AI ‘Artists’ Cannot Protect Their Works, US Copyright Office Rules (Again)
By Ell Ko, 22 Feb 2022
The US Copyright Office (USCO) has reiterated its previous stance on the limits of protecting what can be considered “art.” These woes stem from the fact that the artist is not a human being.
A piece of art titled A Recent Entrance to Paradise was created by an artificial intelligence system called the Creativity Machine. It was made by someone by the name of Dr Stephan Thaler, who attempted to copyright the piece of art.
The ruling states that the current copyright law would only cover “the fruits of intellectual labor” that were “founded in the creative powers of the [human] mind.” This means that copyrighted work must come from a human being, which isn’t the case for A Recent Entrance to Paradise.
This artwork, ruled to be “produced by a machine or mere mechanical process,” doesn’t have input from a human author or artist, so it can’t be considered for protection.
According to the USCO, Thaler also didn’t manage to prove that the art did come from human efforts, and was unable to convince the authorities “to depart from a century of copyright jurisprudence.”
Additionally, it was noted that courts at different levels have, previously, “repeatedly rejected attempts to extend copyright protection to non-human creations,” which would include things like photographs taken by monkeys or paintings by elephants.
Engadget reports that Thaler has been trying these ruling systems out in various places, including the the US Patent and Trademark Office, UK Intellectual Property Office, and European Patent Office. All of these have also rejected his applications for the same reason: the artist isn’t human.
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