AI art is not eligible for copyright, new court ruling affirms

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2023 - 4:47pm

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The AI-generated work, "A Recent Entrance to Paradise," is not eligible for copyright.

As the writer’s strike drags on, leaders are increasingly voicing concerns that studios will use generative AIs like ChatGPT to write scripts and undercut human compensation.

Now, a federal court ruling saying art created by artificial intelligence is ineligible for copyright protection could throw a wrench in those plans.

The case concerns a 2018 attempt by Imagination Engines CEO Stephen Thaler to copyright an artwork he says was created by an AI system, the Creativity Machine.

The D.C. district court ruling is consistent with the long-held legal view that copyright exists to protect and encourage human creative endeavors.

Hence, a photograph, though mechanically created, is copyrightable because a camera is a tool used to execute a human vision, whereas a photo taken by a monkey is not.

The ruling comes amid recent revelations of the widespread use of copyrighted materials to train generative AIs.

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