NetEase-backed LOFTER’s Avatar Generation Function Triggers Infringement Dispute

LOFTER, a life-sharing community owned by Chinese tech giant NetEase, recently launched an “avatar generator” function for testing, but was immediately met with controversy as several parties claimed infringement of intellectual property rights. Creators questioned whether this feature would use their original paintings without their permission, disrespect their intellectual property rights, and fail to protect their rights.

LOFTER gathers together 80 million interest tags and 13 million creators, and has many fields such as games, animation, photography, film and television, entertainment, among others. The platform supports the publishing of various content in forms of pictures, texts and short videos.

On March 7, LOFTER published some results of its investigation into its users profile habits in which it found that about 64.5% of its users change their avatars on social media every three weeks, especially among younger users. Therefore, the platform wanted to test the “avatar generator” to meet such demand.

LOFTER said that its “avatar generator” test has no profit purpose, and the training data for this function came from open sources instead of the original works of users. The platform guaranteed that if there is an infringement, the original author will be