In a recent court ruling, Judge Beryl A. Howell decided that AI-generated artwork cannot be protected by copyright.
This decision came about during a lawsuit involving Stephen Thaler’s attempt to copyright an AI-generated image created with his Creativity Machine algorithm.
Thaler had tried several times to secure copyright for the image, but each attempt was denied. He even sued the US Copyright Office, claiming their denial was unjust, but Judge Howell disagreed.
She emphasized that copyright historically requires a human touch in the creative process and cannot be granted to work created solely by AI, citing cases like the famous “monkey selfie” as precedent.
However, Judge Howell recognized that we’re entering a new era where AI is used as a creative tool, raising questions about the level of human involvement needed for copyright. She noted that AI models often learn from existing works.
Stephen Thaler plans to appeal the ruling, and his attorney disagrees with the court’s interpretation of copyright law. The future of AI and copyright law remains uncertain, as more legal battles emerge, including cases involving data scraping by AI models.