AI-Generated Art Cannot Be Copyrighted According To A US Federal Judge

AI-generated art cannot be copyrighted according to a US Federal Judge. Beryl A. Howell, a DC District Judge says that human beings are an “essential part of a valid copyright claim.”

AI-Generated Art Cannot Be Copyrighted

AI-Generated Art Cannot Be Copyrighted

United States District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell on Friday ruled that AI-generated artwork cannot be copyrighted, as reportedly noted by The Hollywood Reporter. The Judge was presiding over a lawsuit against the US Copyright Office after it initially refused copyright to Stephen Thaler for an AI-generated image that was made with the Creativity Machine algorithm that he had created.

Thaler had tried several times to copyright the image “as a work-for-hire to the owner of the Creativity Machine,” which would then have listed the author as the creator of the work and Thaler as the owner of the artwork but he was however rejected repeatedly.

After the final rejection of the Office in the previous year, Thaler sued the Office, thus claiming that its denial was “arbitrary, capricious … and not in accordance with the law,” but Judge Howell however didn’t see it that way. The Judge, Howell, in her decision, wrote that the copyright in question has never been granted to work that was “absent any guiding human hand,” thus adding that “human authorship is a bedrock requirement of copyright.”

Other Copyrighted Cases Horned By the Judge

That has been borne out in previous cases that were cited by the judge, just like that one involving a monkey selfie. Judge Howell, to contrast, noted a case in which a woman reportedly compiled a book from notebooks that she had filled with “words she believed were dictated to her” by a supernatural “voice” was really worthy of copyright.

Judge Howell in her judgment did, however, acknowledge that humanity is “approaching new frontiers in copyright,” where artists will make use of AI as a tool to create new work. She then wrote that this in question would create “challenging questions regarding how much human input is necessary” to copyright AI-created art, thus noting that AI models as you should know are at most times trained on pre-existing work.

Stephen Thaler however plans to appeal the said case. His attorney, Ryan Abbot of Brown Neri Smith & Khan LLP, stated that “We respectfully disagree with the court’s interpretation of the Copyright Act,” as per Bloomberg Law, which also reported a US Copyright Office statement stating that it believed the decision of the court was the right one.

US Copyright Law and Artificial Intelligence

Nobody really knows just about how things will shake out around US copyright law and artificial intelligence, but the court cases regarding the topic have been piling up as of late.

Sarah Silverman as well as two other authors filed suit against OpenAI and Meta in the early parts of this year over the data scraping practices of their models, for example, while another lawsuit on the other hand by programmer and lawyer Matthew Butterick alleges that data scraping by Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI all amounted to software piracy.



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