Can AI images be used commercially?Who owns the copyright of AI art


In recent years, the advent of generative AI has brought us unprecedented convenience, though along with the benefits, it has sparked numerous legal and ethical controversies. You might wonder, can AI-generated drawings be used for commercial purposes? Is it possible to profit from AI images? And who holds the copyright for AI art? Today, this article aims to address these questions and provide insights into the use of AI in drawing. Stay tuned for answers and some important considerations when utilizing AI art.

Can AI images be used commercially?Can midjourney images for commercial use 

AI images can be used for commercial purposes, but it depends on the circumstances. Traditionally, creators would search for images in free or paid stock image libraries. However, the emergence of generative AI eliminates the need to manually search for images on such platforms. It’s important to note that not all AI-generated images can be used for commercial purposes. For instance, you might wonder if commonly used platforms like Midjourney allow commercial use. In Midjourney’s terms of use, it specifies that commercial use of images is restricted to paid users, while free users are limited to non-commercial purposes.

If one intends to use AI images for commercial purposes directly, it could potentially infringe on the copyrights of multiple creators. So, how can users legally use AI art commercially?

Obtain consent from the original author

If consent is obtained from the original author, AI-generated images can typically be used for commercial purposes. However, this usage must comply with other relevant legal regulations, and the authorization document should clearly outline the user’s permissions for the work, including the scope and duration of commercial use.

Use AI drawing tools marked for commercial use

Many popular AI drawing tools on the market advertise themselves as suitable for personal or commercial use, such as Firefly and Playground AI. It’s crucial to note that, whether free or paid, AI images may still have specific terms and conditions, even if labeled for commercial use. For example, most AI images do not allow users to claim them as their original creations.

Extensive reading:Recommended AI Drawing Generators: 3 Free Options for You

Reinterpret content after AI-generated image creation

After generating AI images, users may choose to modify or reinterpret them, either as rough sketches for reference or to find inspiration. In such cases, if the modifications result in a high level of originality and creativity, there should be no issue with commercial use, as it can be considered a unique creation. However, if the originality is low, with similarities in composition, style, and brushstrokes, it may not be protected under copyright law. Therefore, careful consideration is essential.

What potential issues might arise in the commercial use of AI-generated drawings?

The following are potential issues associated with using AI-generated drawings for commercial purposes, and users should exercise caution:

Copyright Ownership

Copyright protection is limited to humans, so AI cannot be considered a copyright holder. If an AI tool generates an image, questions may arise about the ownership of the AI-generated drawing copyright — whether it belongs to the developers of the generating tool or the user. Terms and conditions can vary among companies and may not always be clear. Even if the creator uses AI as an assisting tool during the creative process, determining whether the work meets the standard of originality can be challenging.

Copyright Infringement Disputes

Using AI drawing tools may inadvertently infringe on the copyrights of others. Since AI drawing tools are trained on extensive datasets, including unauthorized works, issues may arise concerning copyright, as well as potential disputes related to portrait rights, patent rights, trademark rights, and privacy rights.

Ethical Concerns

The use of AI tools to generate images may also raise ethical concerns. Users can input specific commands to produce images closely resembling the style of certain artists. If extensively used, this could devalue the original works of those artists or diminish their uniqueness, potentially undermining the efforts of many creators.

How to generate commercially usable images using AI tools?

Here, I will use GenApe and Leonardo AI as tools to guide you on creating commercially usable images.


GenApe is AI Article generator and AI drawing generator. Simply input text, and it can produce corresponding images through algorithms, making it easy and user-friendly!

Firstly, I have confirmed that the content generated by GenApe can be used anywhere, including for commercial purposes.

Next, I just need to visit the GenApe website, locate the “AI Text-to-Image” feature, input a sentence or a paragraph, and generate an image. It supports both Chinese and English, allowing you to choose the size and the quantity of images to be generated. You can even generate five different images in less than a minute!

Although GenApe images can be used commercially, it is recommended to have some manual modifications for added assurance in commercial use.

AI Image Generator-GenApe

Leonardo AI

I’m switching to another AI tool, and this time I’m using Leonardo AI. Leonardo AI is an image generation tool that can create images in various styles, suitable for commercial use.

After finding the “AI Image Generation” feature, I gave it a simple try. Here are the results:

AI Image Generator-Leonardo AI

Leonardo has an English interface, and while it supports entering Chinese commands, it may be more prone to errors compared to using English. Additionally, Leonardo AI has the functionality of generating images based on other images. By uploading an image and providing prompts, it can generate images in the desired style.

Leonardo ai Image1
Leonardo ai Image 2

Considerations for Commercial Use of AI Drawing

In general, when it comes to issues of copyright and commercial use concerning AI drawing, careful consideration is necessary. Here are some aspects that might need attention:

  • Originality:Ensure that the generated images are original or that you have obtained authorization from the original creator.
  • Copyright:Ensure that the generated images do not infringe on anyone’s copyright.
  • Legal Use:Avoid using AI tools to generate illegal, unethical, or offensive content.
  • Legal Regulations:Comply with local legal regulations, especially in the case of commercial use, as certain places may have specific requirements or restrictions.

An AI Drawing Online Tool for Commercial Use

As mentioned earlier in the article, GenApe offers the functionality of generating images. If you are still unsure about the commercial use of AI-generated drawings, feel free to use GenApe. The images generated by GenApe are considered original.

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