US court rules that AI art cannot be protected by copyright

Works of art created by artificial intelligence cannot be protected by copyright. This was announced by US District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, writes The Verge with reference to The Hollywood Reporter.

She presided over a lawsuit against the US Copyright Office. This body refused to grant Steven Thaler copyright to an image created by artificial intelligence using the Creativity Machine algorithm he developed.

The man has repeatedly tried to obtain copyright to the image, claiming that the AI is the author of the work and that the picture is the result of “work for hire” for the owner of the Creativity Machine. However, Steven Thaler was repeatedly denied.

After the last rejection last year, he sued the Bureau and claimed that the rejection was “arbitrary, capricious… and not in accordance with the law.” The judge disagreed, however, and in her ruling noted that copyright has never been granted for a work that “lacks any guiding human hand.” She also added that “human authorship is a basic requirement of copyright”.

At the same time, the judge recognized that humanity is approaching new frontiers of copyright when artists will use AI as a tool to create new works. This will raise “difficult questions about the extent to which human input is necessary” for copyright protection and AI-generated artwork.

Meanwhile, Steven Thaler plans to appeal.

As a reminder, more than 8,500 authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are accused of using their works without permission or compensation by the tech companies behind major language models such as ChatGPT, Bard, LLaMa, and others.