AI-Created Artworks Aren't Subject to Copyright, Federal Ruling Asserts

JJohn August 19, 2023 1:01 AM

A recent federal ruling has indicated that artworks solely created by artificial intelligence (AI) are not eligible for copyright protection. The decision reiterates that human authorship is a crucial component of a valid copyright claim.

AI creations denied copyright claims

In a landmark ruling, Judge Beryl Howell upheld the decision of the Copyright Office, which argued that human creativity is a vital aspect of a valid copyright claim. The case arose from computer scientist Stephen Thaler’s failed attempt to copyright an image created by his AI model, known as the Creativity Machine. Despite Thaler’s claims that as the owner of the Creativity Machine, he should hold the copyright, the court maintained the view that copyright was not designed to apply to works created by non-human entities.

Despite the court ruling, Thaler's legal team remains steadfast in their disagreement. Ryan Abbott, Thaler’s lawyer, stated that they believe the American public, as the beneficiary of copyright law, benefits when the production and distribution of works are encouraged, regardless of their origin. As such, they intend to appeal the decision, presenting an ongoing challenge to the current interpretation of copyright law and its application to AI-generated works.

Human authorship essential despite tech advancements

Judge Howell recognized the evolving nature of copyright law in the age of AI. She also acknowledged Thaler's argument related to the adaptability of copyright law to accommodate technological progress. However, she reiterated the importance of human creativity even when channeled through new tools or media. In her opinion, copyright law has never been extended to protect works created by new technologies without human intervention, emphasizing that human authorship is a fundamental requirement of copyright.

Lack of consistency weakens Thaler's case

Interestingly, Thaler's case could have taken a different turn had he asserted a controlling role in the creation of the artwork by his AI. During the case, it was noted that Thaler tried to suggest that he gave instructions and directed his AI to create the work. However, these claims were contradicted by his original copyright application, which emphasized the autonomous creation of the artwork by the machine. Thaler's lack of attempts to rectify his application further complicated his case.

More articles

Also read

Here are some interesting articles on other sites from our network.