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Valve won’t approve Steam games that use copyright-infringing AI artwork

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Image: The Verge

On Thursday, various outlets reported on a June Reddit post from user potterharry97 saying that Steam would no longer be publishing games with AI-generated content. Later in the month, another game dev penned a similar post. Valve says that’s not quite right.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Valve PR representative Kaci Boyle said the company’s goal is “not to discourage the use of [AI] on Steam; instead, we’re working through how to integrate it into our already-existing review policies.” She went on to say that the company’s current review process takes into account current copyright law, and that “while developers can use these AI technologies in their work… they can not infringe on existing copyrights.”

Boyle added that Steam will refund app-submission credits for any developers whose games were rejected over AI copyright issues as the company refines its review process. It made the same offer to potterharry97.

Valve’s developer submission rules disallow “content you don’t own or have adequate rights to.” Potterharry97 included the rejection message in their post, which said their game “contains art assets generated by artificial intelligence that appears to be relying on copyrighted material owned by third parties.”

The emergence of AI has added a new, complicated dimension to discussions around copyright. The change has lead to lawsuits over things like uncredited open source code usage and infringement of copyrighted artwork, and Valve heading this off with an aggressive policy surrounding AI-created assets isn’t too much of a surprise.

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