AI company found guilty of violating Ultraman copyright in China

Occurred: February 2024

In a landmark ruling, Guangzhou’s Internet Court found an unnamed AI company guilty of copyright infringement related to AI-generated images.

The dispute centred around the Ultraman series, in which the defendant’s website produced images very similar to the plaintiff’s copyrighted content when requested by a user. Ultraman is a well-known character owned by Tsuburaya Productions that was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the subject of the highest number of spin-off TV shows.

The court ordered the AI company to pay yuan 10,000 in damages for violating the plaintiffs' reproduction rights, setting a precedent for handling AI-generated content and emphasising the importance of protecting intellectual property rights.

This case constituted the first time an AI company was held legally responsible for generating copyrighted material, and was seen to highlight the challenge of regulating AI-generated works and their potential impact on creators and industries worldwide.

System 🤖

Country: China
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate images
Technology: Text-to-image
Issue: Copyright