Legal Challenges of Current Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Regulations: Understanding the AI Act and MiCA

Legal Challenges of Current Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Regulations: Understanding the AI Act and MiCA

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Navigating the intersection of cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) with established legal norms presents a complex challenge to regulatory bodies. While these innovations offer substantial improvements in terms of operational efficiency and security measures, they simultaneously introduce unique legal dilemmas. This article aims to explore the dynamics between these technological advancements and existing legislative frameworks, highlighting the necessary adaptations to ensure that intellectual property rights are adequately safeguarded in the digital age.

The Regulation of Artificial Intelligence: An Evolving Landscape

The legal framework governing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is in a state of flux, marked by the absence of cohesive legislation on one hand, and the development of new regulatory proposals on the other. This changing tide was notably underscored by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) in its April 7, 2022, opinion on the proposed regulation for AI, widely referred to as the AI Act. The proposed Act seeks to categorize AI applications based on their risk level, offering a blueprint that could guide global AI policy. This movement towards regulating AI mirrors the approach taken with the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) Regulation for blockchain technology, aiming to protect the digital ecosystem while fostering responsible innovation.

Fundamental Prohibitions in Artificial Intelligence Use

The specific prohibitions on particular uses of AI, as outlined in the AI Act, underscore the European Union’s commitment to safeguarding fundamental human rights. By distinguishing between different AI applications based on their potential for harm, the Act navigates the fine line between fostering innovation and ensuring the protection of rights. Article 5 zeroes in on practices deemed high-risk and unacceptable, such as “dark patterns” that subtly manipulate behaviors or target vulnerable groups. This emphasizes the establishment of ethical boundaries to curb potential misuses of AI technology.

Enhanced Requirements for AI Providers and Users

This legislation outlines the duties of both providers and professionals who deploy high-risk AI systems, underlining the importance of rigorous safety, transparency, and data governance protocols. Specifically, Article 29 of the AI Act obligates professional users, or deployers, to verify that providers adhere to the required regulatory standards. It is imperative for all stakeholders engaged with high-risk AI to adopt suitable technical and organizational safeguards to align with regulatory expectations. This involves a meticulous approach to choosing and applying AI technologies, as well as fostering a collaborative relationship with providers to ensure compliance with prevailing norms.

As we conclude our exploration of the intricacies and regulatory responses to artificial intelligence, encapsulating both the promise and the challenges of AI technologies, we pivot towards another transformative domain. This transition guides us from the realm of AI, where ethical considerations and human rights are paramount, to the innovative landscape of blockchain technology. Here, we delve into how blockchain’s integration into the legal framework represents a parallel journey of adaptation and regulation, echoing the complexities and potential we’ve observed with AI.

Understanding Blockchain and Its Legal Framework

 The integration of blockchain technology into the French legal landscape has steadily advanced, underscored by the enactment of Decree No. 2018-1226 in December 2018. This legislation highlights the technology’s capacity for creating a secure, immutable ledger, pivotal for data integrity and the traceability of financial transactions. Further legislative developments, notably the PACTE law of 2019, have laid down a legal framework for providers of digital asset services (PSAN), thereby recognizing the importance of crypto-assets within the digital economy. This recognition not only underscores the relevance of blockchain in modern regulatory contexts but also enhances the visibility of terms such as “blockchain legal framework,” “French blockchain integration,” and “digital asset regulation” in search engine optimization strategies.

Towards European Harmonization with the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation

 In an effort to create a cohesive regulatory framework across Europe, the European Council ratified the MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) Regulation in April 2023, targeting the establishment of uniform standards for the issuance of crypto-assets and the operation of digital asset service providers (DASP). This regulation delineates clear responsibilities for entities in the crypto-market, including a stipulation that certain service providers, like those offering crypto-asset portfolio management and investment advisory services, must secure formal approval. These requirements are specified within the 5th section of Article L.54-10-2 in the Monetary and Financial Code.

Although MiCA provides a broad regulatory oversight, it notably does not apply to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and some decentralized crypto services, such as utility tokens including Ether (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB), which has sparked debate. Moreover, MiCA prioritizes consumer safety, introducing measures against money laundering and mandating that providers furnish clear and precise information about their products and services. With enforcement anticipated by the end of 2024, MiCA aims to safeguard and streamline digital financial activities, facilitating the adoption of innovative technologies and the alignment of consumer protection standards throughout the European Union.

Successfully Navigating the Digital Landscape

 The convergence of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) represents an area of rapid evolution, brimming with potential yet fraught with complexities. Recent shifts in legislation and regulation seek to create a conducive environment for the responsible implementation of these advanced technologies, ensuring the protection of essential freedoms and the rights of intellectual property owners. In this dynamic and shifting terrain, businesses must prioritize strategic vision and continuous flexibility. Consulting with a knowledgeable partner such as becomes crucial for the protection and augmentation of intangible assets’ value, providing expert advice and brand defense across diverse industries.

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Launching AI in Healthcare: Legal Roadmap and Governance

Launching AI in Healthcare: Legal Roadmap and Governance

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Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into healthcare is an exciting frontier for innovation. According to an INSERM report, AI is set to transform various sectors such as predictive medicine, precision healthcare, support for decision-making, companion robots, computer-assisted surgery, and epidemic prevention. Nevertheless, deploying AI in healthcare introduces a multifaceted set of challenges that span human, economic, ethical, ecological, political, and legal dimensions.

 Legal Framework for AI in Healthcare

In response to these challenges, the legal framework for AI in healthcare in France and the European Union is evolving to meet technical demands. France has taken steps such as establishing the Health Data Hub and simplifying access to national health data. Concurrently, the European Union has taken proactive steps like implementing the Data Governance Act to ease data reuse.

This AI ecosystem must navigate a complex mix of norms, including public health regulations, privacy laws, cybersecurity risks, and AI-specific regulations. Notably, the European AI Act, initiated by the European Commission and adopted in February 2024, sets out to standardize the application of AI by introducing overarching rules, legal definitions, and penalties for non-compliance.

However, this changing legal landscape brings its own set of challenges. Striving to protect privacy rights has led to a regulatory proliferation that could complicate the field, particularly against a backdrop of global competition with regions having fewer regulations. This complexity highlights the critical need to strike a balance between fostering innovation and research and protecting fundamental rights and privacy.

Governance of AI in Healthcare

The foundation of AI’s reliability in healthcare is its dependence on high-quality data, underscored by the GDPR’s strict privacy guidelines. The AI Act bolsters these efforts by mandating a “quality management system” for AI, ensuring transparency from development to deployment. This focus on data integrity is essential for establishing trust in AI applications within healthcare.

AI systems are categorized by the level of risk they present, from unacceptable to minimal. High-risk scenarios, especially those impacting healthcare delivery and patient outcomes, necessitate thorough evaluation and adherence to the utmost safety and ethical standards. The AI Act outlines this evaluation process, advocating for a balanced approach to risk and benefits and stringent certification for high-risk AI systems.

Compliance with the AI Act is therefore built on four pillars:

  • Ensuring the reliability of AI through quality training data and bias management;
  • Maintaining confidentiality and data protection;
  • Explicability of AI systems to users; and
  • Robust monitoring mechanisms throughout the AI’s lifecycle.

These pillars ensure AI systems are not only technologically advanced but also ethically responsible and legally compliant.

 Legal Roadmap for AI Deployment

As the healthcare sector increasingly integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI), both the creators and implementers of these technologies encounter a challenging legal landscape. Navigating the deployment of AI requires meticulous attention, especially as the regulatory framework continues to evolve.

For developers, this journey involves addressing a wide array of compliance challenges. They must ensure the legality of their training data and address any potential biases, while also adhering to EU regulatory standards and ensuring the technical resilience of their solutions. This process demands a thorough examination of data processing practices, the ethical implications of AI applications, and the strength of cybersecurity defenses. Additionally, maintaining transparency regarding contractual obligations and clearly communicating the capabilities and limitations of AI solutions is paramount.

On the other hand, healthcare entities looking to implement AI, such as hospitals exploring AI for diagnostic tools, face their own set of challenges. They need to critically evaluate the AI technologies for biases, particularly those that might affect minority representation, and carry out extensive impact analyses to understand the potential effects on patient care. This assessment process also includes the establishment of a contractual governance framework to ensure that the functionality of the AI is comprehensively documented, and all associated liabilities are clearly outlined. As healthcare increasingly embraces AI, both developers and deployers face a complex legal terrain. The roadmap for AI deployment, still taking shape under evolving regulations, demands careful navigation.


The deployment of AI in healthcare navigates a delicate balance between the potential for innovation and a myriad of ethical, legal, and practical challenges. As AI evolves, developers and deployers must operate within this regulatory framework to ensure their solutions are innovative, equitable, secure, and transparent. This approach will foster trust and effectiveness in healthcare applications.

At Dreyfus, we are here to support you in launching your AI projects in line with the intricate web of current and forthcoming regulations. Feel free to reach out for assistance!

Legal action against the use of a trademark in meta-tags is viable only if there’s a likelihood of confusion among consumers

Legal action against the use of a trademark in meta-tags is viable only if there’s a likelihood of confusion among consumers

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In the modern digital landscape, a strong online presence is essential for the success of a business. However, the pursuit of online visibility can lead to questionable practices, including the illicit use of trademarks for internet referencing. Both in France and at the European level, such actions can sometimes be deemed as trademark infringement, potentially leading to criminal penalties for those involved.

A pivotal clarification was made by the French Court of Cassation on October 18, 2023. In decision number 20-20.055, the court ruled that using someone else’s trademark as a meta-tag or keyword in online content is allowed under a specific condition: it must not mislead or confuse internet users about the source of the goods and services being advertised. This decision emphasizes the importance of clarity in online advertising, ensuring that consumers are not deceived about the origin of products or services they find online.

The Legal Framework of Trademark Use in France and Europe

In France, the illicit use of trademarks is clearly defined as an infringement of trademark law. This includes copying, using, or imitating a registered trademark to market similar products or services. The European Union’s introduction of the “trademark package” on December 15, 2015, has further empowered trademark owners. This legislative update has broadened the scope of actions that trademark owners can challenge as infringements of their rights.

In the digital world, trademark infringements frequently materialize through the registration of domain names imitating existing trademarks, or the use of these as keywords for search engine optimization. Such methods can be considered as violations of trademark rights by the judicial authorities, both in national jurisdictions in France and at European level. This legislative approach demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding the rights of brand owners in the digital context, by ensuring the protection of brand identity and integrity against unauthorized online exploitation.

Background to the judgment

AQUARELLE, a company specializing in online flower sales, initiated trademark infringement proceedings against SCT. At the heart of the case was SCT’s use of the “AQUARELLE” trademark as a keyword for internet referencing.

SCT had acquired the term “AQUARELLE” via the Google Adwords platform, resulting in users being redirected to their website ( via a link promoted under the title “Bouquets Toutes Occasions”. This site, falsely presenting itself as the “official site”, used terms relevant to the field of floral delivery in its descriptions and integrated the AQUARELLE trademark into its source code with the aim of improving its positioning on search engines, even though this manipulation was not directly visible to web users through their searches.

Court decision

The decision of the French Court of Cassation, dated October 18, 2023, established an important principle concerning the use of third-party trademarks in a website’s meta-tags. It was affirmed that trademark owners are entitled to object to the use of their trademark in the source code of a site, provided they can prove that such use suggests a link with their products or services, thereby creating a risk of confusion for the consumer. Thus, a complaint concerning the use of trademarks in meta-tags is only admissible if it demonstrates a potential risk of confusion for consumers. This ruling is in line with previous decisions of the European Court of Justice dated March 23, 2010.


The evolution of trademark law in the digital space, particularly with regard to the use of trademarks in meta-tags and digital advertising, highlights a delicate balance between improving online visibility and respecting intellectual property rights. The Court of Cassation’s ruling of October 18, 2023 marks a crucial milestone, clarifying that while digital use of trademarks is permitted, it must not mislead consumers as to the origin of products and services. This decision strengthens the rights of brand owners, while fitting into the broader legal framework of the European Union, ensuring the protection of brand integrity in the digital age.

For market players and SEO professionals alike, it is becoming essential to navigate digital marketing strategies with care, respecting both national and European legal frameworks. This highlights the importance of transparency and ethical advertising practices, ensuring that the use of trademarks does not violate the rights of others or mislead consumers.

Our firm, Dreyfus & associés, offers unrivalled expertise in guiding companies through the complexities of this legislation, providing strategic advice to ensure that their online marketing initiatives are not only effective but also compliant with current trademark regulations.

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Vigilance and cybersecurity: The fundamentals of an online brand protection strategy

Vigilance and cybersecurity: The fundamentals of an online brand protection strategy

In the digital age, brand protection and cybersecurity are converging to become a major challenge for companies. The rapid digitization of economic activities exposes brands to a wide range of cyber threats, requiring a robust and integrated protection strategy for their intangible assets.

Rising cyber-security attack complexity : a threat to brand integrity

As cyber-attacks become increasingly sophisticated, targeting intangible assets and brand integrity, businesses are urged to adopt advanced online security measures.

The Evolving Threat Landscape

Cyber-attacks are evolving, with a marked increase in precision and complexity. These threats, ranging from phishing and identity theft to significant data breaches, underscore the urgent need for robust online security protocols. Unlike isolated incidents of the past, the current trend signifies a persistent and evolving threat to brands’ non-physical assets.

Case Study: The 2020 Twitter Phishing Incident

A prime example of such vulnerabilities was the 2020 phishing attack on Twitter. High-profile accounts, including that of former U.S. President Barack Obama, were compromised to perpetrate a Bitcoin scam. This breach not only exposed critical security flaws in digital platforms but also severely eroded user trust in Twitter, tarnishing its reputation significantly.

Intellectual Property at Risk

The infringement of intellectual property, particularly trademarks, can have dire financial and legal consequences for businesses. Loss of revenue, reputational damage, and a decline in market value are among the significant risks companies face in the digital age.

The 2020 cyber-attack on RUAG, a Swiss aerospace and defence technology company, serves as a stark reminder of these risks. The incident profoundly impacted RUAG’s reputation, raising serious data security concerns among its customers and partners. Warren Buffet’s adage, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” aptly reflects the fragility of reputation in today’s digital landscape.

Strengthening brand security with advanced cybersecurity strategies

In light of these threats, integrating cybersecurity into brand protection strategies has never been more crucial. Businesses must remain vigilant, adopting proactive measures to safeguard against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Proactive Monitoring: The First Line of Defence

A comprehensive brand protection strategy begins with proactive monitoring. This includes diligent management of domain names and vigilant oversight of brand presence across social networks and online platforms. Effective brand monitoring not only identifies potential threats but also enables swift action to mitigate any damage.

Cisco’s approach to brand protection through its “Protecting Our Brand” initiative serves as a prime example. By fostering collaboration across legal, IT, and marketing departments, Cisco demonstrates a unified front against counterfeiting and piracy. The initiative’s success highlights the effectiveness of cross-departmental teamwork and the use of cutting-edge brand monitoring tools in defending against infringements on intellectual property rights.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Protection

In the battle against cyber threats, advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are becoming indispensable. Their ability to perform predictive risk analysis and enable rapid responses is transforming the landscape of cybersecurity. These technologies provide a significant advantage in anticipating threats and implementing protective measures.

In this regard, employee awareness and continuous training are fundamental pillars. For example, the “Stay Safe Online” programme offered by the US-based National Cyber Security Alliance is a valuable resource, providing employees with a set of recommended cybersecurity practices. Such initiatives underscore the critical importance of individual vigilance in protecting brands in cyberspace.

 Build a Sustainable Brand Image in the Digital Era

The digital landscape presents unparalleled opportunities for enhancing brand visibility and growth. Yet, these opportunities bring about the crucial responsibility of safeguarding brands against evolving cyber threats.

Therefore, in conjunction with intellectual property rights, a robust cybersecurity framework is paramount. Using new technologies and fostering a culture of security within your business are critical steps in defending against cyber threats. Your Partner in Brand defence

Recognizing the need for specialized expertise in this dual endeavour, emerges as a premier partner. Offering comprehensive trademark registration advice and defence strategies, is equipped to support brands across various industries in their quest for digital sovereignty.

By partnering with experts like and committing to relentless vigilance and innovative security strategies, brands can thrive in the digital landscape.

Dreyfus law firm is in partnership with an international network of lawyers specialised in Intellectual Property law!

 For further insights into building a resilient brand identity and staying ahead of cyber threats, join us on social media and explore our range of services designed to protect your digital assets.

NFTs and Trademark Law: New Legal Challenges in the Digital Age

NFTs and Trademark Law: New Legal Challenges in the Digital Age

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NFT technology (Non-Fungible Tokens), both complex and innovative, raises significant legal questions, especially regarding trademark law. These non-fungible tokens, rapidly gaining popularity, impact numerous sectors such as the economy, sports, video games, and luxury brands.

The Rise of NFTs in the Brand World

Luxury companies are increasingly offering products in digital form within the metaverse. The primary goal for brands is to gain popularity by reaching targets that differ from the physical world. For example, Gucci created the “Gucci Vault” space where players, creators, and the brand come together for a unique experience in the Sandbox metaverse. This space includes an NFT treasure hunt, digital clothing items, and fashion accessories available for purchase.

The use of NFTs offers brands a means to guarantee the authenticity and traceability of their products, thus effectively combating counterfeiting. Companies like the French Arianee are at the forefront, offering digital certificates based on blockchain technology.

Therefore, does the growing development of non-fungible token technology jeopardize the effectiveness of legal protection for trademarks?

NFTs and Legal Protection of Trademarks: Slippery Ground?

The integration of NFTs within the legal framework of trademark law is a delicate issue. The specificity principle, fundamental to trademark law, guarantees exclusive rights to use trademarks for designated products and services. Nonetheless, how NFTs align with this principle remained ambiguous until the introduction of official labels in the Nice Classification in January 2023.

NFTs are lines of code on the blockchain, notably containing, within the smart contract, a link to the underlying digital file. These files can be images, sound, texts. Often, NFTs are perceived by the public as virtual images representing works of art or products (clothing, leather goods).

Therefore, should the classification of an NFT within the Nice Arrangement be based on the aesthetic function, that is, the digital reproduction of the product it represents? Or should it be based on purely material considerations related to the nature of the NFT as such, that is, lines of code on the blockchain?

EUIPO’s Intervention in NFT Classification

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) addressed this question in its twelfth edition of the Nice Classification, effective January 1, 2023. It now expressly allows for the registration of trademarks in class 9 for virtual products and NFTs, insofar as they are treated as digital contents and images. However, the EUIPO specifies that “the term ‘virtual products’ itself lacks clarity and precision, it is therefore necessary to further specify the content to which the virtual products relate” (for example, downloadable virtual products, namely, virtual clothing). NFTs authenticate digital elements but are distinct from them.

Practices and Jurisprudence: Towards Enhanced Brand Protection

Clearly, in practical terms, NFTs frequently embody virtual goods linked to apparel (class 25) and handbags (class 18). Given the novelty of this technology and the recent update of the Nice Classification, most owners of trademarks protected under classes 18 and 25 have yet to fully acknowledge the burgeoning presence of NFTs. Their trademarks not being protected by class 9, they cannot, in principle, contest infringements of trademark rights made by NFT developers on their products and services.

However, the global assessment of the risk of confusion allows for an appreciation of the similarities of the signs in question on an overall basis, with regard to visual, phonetic, verbal, or conceptual similarities.

If NFTs are lines of code, they visually represent products and services thanks to the digital files encoded within these codes. It is crucial to examine the NFT as a whole, which includes not only its computer code but also the digital content it contains. Indeed, the use of an existing brand by an NFT can compromise the main function of that brand: to assure consumers that the products or services come from a specific and reliable source.

Put simply, the comparison must be made between two products or services inherently connected by their function, regardless of whether they fall under different classes. Viewing the NFT in its entirety—accounting for both its technical composition and the digital content it embodies—and by conducting a thorough assessment of confusion risks, the barrier presented by trademark law’s specificity principle can be effectively overcome.

The judge’s decision in the Hermes vs. Birkin case clearly illustrates this reasoning: it implicitly suggests that the purchase of an NFT, representing a digital version of a bag, is not motivated by the practical utility of this bag but rather by its symbolic or artistic value.

Therefore, it is not important that the traditional functions of a bag, such as holding items, cannot be achieved by a digital representation of this bag. What matters is the image that this NFT can represent for purchasers: a digital Birkin bag. The vision shifts from the physical bag to its digital counterpart, capturing the essence of the item in a virtual form.

Conclusion: NFTs, an Opportunity for Trademark Law

In conclusion, the advent of NFTs presents both challenges and opportunities for trademark law. Recent legal cases, like that of Hermès against Birkin, demonstrate that the legal framework can adapt to protect trademarks while recognizing the value of digital goods. NFTs encourage fresh thinking about ownership and authenticity in the digital age, thereby enriching the legal landscape and offering new avenues for brand strategies.

Dreyfus Lawfirm works closely with a network of lawyers specializing in Intellectual Property. Faced with challenges posed by new technologies, particularly NFTs, Dreyfus guides you through the legal intricacies of NFTs in relation to trademark law. For cutting-edge expertise, contact us and follow us on social media!

AI in Art : The Spring Breeze Case and Copyright Controversies

AI in Art : The Spring Breeze Case and Copyright Controversies

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In a landmark decision dated November 27, 2023, the Beijing Internet Court addressed a case that could have significant implications for the realms of intellectual property and artificial intelligence.

A Chinese artist sued a tech company for using his AI-generated image, entitled “The Spring Breeze Brings Tenderness” in an advertising campaign. The central issue was whether an artwork generated by artificial intelligence could be protected by copyright, and if so, who would hold such rights. The court ruled in favor of the artist, stating that the artwork indeed fell under copyright protection.

This decision has initiated discussions and debates globally, challenging our views on artistic creation and intellectual property in the age of AI. Let’s delve deeper into this case and the questions it raises.

The Spring Breeze Case: The Background

In this instance, a Chinese artist, shared an AI-created artwork titled “The Spring Breeze Brings Tenderness” on Chinese social media. He produced this image using open-source software, engaging with it via several stages of instructions (prompts).

The Chinese artist later found that a tech company had used his AI-generated image in an advertising campaign to promote their products. The artist claimed the image was essentially a reinterpretation of his original artworks.

The tech company argued that the image was the result of an automated AI creation, and therefore, could not be copyrighted.

However, the court saw it differently, determining that although AI was the tool used to create the image, the artist was still responsible for the original inspiration and design, granting the work copyright protection.

AI as a Creative Tool

After affirming the AI-generated image was indeed an original aesthetic work protected by the Copyright Law of China, the Court delves into the question of authorship.

In fact, this ruling brings to light a fundamental question: to what extent can artificial intelligence be considered a creator in its own right?

Proponents of the court’s decision argue that, in this case, AI is merely a tool used by the artist to realize his idea, similar to how a brush or computer might be commonly used in the creative process. In this view, the artist remains the primary creator of the work, with AI simply facilitating the process.

If generative artificial intelligence is used as a tool to assist in creation, then it’s straightforward; there is no debate. The work is protected by copyright, and the rights related to it consequently belong to the individual author. In this scenario, the personal character of the individual creator is necessarily imprinted on the work.

Yet, there are dissenting voices that believe AI has the potential to create autonomous works, independent of any human influence. In such cases, intellectual property issues become much more complex, as there’s no clear artist to whom copyright can be attributed. However, the hypothesis of Artificial Intelligence as an author is to be excluded today.

Implications for the Future

The discussion surrounding “The Spring Breeze Brings Tenderness” highlights potential challenges in the realm of copyright law, particularly regarding works generated through human-AI collaboration.

The efficiency and lower costs of these “human-AI works” compared to traditional human creations prompt a reevaluation of copyright thresholds. This raises questions about whether current copyright laws encourage or hinder human creativity and innovation, and how legal disputes over authorship might burden the legal system. As AI’s role in creative processes grows, the need to adapt copyright laws and fairly distribute benefits becomes crucial to ensure both innovation and equitable development. This case, rather than providing definitive answers, sparks ongoing debate about the implications of AI in creative fields.

The debate is just beginning, and we are likely to see many more cases like this as AI continues to play an increasing role in the world of art and creation.