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Can AI be an author?

Watercolor of orange robot waiving hello with background of sky, bushes, and sand

A recent ruling by Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 18 says no, reinforcing human authorship as a copyright bedrock. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The matter involved Stephen Thaler's attempt to have the US Copyright Office recognize copyright rights held by AI in AI-generated art and allow transfer of the copyright to him. The court upheld the US Copyright Office’s denial of copyright protections since there was no human generated elements.

Thaler's ambition to grant AI authorship inadvertently led to the upholding of the status quo, but the more interesting question which still remains unresolved is the blurred lines for copyright protection for content created by both AI and human input. Courts still have to consider and rule on how much human input is enough for a creative work to be protectable.

Videos and content are for educational purposes only, not to provide specific legal advice.


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