Artificial Intelligence boosters have taken a loss after a D.C. judge ruled that no AI art can be copyrighted because it hasn’t been made by human hands.
US District Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dealt techno geeks a blow with a ruling that says creators of AI art, music, photos, and the like can’t safeguard their products with copyrights. This means that anyone can use their results after they show them to the world.
This also means that they can’t stop anyone else from selling the things their AI programs created.
Now that, right there, is funny. I don’t care who you are.
As Gizmodo reported:
On Friday, US District Judge Beryl Howell reaffirmed that sentiment with her ruling, stating “human authorship is a bedrock requirement” for anything seeking a copyright. The declaration was made in regards to Stephen Thaler’s bid to have the government begin allowing copyright protections for AI-made works. Thaler, who serves as chief engineer of the neural network firm Imagination Engines, has been trying to push for protecting AI creations since 2018. At the time of his original application, the Copyright Office turned it down, saying “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression” was a key factor in a work being protected.
Howell, in this most recent ruling, reaffirmed that US copyright law “protects only works of human creation.” Further, she stated that creations made by “non-human actors” such as AI “need no incentivization with the promise of exclusive rights under United States law, and copyright was therefore not designed to reach them.” While she acknowledged that the copyright is meant to “adapt with the times,” she argued that anything seeking protection is required to have “an originator with the capacity for intellectual, creative, or artistic labor. Must that originator be a human being to claim copyright protection? The answer is yes.”
This, though, could also be a blow to Hollywood which has been talking about replacing actors with computer-generated characters and other images on the screen.
But, if they do, this judge is saying that they can’t protect their investments with copyright coverage.
This could throw a major monkey wrench in Hollywood’s plans.