Judge rules AI art isn’t copyrightable

AI-generated art has no rights

Together with

The Future. Backing up the US Copyright Office, a judge has ruled copyright doesn’t protect works created solely by AI systems. That’s good news for artists trying to protect their livelihoods from the emerging tech… but it could also be another tool in the various lawsuits against AI companies for training their LLMs on copyrighted material.

Passing on protections
US District Judge Beryl Howell has ruled, in no uncertain terms, copyright is for humans… and humans only.

  • Judge Howell upheld the US Copyright Office’s ruling that an artwork created by Stephen Thaler’s Imagination Engines AI system wasn’t eligible for copyright because “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression” is necessary.
  • According to Howell, “human authorship is a bedrock requirement” to receive copyright because copyright law was designed to encourage and protect human creation.
  • That belief extends to the work created using any form of technology or media — the human intent channeled through those tools is what ultimately matters.

That ruling aligns with the Copyright Office’s allowance to grant copyright protection to works created with the assistance of AI. In that case, AI is just another tool to realize a human’s vision.


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