A computer scientist has sued the United States Copyright Office, asking a federal court in Washington, D.C., to overturn the office’s refusal to grant copyright protection to a work of art created by an artificial intelligence system it created.
Work in the lawsuit center entitled A modern entrance to heavenCreated in 2012 by DABUS, it is an artificial intelligence system developed by Stephen Thaler, founder of Imagination Engines Incorporated, an advanced artificial neural network technology company.
In November 2018, Thaler applied to register the piece with the Copyright Office, listing DABUS as the author of the work and stating that it was “independently generated by machine”. The office denied the application, responding, “We cannot register this work because it lacks the human authorship necessary to support a copyright claim.”
Thaler’s other Reconsideration Requests were in September 2019, May 2020, and February 2022. similarly refused, Again for the lack of “traditional human authorship”.
Present United States copyright law Grants copyright to the author or authors of the work. Thaler movementposted on January 10 by attorney Ryan Abbott, argues that the work in question “meets the requirements set forth in copyright law” — because Thaler “invested in and owns the original property.” [DABUS]… his produce, of all kinds, is automatically due to him”, especially in the context of work for wages.
The suit also notes that the Copyright Office has not determined whether the “human authorship clause” is related to actual authorship or originality. Either way, though, he argues, the work meets both criteria.
“In effect, the AI system has created a work of art that objectively meets the criterion of originality,” says the movement. “Labour owes its origin” to the Creativity Machine [DABUS] and was “the product of the author’s independent efforts,” which is the small hurdle required to reach copyright. “
Furthermore, the motion highlights that the US Supreme Court has previously ruled that “technological changes must be taken into account when interpreting copyright law.” Extending protections to works produced by AI is consistent with this mandate, the suit states, to “promote the generation and dissemination of works,” thus promoting the advancement of the arts and sciences.
“Whether AI-generated works are protected by copyright is a matter of current concern to content creators and companies such as music and movie studios,” Abbott told Artnet News. “The outcome of the case will have a significant impact on the use and development of creative AI in the United States.”
The US Copyright Office declined to comment for this article.
The move is the latest in Thaler’s long-running push to get intellectual property protection for his AI-generated work around the world. To date, his applications have been rejected in 18 global jurisdictions, incl Australia and the European Unionin which the Patent Office determined “that the inventor specified in the application must be a human being and not a machine.”
His latest suit is also one of the first to claim copyright work for AI-generated work, with platforms like DALL-E and Lensa reaching out to make it easier to create art with simple textual claims. These services sparked more controversy about composing And Property for machine-made art.
In Thaler’s view, his efforts are becoming increasingly urgent, as machine intelligence appears poised to generate an “explosion of ideas”.
“Sadly, the result will be orphaned art, as well as inventions, and other forms of intellectual property that will all be denied legal protection,” he told Artnet News. “As this crisis deepens, an increasing number of artists and inventors will be fraudulently credited for their creative AI efforts and, in the process, create chaos.”
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