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Federal Ruling Says that AI Art Can’t Be Copyrighted

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The latest in the AI debate is a ruling delivered Friday by federal Judge Beryl Howell, which upholds a U.S. Copyright Office finding. The finding — and the federal ruling — both state that artwork created by AI can’t be copyrighted.

This comes as people like CEO of Imagination Engines Stephen Thaler fight for works created by AI to be protected under copyright law. Thaler filed a lawsuit after the U.S. Copyright Office refused his request for artwork created by his computer system to be copyrighted. Thaler believes that AI should be considered “an author where it otherwise meets authorship criteria.” This is despite the fact that AI learns by using other artists’ and writers’ work, uncredited.

Even with this federal ruling, though, works created by AI may still be protected under copyright laws. The U.S. Copyright Office said it would consider each copyright case involving AI individually. Mashable explained that this could be boiled down to whether a work was produced solely by AI or if a human being had a hand in it. If a person is involved, the work could possibly be protected by copyright laws.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.