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Disney Reportedly Requests Microsoft to Prevent AI Users from Infringing Trademarks

The key issue: Microsoft’s AI image-creation tools were generating a Disney-Pixar logo.

The legal team representing The Walt Disney Company has raised concerns about the creation of monuments and parodies featuring characters in the style of Pixar, generated by Microsoft’s Bing AI imaging technology.

The issue arose due to a recent trend on social media where users requested images resembling Pixar-style animals. The primary concern was not the artistic content itself but rather Bing’s inadvertent creation of a Disney-Pixar brand that infringed upon trademarks.

In response to Disney’s request, Microsoft took action to prevent trademark violations by excluding the use of the “Disney” name in its DALL-E 3 technology-powered image generator. Following adjustments, Microsoft reinstated this feature.

Despite these measures, the Financial Times reported that Microsoft’s AI-generated images continue to include the Disney-Pixar branding. It remains uncertain whether this updated version adequately addresses Disney’s concerns.

Microsoft conveyed to the Financial Times that there may be occasional variations in outcomes as they enhance their security protocols. Additionally, entities such as companies, celebrities, and artists can request restrictions on images associated with their names and brands.

Of particular worry to Disney is the emergence of the “Offensive AI Pixar” joke, where Bing users create offensive movie concepts in a style reminiscent of Pixar films. Given that Bing Image Creator likely underwent training using copyrighted Disney and Pixar imagery, curtailing this trend poses a significant challenge. Users are manually adding Disney-Pixar logos and text to these images post-generation, further complicating the issue.

While offensive Disney and Pixar parodies have existed in the digital realm, the advent of AI technology enables individuals to produce such content rapidly and effortlessly. Addressing this misuse of intellectual property presents a complex dilemma for Disney and other rights holders, as AI innovations facilitate widespread infringement.

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Last modified: February 17, 2024
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