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AI “Art” Can’t Be Copyrighted, Judge Rules

Copyright entails original, human creation, which AI images don't reflect

A federal judge has ruled that AI-generated artwork can’t legally be attributed to the person who prompted the work, according to The Verge.

AI-generated artwork systems like DALL-E and Midjourney, despite their impressive capabilities, have sparked debate and legal controversies regarding the rights of artists and whether AI images should be treated as independent and original creations. For United States District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, AI art isn’t original and therefore can not be copyrighted. (RELATED: Will Stability AI Go Down in Court? | Mind Matters)

In justifying her decision, Howell said that copyright always involves a human hand. Wes Davis reports,

In her decision, Judge Howell wrote that copyright has never been granted to work that was “absent any guiding human hand,” adding that “human authorship is a bedrock requirement of copyright.”

-Wes Davis, AI-generated art cannot be copyrighted, rules a US Federal Judge – The Verge

Davis notes that this is only one of many lawsuits that have started to pop up in light of emerging AI technologies. The issue extends also to other sectors, with people like data programmer Matthew Butterick alleging that AI’s “data scraping” is tantamount to software privacy, according to The Verge. (RELATED: Three Artists Launch Lawsuit Against Stable Diffusion | Mind Matters)

AI’s intrusion into the arts extends also to the moviemaking industry, as both writers and actors are going on strike, largely due to the impending prospect of AI-generated scripts.

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AI “Art” Can’t Be Copyrighted, Judge Rules