Is Selling A.I Art On Etsy Illegal?

Patryk Marketer
18 Apr 202307:32

TLDRThe video discusses the legality of selling AI-generated art on Etsy. It breaks down the topic into three categories: general AI laws and regulations from the US government, laws related to the AI art tool Midjourney, and Etsy's policies and terms of service. The US government has determined that AI art is not copyrightable unless it is significantly modified to be a new piece of art. Midjourney holds potential rights to the AI art generated by its tool but allows users to purchase a commercial license, which grants them the right to sell the art. Etsy's policy requires items to be handmade or crafted by the seller, and while there is no explicit mention of AI art, it seems permissible as long as it is not based on copyrighted characters. The video emphasizes that the laws are evolving and advises sellers to avoid using copyrighted characters and to be aware that they do not own the rights to the AI art unless it is significantly altered.

Takeaways

  • 📜 The legality of selling AI art on Etsy is a question that has been frequently asked, and the answer is not straightforward due to evolving laws and regulations.
  • 🏛️ General AI laws from the US government currently do not allow for AI art to be copyrighted, meaning that AI-generated art is not protected by copyright law.
  • 🖼️ To achieve copyright protection, AI art must be significantly modified to the point where it becomes a new piece of art.
  • 🛠️ Midjourney, a tool used to generate AI art, holds the rights to the art generated by its software unless the user purchases a commercial license.
  • 💵 With a commercial license from Midjourney, users are allowed to sell the AI art, including on platforms like Etsy.
  • 📦 Etsy's policy requires that items sold on their platform be handmade, crafted, or made by the seller, and they allow for the sale of digital products.
  • ⚖️ There is a gray area on Etsy regarding the sale of AI art, especially if it is based on copyrighted works.
  • 🚫 A clear red zone is selling AI art that features copyrighted characters, such as those owned by Disney, which is strictly prohibited.
  • 🔍 As of the time of the video, it seems that AI art can be sold on Etsy as long as it does not infringe on copyrighted characters or works.
  • 🤔 The speaker acknowledges the complexity and potential for change in AI laws and regulations, and encourages viewers to stay informed.
  • 📚 For a more in-depth understanding, the speaker recommends watching other videos and reading documents from the US government provided in the video description.
  • ✅ The speaker emphasizes that they are not a lawyer and that the information is based on Google research and other sources, and may not be entirely accurate or up-to-date.

Q & A

  • Is selling AI art on Etsy illegal according to the U.S. government's current stance?

    -According to the U.S. government's current stance, AI art is not considered copyrighted, which means it is not illegal to sell AI art on platforms like Etsy. However, the laws are still evolving, and it is important to stay updated with the latest regulations.

  • What does it mean for AI art to not be copyrighted?

    -If AI art is not copyrighted, it means that the creator does not have exclusive rights to the artwork. Legally, anyone can use, distribute, or sell the AI-generated art without needing permission from the original creator or the AI tool provider.

  • What is the role of Midjourney in the context of selling AI art on Etsy?

    -Midjourney is the tool used to generate the AI art. While the AI art itself is not copyrighted, Midjourney holds the rights to the art until it is significantly modified by the user. Users can purchase a commercial license from Midjourney, which allows them to sell the AI art they have generated.

  • What are the conditions under which a user can sell AI art generated by Midjourney on Etsy?

    -A user can sell AI art on Etsy if they have a commercial license from Midjourney. If the user makes over one million dollars in sales in a year, they are required to upgrade to a better subscription on Midjourney for a more comprehensive commercial license.

  • What are the Etsy policies regarding the sale of handmade, crafted, or unique products?

    -Etsy's policy requires that items sold on their platform be handmade, crafted, or made by the seller themselves. They allow the sale of digital products, but it's important to ensure that the AI art being sold does not infringe on any copyrighted characters or designs.

  • What are the potential risks of selling AI art based on copyrighted works on Etsy?

    -Selling AI art that is based on copyrighted works can lead to issues with Etsy, including the removal of listings or restriction of the seller's account. It is crucial to avoid using copyrighted characters or designs in the AI art to prevent legal complications.

  • How can a seller ensure they are compliant with Etsy's policies when selling AI art?

    -To ensure compliance, sellers should obtain a commercial license for the AI art tool they are using, avoid using copyrighted material in their AI art, and ensure that the AI art is unique and not based on existing copyrighted works.

  • What is the current legal status of AI art in terms of copyright according to the US government?

    -As of the latest information, the US government does not grant copyright to AI art. To achieve copyright protection, the AI-generated art would need to be modified to a degree that it becomes a substantially different and original piece of work.

  • What are the 'gray areas' mentioned in the context of selling AI art on Etsy?

    -The 'gray areas' refer to the uncertainty around selling AI art that may be based on copyrighted works. While AI art is not copyrighted, using it in a way that infringes on existing copyrights can lead to issues with Etsy's policies.

  • What are the 'red zone areas' to avoid when selling AI art on Etsy?

    -The 'red zone areas' include selling AI art that features copyrighted characters such as Mickey Mouse, Marvel characters, or any other characters owned by entities like Disney. These are clear violations of copyright law and should be strictly avoided.

  • How can sellers of AI art protect themselves from potential legal issues?

    -Sellers can protect themselves by ensuring they have the necessary commercial licenses for the AI tools they use, not using copyrighted material in their AI art, and staying informed about the evolving legal landscape regarding AI and copyright.

  • What advice is given to those looking for more in-depth information on AI art laws?

    -For a more in-depth understanding, it is recommended to watch the linked YouTube videos, read the documents from the US government provided in the video description, and consult with legal professionals to get a comprehensive understanding of the current laws and regulations.

Outlines

00:00

🤔 Legality of Selling AI Art on Etsy: An Exploration

The video script addresses the legality of selling AI-generated art on Etsy, a question frequently asked by viewers. The speaker clarifies they are not a legal expert but will attempt to provide a general perspective on the issue. The discussion is divided into three categories: general AI laws and regulations from the U.S. government, laws regarding the AI tool 'Mid Journey,' and Etsy's policies on AI art. The speaker emphasizes the rapid development of AI technology and the potential for legal changes. They mention that according to the U.S. Copyright Bureau, AI art is not copyrightable unless significantly modified by a human. However, the tool that generates the AI art, such as Mid Journey, holds the rights. Mid Journey offers a commercial license for a monthly fee, which allows users to sell the AI art they create. Etsy's policy prefers handmade or crafted items but does allow digital products, with AI art being a gray area. The speaker advises avoiding AI art based on copyrighted characters to prevent legal issues.

05:00

🚫 Navigating the Gray and Red Zones of AI Art Sales on Etsy

The second paragraph delves into the specifics of selling AI art on Etsy, highlighting the gray areas and potential legal pitfalls. The speaker suggests that while AI art is technically unique and created by a tool, there are risks associated with selling AI art that is based on copyrighted work. They caution against selling AI art that depicts copyrighted characters, such as those owned by Disney, as this is a clear violation of copyright laws. The speaker advises sticking to more general themes to avoid legal trouble. They also note that while the speaker has a commercial license from Mid Journey, the AI art itself cannot be copyrighted unless it is altered significantly. The video concludes with an invitation for viewers to share their thoughts and any better understanding of the laws, emphasizing the evolving nature of AI law.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡AI Art

AI Art refers to artwork that is created using artificial intelligence. In the context of the video, it is a central theme as the discussion revolves around the legality of selling AI-generated art on platforms like Etsy. The script mentions that AI art is not considered copyrighted under U.S. government law unless it is significantly modified by a human to become a new piece of art.

💡Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace known for handmade, vintage items, and craft supplies. It is relevant to the video as the platform where the creator has been selling AI art. The script discusses Etsy's policy on selling unique, handmade products and the potential grey areas regarding AI art.

💡Copyright

Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution. In the video, it is mentioned that AI art is not copyrighted, which means no one owns exclusive rights to it under U.S. law unless it is significantly altered by a human.

💡Midjourney

Midjourney is an AI tool used to generate AI art. The video discusses how the rights to the AI art generated by Midjourney belong to the tool itself, but users can purchase a commercial license to sell the art. This is significant as it relates to the legality and monetization of AI art.

💡Commercial License

A commercial license is a type of license that allows the licensee to use the licensed material for commercial purposes. In the context of the video, Midjourney offers a commercial license for a monthly fee, which allows users to sell AI art they have generated using the tool.

💡Unique Products

Unique products refer to items that are one-of-a-kind or not mass-produced. Etsy's policy emphasizes the sale of unique, handmade, or crafted items. The video explores whether AI art qualifies as a unique product that can be sold on Etsy.

💡General AI Laws

General AI laws refer to the broad legal framework that governs the use and creation of artificial intelligence. The video discusses these laws in relation to AI art, noting that they are still being developed and may change as the technology evolves.

💡Digital Products

Digital products are items that exist in a digital format, such as software, ebooks, or digital art. The script mentions that Etsy allows the sale of digital products, which includes AI art, although there may be some ambiguity regarding the specific terms of service.

💡Grey Areas

Grey areas in the video refer to the uncertain or ambiguous aspects of the law or platform policies regarding AI art. The creator discusses potential issues with selling AI art based on copyrighted works, which could lead to listings being removed or accounts being restricted.

💡Red Zone

A red zone in the context of the video represents a clear violation of copyright laws or platform policies. It is emphasized that selling AI art that features copyrighted characters, such as those owned by Disney, is strictly prohibited and considered a red zone.

💡Modification

Modification in the video refers to the act of altering or changing AI-generated art to the extent that it becomes a new, unique piece of art. This is significant because it is the only way for AI art to be considered copyrighted under current U.S. law.

Highlights

The legality of selling AI art on Etsy is a question that has been frequently asked.

The answer is divided into three categories: General AI laws, Midjourney's regulations, and Etsy's policy.

The speaker is not a lawyer and conducted Google research to inform the discussion.

AI laws and regulations are rapidly changing and may differ across countries.

As of the last update, the U.S. Copyright Bureau does not consider AI art as copyrightable.

To copyright AI art, it must be significantly modified to be considered a new piece of art.

Midjourney, the tool used to generate AI art, holds possible rights to the art unless a commercial license is purchased.

A commercial license from Midjourney allows for the resale of AI art generated by the tool.

Etsy requires products to be handmade, crafted, or made by the seller, with a focus on unique products.

Etsy allows the sale of digital products, but their stance on AI art is not explicitly clear.

Selling AI art that is based on copyrighted work or copyrighted characters is not allowed on Etsy.

General AI art can be sold on Etsy as long as it does not infringe on existing copyrights.

The speaker advises avoiding the creation and sale of AI art featuring copyrighted characters.

Having a commercial license from Midjourney and not selling copyrighted characters should allow for the sale of AI art.

It's important to note that without significant modification, AI art cannot be copyrighted.

The speaker invites corrections and further discussion in the comments for a more accurate understanding.

The video aims to provide a general consensus on the current AI art law situation based on available information.