L’U.S. Copyright Office has just clarified its position on copyright and artificial intelligence. While elements generated solely by AIs such as ChatGPT or Midjourney are not eligible, works combining human creation and AI may be partially protected, depending on the case.
Who owns the works created by artificial intelligence? The thorny question has arisen for a few months and since the explosion of AI accessible to the general public. Already last summer, GPT-3 wrote a scientific paper about herself, and then Midjourney won an art competition. Things have evolved rapidly since then, with a flood of books written by ChatGPTChatGPT sold on Amazon, and the first manga created by AI was released in Japan.
In the United States, the federal appeals court ruled last year that an AI cannot obtain intellectual property on its behalf. But what is the limit? Kris Kashtanova, author of the graphic novel Zarya of the Dawnhad obtained the copyright in the United States, but last month, theU.S. Copyright Officethe US Copyright Office, ruled that images generated with Midjourney could not be copyrighted.
The difference between mechanical reproduction and original mental design
In a new documentl’U.S. Copyright Office comes to clarify its position which indicates that the works can be protected, according to the way in which the artificial intelligence was used. ” In the case of works containing AI-generated material, the Office will consider whether the AI contributions are the result of a “mechanical reproduction” or a “original mental design” of the author, to which he gave visible form “, indicates the document. The office distinguishes between tools used by artists, the results of which are expected, and AI generation, the results of which are not predictable.
This means that an AI cannot be considered an author, but the parts of the work that are indeed the work of a human are eligible for copyright. In the case of the graphic novel Zarya of the Dawn, the author’s modifications and arrangements are always protected. The office also said that any new application for copyright protection must explicitly specify whether the work contains AI-generated material.
Why an AI cannot get a patent for a creation or invention
Can an Artificial Intelligence having created an original work of art or an invention obtain its intellectual property in its name? No, ruled the United States Federal Court of Appeals. Explanations.
Article of Louis NephewLouis Nephewpublished on 08/13/2022
Can an AI hold the patent, or at least the intellectual property, of one of its creations? Faced with this original question, the United States Federal Court of Appeals ruled, and it’s no! But, above all, why this request? Three years ago, in 2019, in the United States, the computer scientist Stephan Thaler created an AI dedicated to the arts which was called “Creativity Machine”.
The AI has designed several works of art around the near-death experience (IME). For the creator of the AI, one of these works deserved to obtain an intellectual property deed. This is how Stephan Thaler tried to patent it with the US Patent Office (USPTO). From the outset, the legislation blocked it, since copyright is supposed to protect a creation emanating from a human being, which is not the case for an artificial intelligence as talented as it is. The computer specialist appealed this decision considering that it is unconstitutional. He then tried his luck with other jurisdictions, and even the Supreme Court, to finally obtain the same negative response.
AI is not a physical person
During the hearings of the Federal Court of Appeals, the judge however wondered, stressing that such a case should require a more thorough investigation into the status of an AI and its inventions. However, he was content to strictly apply the patent law which indicates that a holder is necessarily an individual and that an individual remains a person. physiquephysique.
Stephan Thaler also created another AI called Dabu, which would have created a shape-shifting food container, as well as a flashlight. He also sought to patent these inventions in South Africa and Australia and it worked, at least initially. Australia has indeed invalidated this patent quite quickly.
In other countries, such as the United Kingdom or with the Office ofEuropean Union, the request was not granted. Still, with ever more efficient AIs, it will become increasingly difficult to differentiate between a creation generated by a human or an AI. The question of intellectual property will certainly remain in suspense in the coming years.