Artificial intelligence has created works of art. The creator wanted to bring about a rethinking of copyright law.
Anyone who has artificial intelligence creates works of art automatically does not own any copyright. This was decided by a committee of the US Copyright Office after the applicant had appealed the first decision in 2019.
The Copyright Review Board (CRB) justified its decision of February 14 by saying that machines could not be contractual partners, as The Verge reports. Thus, there is no contractual agreement such as an order to create the work, which would be necessary for the sense of US copyright law.
In its letter, the CRB explains the facts as follows: The author of the artwork is given as Creativity Machine, the author of the machine is the applicant Steven Thaler. The art was "created autonomously by a computer algorithm". Thaler applied for the work to be registered as the owner of the Creativity Machine. Thaler also stated that the work was created as "work for hire".
In US copyright law, "work for hire" means that the actual author of a work assigns the copyright to the client. This is common practice in the production of music and feature films, for example. However, as the CRB states, a legally binding contract is required for this regulation: an employment contract or an agreement on precisely this aspect. However, the machine cannot conclude this contract.
Creator wants copyright changes
The work, called A Recent Entrance to Paradise, is intended to represent a near-death experience and uses visual elements of a drug trip. However, since there is almost no human contribution to the artwork, it is not enough to apply for copyright before the office, argues the CRB.
Thaler countered that he wanted to protect himself from erroneous registrations for the copyright of the work. With this application, he wants to bring about changes in copyright law so that computer-aided art is also protected.