Court upholds AI-generated art can’t be copyrighted

Reuters reports a U.S. court judge in Washington, D.C. ruled a work of art created by artificial intelligence without any human input cannot be copyrighted under U.S. law. Only works with human authors can receive copyrights, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said, affirming the Copyright Office’s rejection of an application filed by computer scientist Stephen Thaler on behalf of his DABUS system.

The Friday decision follows losses for Thaler on bids for U.S. patents covering inventions he said were created by DABUS, short for Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience.

The Copyright Office in a statement on Monday said it “believes the court reached the correct result.”

The fast-growing field of generative AI has raised novel intellectual property issues. The Copyright Office has also rejected an artist’s bid for copyrights on images generated through the AI system Midjourney despite the artist’s argument that the system was part of their creative process. Several pending lawsuits have also been filed over the use of copyrighted works to train generative AI without permission.