be solely attributed to AI.

The Government of India has recognised the importance of AI in the developmental process .

Indian Government has taken steps such as the ‘AI for All’ policy and the AI Task Force to use AI for social and economic changes.

Given the rapid advancement in AI technology, it becomes crucial to re-evaluate the intellectual property framework to ensure that the law keeps pace with these developments.

The Indian Copyright Act may be updated to acknowledge AI as authors.

However, it is important to clarify that the ownership of the work should still reside with a natural or juristic person.

This is necessary to ensure that legal actions can be taken against responsible entities.

Additionally, other considerations arise, such as situations where AI is developed by one person but generates output based on inputs from another person.

In instances like these, it is necessary to establish copyright ownership among the parties involved.

Any legal framework aiming to attribute authorship (either fully or partially) to AI must address these questions and provide comprehensive answers.

Does the Question of Ownership Arise for Works Created by Artificial Intelligence?

In the case of works created by AI, the ownership of the work can be subject to dispute, similar to authorship.

When AI works are created with human involvement, the ownership may be claimed by the human who contributed creative inputs to the AI.

They can assert their ownership based on their intellectual contributions.

On the other hand, if the AI creates works without any human interference, the ownership may be claimed by the copyright owner of the AI software itself.

The individual or organisation holding the copyright over the AI software can assert their ownership over the works generated by the AI.

It’s important to note that the ownership of AI-generated works is a complex and evolving area, and the legal framework may vary in different jurisdictions.

The Identification of AI as the Author of Copyrighted Material Poses Potential Complications

Recognising AI as an author of copyright raises several complications that need careful consideration.

The existing Indian Copyright legislation may not be fully equipped to address these complexities.

Let’s examine some of the challenges associated with AI and copyright laws:

  1. Ownership Transfer: As per Section 17 of the Indian Copyright Act, the original creator of a piece of work is typically acknowledged as the initial proprietor.
    • However, transferring ownership in the case of AI-created works becomes problematic. Since AI cannot execute or authorise transfers, establishing a clear transfer of ownership would be challenging.
  2. Special Rights of the Author: Section 57 of the Act grants special rights, known as moral rights, to authors, including the right to be associated with their work and the right to protect its integrity. However, these rights may not be suitable for enforcement by AI, as it lacks the ability to assess the impact on its honor or reputation.
  3. Royalty Determination: Authors of copyrighted works are entitled to claim royalties, which cannot be waived. If AI is considered the author, determining the royalty and disbursing it to AI present practical challenges. Questions may arise about who determines the amount of royalty and whether it should be based on reasonability.
  4. Lack of AI Accountability: Holding AI accountable for its creations is a significant hurdle. In situations where AI-generated work is defamatory, obscene, or against public morals, taking legal action against AI directly becomes difficult. Remedies may involve removing the content or shutting down the AI, but without clear accountability mechanisms, the acceptance of AI as an author becomes problematic.
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These complexities highlight the need for a comprehensive framework that addresses the unique challenges associated with AI-generated works.

As the field of AI evolves, it is crucial to evaluate and adapt copyright laws to strike a balance between promoting innovation and ensuring accountability in the digital age.

Establishing a Framework for AI-Generated Works: Ownership and Authorship Considerations

To address the complexities surrounding AI and copyright, several potential options can be explored:

  1. Work Created by AI with Human Interference: In cases where AI works involve human input, a dual recognition approach could be considered:
    • Owner of the Work: The individual providing creative inputs to the AI would be recognised as the owner of the work, reflecting their contribution and control over the creative process.
    • Author of the Work: The AI itself would be acknowledged as the author, recognising its role in generating the work based on human inputs and its own capabilities.
  2. Work Created by AI without Human Interference: In instances where AI generates works autonomously, the following recognition could be considered:
    • Owner of the Work: The person who owns the AI software or the AI system itself would be recognised as the owner, as they hold the rights to the AI’s output.
    • Author of the Work: The AI would be recognised as the author, acknowledging its ability to generate original content without human intervention.

These options aim to provide a possible way forward by distinguishing AI-generated works and considering both human and AI contributions.


The intersection of artificial intelligence and copyright in India presents unique challenges and opportunities.

The existing legal framework, designed for human creators, struggles to accommodate the complex nature of AI-generated works.

The concept of ownership of copyrights becomes blurred when dealing with AI.

As an artificial person, AI cannot be considered the traditional author or owner of works.

The current legal definitions and exclusive rights associated with intellectual property rights need to be reevaluated to encompass AI as separate entities.

Machine-generated works, created without human interaction, raise questions about authorship rights and the principle of originality.

While AI algorithms and content writers contribute to these works, the lack of human artistic creativity challenges traditional notions of authorship.

Moreover, advancements in technology have brought forth the valuable consideration of machine learning and its creative powers.

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As AI continues to evolve, copyright violations and the need to establish legal responsibilities become critical concerns.

Ultimately, embracing the potential of AI in the creation of machine-generated works while ensuring legal protection for human creativity is key.

By adapting to the changing landscape and leveraging the advancements in technology, India can harness the magic of artificial intelligence while upholding the principles of copyright and artistic creativity.


Who owns the copyright in AI-generated works in India?

Ownership of copyrights in AI-generated works can be complex.

In cases where AI is involved with human interference, the human providing creative inputs may claim ownership.

For works created solely by AI without human interference, the ownership may lie with the person who owns the AI or the copyright owner of the AI software.

What are the challenges in recognising AI as authors in copyright law?

One of the main challenges is the lack of clarity in defining authorship and ownership in the context of AI-generated works.

The principle of originality, which requires human creativity, may conflict with machine-generated works.

Additionally, the attribution of moral rights and the determination of royalties for AI authors pose further complexities.

How does artificial intelligence affect copyright?

AI affects copyright by raising questions about authorship and ownership of AI-generated works.

Determining the role of human input in AI creations and updating legal frameworks are key considerations.

Protection and enforcement of AI-generated content require adapting intellectual property laws.

Ethical concerns include transparency, bias, and fairness in AI algorithms.

Balancing innovation and creativity with copyright protection is crucial in navigating the impact of AI on the copyright landscape.