Illustrators call for regulation of AI. There is currently a discussion in Japan about illustrations generated by AI, with illustrators claiming they are being harmed. “AI artists” counterattack by saying that these illustrators are making money by drawing characters that do not belong to them.
AI-generated images are created by analyzing various illustrations from different artists, from what I understand. There is a database of images that can contain illustrations from any artist, and the AI uses these images to create its own illustrations.
Thus, an argument used is that if the AI is using illustrations from multiple artists to learn how to draw, it would be considered theft, and the AI should stop or pay the artists for using their images.
Illustrators call for regulation of AI
On April 27 of this year, a group of illustrators held a public conference to call on the government to regulate AIs that generate images.
Their argument is that copyright is being violated by AIs that create illustrations, and they want a system that compensates them for this (i.e., a payment system). They claimed that AIs have caused harm to them and that they can also be used to create illegal images of child pornography.
The Counterattack of “AI Artists”.
So, what is the criticism being made now? Here’s what’s happening: one of the illustrators present at this conference, who demanded the regulation of AIs, began to be criticized by AI supporters for being hypocritical.
The reason is as follows: he was producing adult illustrations of Bocchi from the anime “Bocchi the Rock” and making money from them. You might think, “what’s wrong with that?” After all, it’s normal for illustrators to make fanarts, doujins, and even make money drawing characters they don’t own the copyright to.
In Japan, there is no clear rule for the use of materials produced by fans, such as fanarts, doujins, merchandise, etc. Fans often create these materials without the authorization of copyright holders, and many even profit from characters that are not their own.
Thus, those who defend AI are now focusing on this issue, which is a gray area in Japan without clear rules. Some companies simply ignore the situation, while others impose rules for derivative works.
Some anime expressly prohibit fans from making money with their characters in doujins, while others allow it.
In summary, it remains to be seen where this issue will be taken.
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