The federal judge of the Columbia District Court, Judge Beryl A. Howell upheld the decision of the US Copyright Office to deny copyright protection to an artwork created by way of an AI system.
Stephen Thaler. a computer scientist who designed and built an Artificial Intelligence system called “Creativity Machine,” had filed an application for copyright protection for a 2D image captioned as “A Recent Entrance to Paradise.” Thaler contends that the artwork which depicted train tracks plying beneath a verdant stone arch, was created using AI of his own design.
US Copyright Office Cites Basic Tenets of Human Authorship and Product of Human Mind
The Copyright Office was steadfast in its decision to reject the application because the work does not meet the basic tenet of copyright laws, which require that the subject of protection must be of human authorship and the product of a human mind. The office said Thaler must either provide evidence that the artwork is the artistic product of human authorship and creativity; or submit an argument that will convince the Copyright Office to veer from the centuries-old philosophy of copyright laws. In the final rejection of Thaler’s application, the review board noted that the computer scientist did not submit or complied with any of the two conditions. Instead, Thaler sued the office in June 2022.
Judge Howell’s Ruling on the Matter
In handing down the ruling upholding the rejection decision of the Copyright Office, Judge Beryl A. Howell wrote
Undoubtedly, since artists have put AI in their toolbox to use in generating new visuals, the art industry is approaching new frontiers in copyright. Protection in the generation of new artistic works and other visuals will prompt questions that challenge up to what degree of human involvement qualifies an artwork for copyright protection