Can AI hold copyright over an item “it” creates?

On the 14th Feb 2022 , the Board of the US Copyright Office rejected a request to let an AI copyright a work of art. The Board found that the AI-created image didn’t include an element of “human authorship” — a necessary standard, it said, for protection. This doesn’t necessarily mean any art with an AI component is ineligible.

The US Copyright Office’s decision is an important reminder that as technology advances, we need to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that our laws keep up. With AI, the lines between what is and isn’t copyrighted are becoming increasingly blurred — and we need to make sure that art and creativity are protected.

The US Copyright Act affords protection to “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. The phrase “original work of authorship” was “purposely left undefined” by Congress in order to “incorporate without change the standard of originality established by the courts.

The term is “very broad,” but its scope is not unlimited. Because of this gap, the Act leaves “unquestionably other areas of existing subject matter that this bill does not propose to protect but that future Congresses may want to.” Courts interpreting the Copyright Act, including the Supreme Court, have uniformly limited copyright protection to creations of human authors.

This ruling is likely to encompass content written by AI. At reKnow we have always believed that it is important that a human reviews and edits any content generated by AI as this ensures a high level of quality and accuracy is maintained.

This all means it is super important for a human to edit the content before publishing if copyright ownership of the content is required.

Ultimately AI is a tool and in the area of content generation – be it written, audio, video or creative – us as humans still a critical role in the creation of the content.