“This article was automatically written by Tencent Dreamwriter robot”

“This article was automatically written by Tencent Dreamwriter robot”

Nanshan’s Court got certainly worldwide noticed for a pivotal decision, namely “Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. (“Tencent”) vs Shanghai Yingxu Technology Co., Ltd. (“Yingxu Technology”)” (full text available here).

With this judgement, the Chinese Court ruled in favor of recognizing protection to AI-generated content under Copyright Law.  

Specifically:

  • In August 2018, Tencent published an article on the Shangai stock exchange index on its website, which terminated with the following statement: “This article was automatically written by Tencent Dreamwriter robot”;
  • The article was written with the support of the software Dreamwriter;
  • Tencent claimed that Dreamwriter computer software was a data set and algorithm-based intelligent writing assistance system, independently developed by Tencent Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd (an affiliate of Tencent), then licensed to Tencent (see claim here);
  • Yingxun Technology published the same article on the Shangai stock exchange index on its website;
  • Tencent claimed, inter alia, copyright infringement since, according to its point of view, the article on Shangai stock exchange was protectable under copyright law and the rights were attributable to it;
  • The Chinese Court (specifically, the Court of Nanshan) ruled in favor of recognizing protection to an article written with the support of an AI under Chinese Copyright Law, sustaining – in brief – that the article (a) could be included within the scope of protection being a literary work and that (b) “creative choices” were made by the team who selected the data to be included in the AI which then was involved in the making of the work.

The decision here addressed represents a pivotal decision with reference to AI-generated content protection.

Notwithstanding the above, please note that of course the discussion on protectability and ownership of AI-generated content is still open at a worldwide level.

Francesca Di Lazzaro and Maria Di Gravio

Court of Nanshan (District of Shenzhen) 24 December 2019 – Case No. (2019) Yue 0305 Min Chu No. 14010, Shenzen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. vs Shanghai Yingxu Technology Co., Ltd.

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