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US Court Denies Copyright for AI-Generated Art

US Court Copyright AI-Generated Art
By Nicolo Finazzi
Nicolo Finazzi

2 Min

August 22, 2023
  • A U.S. court rules that AI-generated art lack copyright protection under U.S. law.
  • The decision follows earlier unsuccessful patent bids for AI-generated inventions.
  • This legal ruling highlights the evolving complexities at the intersection of AI and copyright law.

In a recent decision, a U.S. court in Washington, D.C. has established that artworks produced entirely by AI without human involvement cannot be granted copyright protection according to US law. The ruling has been delivered by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell.

The verdict, issued on Friday, is also in line with the Copyright Office previous denial of an application made by computer scientist Stephen Thaler. In the filing, he attempted the patenting of the app on behalf of his AI system named DABUS. DABUS stands for "Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience." Thaler has also sought similar AI-generated patents in multiple other countries. These include the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and Saudi Arabia, with limited success.

Thaler's legal representative, Ryan Abbott, voiced strong disagreement with the court's decision and announced plans to appeal. In contrast, the Copyright Office released a statement supporting the ruling, stating that it concurs with the court's conclusion.

To know more about these topics, read the following articles:

AI-Generated Art and Copyright Laws

The ruling raises important questions about the intersection of AI-generated content and copyright law. The evolving landscape of generative AI has introduced unique intellectual property challenges. The Copyright Office has also declined artists' requests for copyrights on images created through AI systems. This is despite the argument that the AI was a part of their creative process.

This legal landscape is further complicated by pending lawsuits surrounding the use of copyrighted material to train generative AI models without proper authorization. As generative AI becomes increasingly integrated into creative processes, it is expected to pose new challenges for copyright law.

Despite the rapid progress in AI and its creative potential, this decision underscores the court's stance that human authorship remains a fundamental requirement for copyright protection, rooted in historical legal principles.