UCL Faculty of Laws


Copyright and Generative AI: Putting input issues under the spotlight

20 March 2024, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


An Institute of Brand & Innovation Law event

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws Events


Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre, UCL Laws
Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens

About the Event

Generative AI, as a topic, is everywhere. Everyone - industry, policy makers, trade bodies and academics - wants to get it right. The latest developments in the field of text-to-image generation enable ordinary end-users to ‘create’ impressive images* from a natural language description. At the same time, ChatGPT, and its ilk, has been used to produce a wide range of written work, and famously assisted a senior IP judge to draft part of a legal judgment.

From a copyright law perspective, much attention has been directed towards whether the outputs of generative AI do, or should, enjoy copyright protection. While the output and input issues are inevitably linked, the focus has firmly shifted to the legal implications of the process involved in training these systems. Generative AI systems are reliant upon huge datasets of existing materials, whether text, music or artwork – often copyright-protected works – and typically harvested without the copyright holders’ knowledge or permission. Is this training activity plain infringement, or a permitted use which should be exempted?

Litigation is on foot in numerous jurisdictions, and these ongoing disputes may provide some much-needed answers in 2024. At the same time, many IP Offices around the world are engaged in stakeholder consultations, striving to find the ‘right’ balance of copyright protection which respects the rights and interests of human creators while not dampening innovation in the burgeoning AI sector.

This event will delve into the fascinating world of Generative AI and paint a clearer picture of the specific copyright challenges that this rapidly evolving technological landscape presents. It will explore the role that copyright law should play in mediating between the AI technologists and the creative industries.

* Image for the event created using Bing Image Creator from Designer (Powered by DALL·E 3) with the text instructions: ‘a picture of a robot painting in a classical style’

The Panel

UCL's Institute of Brand and Innovation Law has brought together a distinguished panel to dissect the complexities of copyright law in the context of AI-generated content.

  • Dr Ana Ramalho, Copyright Counsel at Google
  • Dr João Pedro Quintais, Assistant Professor at IViR (Institute for Information Law), University of Amsterdam  
  • Toby Headdon, Bristows LLP
  • Max Sills, General Counsel of Midjourney, Inc

Chair: Professor Tania Aplin (Kings College London)


17:30 Registration and theatre opens
18:00 Event begins
19:15 Q&A
19:30 Reception
This event will be held in-person but will also be live streamed.


Fees are charged for this event from £8 - £35.
Free of charge for UCL students, members of the judiciary and full time academics.

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