Court Rules AI-Generated Works Cannot Be Protected by Copyright

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In a recent ruling by Beryl A. Howell, a judge in the US District Court, it was stated that art created using artificial intelligence cannot be protected by copyright. This decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by Stephen Thaler, who attempted to register copyright for an image generated by the Creativity Machine algorithm.

Photo by Umberto on Unsplash

Stephen Thaler had made repeated attempts to register copyright for an image created using the Creativity Machine algorithm that he developed. Thaler sought to register the image as a commissioned work, with the algorithm as the author and himself as the owner of the creation. However, his application was rejected.

Following the final rejection last year, Thaler filed a lawsuit against the US Copyright Office (USCO), claiming that the denial was unlawful. However, Judge Howell disagreed, stating in her ruling that copyright has never been granted to works created without human involvement, emphasizing that “human authorship is the basic principle of copyright.”

Nevertheless, the judge acknowledged that humanity stands on the brink of new boundaries in copyright law, where artists will utilize AI as a tool for generating new works. She noted that this will create challenges in determining the extent of human involvement required for copyright registration.

Ryan Abbot, Thaler’s attorney from Brown Neri Smith & Khan LLP, stated that they disagree with the judge’s interpretation of the law and plan to appeal the decision.

Recent times have seen a rise in copyright-related legal cases involving AI in the United States. For instance, Sarah Silverman and other authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Meta for alleged unauthorized use of their works in AI training. Another lawsuit, filed by programmer and lawyer Matthew Butterick against Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI, claims that using copyrighted software code for AI training constitutes piracy.

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Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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