Artificial Intelligence Can’t Own Artwork: US Copyright Office

Creativity Machine’s artwork is titled “A Recent Entrance to Paradise.”

Its developer Steven Thaler tried to copyright the artwork on behalf of the algorithm he dubbed as ‘Creativity Machine’, reports The Verge.

Now, a three-person board at the US Copyright Office has found that Thaler’s AI-created image didn’t include an element of ‘human authorship”.

The decision calls “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression” a vital element of copyright.

Thaler described the AI artwork as a “simulated near-death experience” in which an algorithm reprocesses pictures to create hallucinatory images and a fictional narrative about the afterlife, the report said late on Monday.

AI has recently become a big part of artists’ repertoires, including the digital artwork that is being sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

However, “the courts have been consistent in finding that non-human expression is ineligible for copyright protection,” the board said in its ruling.

In a significant ruling, a federal judge in San Francisco in 2016 declined to give a macaque monkey the right to his famous selfie in Indonesia in 2011.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) animal rights organisation filed a lawsuit asking a US federal court in San Francisco to declare Naruto — a then six-year-old male, free-living crested macaque — the author and owner of the internationally famous monkey selfie photographs that he took himself a few years ago.

The judge ruled that the macaque monkey cannot be declared the copyright owner of the self-portraits.

In a statement, PETA said: “The US Copyright Act grants copyright ownership of a ‘selfie’ to the ‘author’ of the photograph, and there’s nothing in the law limiting such ownership on the basis of species.”


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