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A federal ruling declares no copyright for AI Art

With the validation of a judge’s findings from the US Copyright Office, it was declared that a piece of art made through artificial intelligence is not viable for copyright protection. In order to acquire the said protection, there needs to be a human authorship, as the ruling says.

This said ruling was delivered in an order turning down Stephen Thaler’s bid that challenges the position of the government in refusing to register works created through AI.

The art piece called “A Recent Entrance to Paradise” which was created through a computer algorithm running on a machine was denied copyright by the Copyright Office due to the need for the human element.

Thaler has pushed for the protection of works created through AI, the chief executive of neutral network firm Imagination Engines. He listed himself as the owner of the copyright under the work-for-hire doctrine, filed a lawsuit contesting the denial and the office’s human authorship requirement. He claims that AI should be acknowledged “as an author where it otherwise meets the authorship criteria,” with any ownership grant to the owner of the machine.

He argued that the refusal of the office was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with the law” that violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which provides for judicial review of agency action.

Although the ruling focused on a piece of art, it could catch the attention of the studio executives. A factor that led to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood is the use of AI for scriptwriting and acting. If the said AI work cannot be protected, then it can lead to issues for studios in the coming years.

Some of these artists filed a lawsuit against AI generators Stability Diffusion, Midjourney, and DreamUP last January with claims that these AI generators are being trained on copyrighted materials without prior consent from their content owners, not having proper credit or compensation.

Comedian Sarah Silverman also sued Meta and OpenAI back in July for copyright infringement. She claims that the chatbots were trained using her work without her consent. The lawsuit includes authors Richard Kardrey and Christopher Golden.


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