The U.S. Copyright Office has told a federal judge that artificial intelligence (AI) artwork can’t be protected.
The Copyright Office is attempting to get a lawsuit brought against them by Stephen Thaler dismissed. Thaler wants his Creative Machine system, known as DAUBUS, to be named as the copyright holder for the artwork A Recent Entrance to Paradise.
Thaler’s application to the Copyright Office was rejected, so he has brought his case to a federal judge demanding that the Office overturns its decision.
The Copyright Office says that it “turns on a single question: Did the Office act reasonably and consistently with the law when it refused to extend copyright protection to a visual work the plaintiff represented was created without any human involvement? The answer is yes.”
The Copyright Office says it applied the correct legal criteria to Thaler’s case and rejects his arguments.
“The Office confirmed that copyright protection does not extend to non-human authors,” says the defendants.
This decision was made “based on the language of the Copyright Act, Supreme Court precedent, and federal court decisions refusing to extend copyright protection to non-human authorship.”
The Copyright Office says that its own guidelines specify human authorship as a requirement for protection and that “the Office will refuse to register a claim if it determines that a human being did not create the work.”
The Office “will not register works produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically without any creative input or intervention from a human author.”
The Copyright Office also accuses Thaler of making changes to his original claim that he had no involvement with the creation of the artwork.
The Office says Thaler changed his story to claim that he “‘provided instructions and directed his AI to create the work,’ that ‘the AI is entirely controlled by Dr. Thaler,’ or that ‘the AI only operates at Dr. Thaler’s direction.’”
The Copyright Office claims that its decision to refuse to name the AI as an author of a protected artwork “was soundly and rationally based on settled law, and not arbitrary or capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.”
The Office has requested that the D.C. court deny Thaler’s motion for summary judgment and dismiss the case.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.