US Federal Judge Rules AI-Created Art Cannot Be Copyrighted

US Federal Judge Rules AI-Created Art Cannot Be Copyrighted

Recently, Judge Beryl A. Howell made a big decision: art made by AI can’t have a copyright. Why? Stephen Thaler tried to get a copyright for art made by his computer program, the Creativity Machine.

Past Cases Shape Today’s Rulings

There have been other strange cases before this. Do you remember the story about a monkey taking its own photo? That story played a part in this decision. But sometimes, things are different. For example, there was a time when writings thought to be from a ghostly voice got a copyright.

Photo by Naruto, a Sulawesi crested macaque

AI’s Growing Role in Art

Now, with computers making more art, copyright rules are getting tricky. Thaler doesn’t agree with the judge and wants to fight the decision. But the US Copyright Office says the judge is right.

There’s a lot happening with copyright in the US. Big tech companies like OpenAI, Meta, Microsoft, and GitHub are having legal fights about computer-made art.

Looking back, the copyright rules from 1909 and 1976 always stated that humans should create art. But as computers become smarter, people ask: how much human involvement does copyright require?

There’s also some confusion about Thaler. Some people think he might not be telling the whole truth about how the art was made. And he’s not alone. Other artists, like Kris Kashtanova, are also having problems with computer art copyright. To help everyone, the Copyright Office gave some new rules in 2023 about computer art and copyright.

In short, as computers keep making art, copyright rules are facing new challenges. The big question is: how much do humans need to be involved?

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