U.S. District Court Rules AI-Generated Content Not Eligible for Copyright

U.S. District Court Rules AI-Generated Content Not Eligible for Copyright

On August 18, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia took a first step to understanding who owns AI-generated content.

The court issued a ruling stating that a work created autonomously by an AI system does not qualify for copyright protection because it lacks human authorship. Among other common law claims, the plaintiff had asserted that the AI-generated visual work titled "A Recent Entrance to Paradise" should be considered a work-made-for-hire, entitling him, as the AI system's creator, to the copyright.

This is a first step, not more. Given that the court's focus was restricted to instances where the work was autonomously generated by an AI system, numerous questions remain to be addressed in the future. These include e.g., how much human input is necessary to qualify the user of an AI system as an “author” of a generated work, the scope of the protection obtained over the resultant image, how to assess the originality of AI-generated works where the systems may have been trained on unknown pre-existing works, and how copyright can best be used to incentivize creative works involving AI.

Author: Jesper Rantatulkkila

First Published: 8/25/2023 on linkedin

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Alexandre Leturgez-Coïaniz, Esq., LL.M.

Daniel B. Koburger, Esq., LL.M.

Côme Laffay, Esq., LL.M.