recent developments reddit Valve has made it clear that it intends to ban all Steam games featuring AI-generated images of any kind. According to a post on u/potterharry97, the company is reluctant to publish games featuring AI-generated images made from source material that the developer doesn’t own the rights to.
According to a Reddit post, potterharry97 was trying to publish a game to Steam using only two or three AI-generated assets that would pass Valve’s inspection. However, Valve contacted him and said they were unable to ship the game due to copyright issues with his AI-generated art in the game, stating that the art his assets were: “It relies on copyrighted material owned by third parties.” add a valve, “Due to the unclear legal ownership of such AI-generated art, we cannot ship games with these AI-generated assets…”
For a game to pass Valve’s inspection, developers must: “We own the rights to all IP used in the datasets that train our AI and create our assets…” According to Valve’s response to the original poster. Even after the developer went back and manually fixed the artwork, Valve still banned his game due to the same copyright issues.
Valve’s stance on AI-generated content is very strict and prevents many developers from using AI-generated content in their games (unless they want to jump in). Valve’s response says the developer must effectively own the rights to all source material used to train his AI. This is not possible as most AI networks are trained on millions of images/assets on the web to create engaging content.
However, in the case of potterharry97, I’m not sure if the original assets were modified by hand or completely AI-generated. All we know is that he tried to change them after Valve told him to remove the offending assets from the game. Technically speaking, if the developer had an asset that was entirely AI-generated from the beginning, he would not be entitled to copyright protection for AI-generated images, according to the U.S. Copyright Office. Valve’s position does not hold.
However, if the images were created by humans incorporating AI-generated images, the assets may be copyrighted. Maybe Valve is referring to this, but I’m not sure at this point.
Either way, the copyright protections surrounding AI-generated content are constantly changing, so it’s hard to blame Valve for not taking extra precautions. Nonetheless, it will be frustrating for developers who want to use all kinds of AI-generated content in their games. Even if AI-generated content is free of human alterations, it can be difficult to prove.