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  • Curington Law, LLC

Can Artificial Intelligence be Copyrighted?

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to evolve, it’s important to understand the legal implications of AI and its copyrightability. This blog post will provide a brief overview of AI and the current state of copyright law.


What is Artificial Intelligence?


Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that focuses on creating machines that can think and learn like humans do. AI has become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, from facial recognition software used by law enforcement agencies to virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa.


Copyright Law & AI


When it comes to copyright law, the US Copyright Office states that only “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression” and “computer programs” are protected by copyright. In terms of AI, this means that if an AI-generated work meets the definition of an original work then it would be eligible for protection under copyright law. With these criteria in mind, it’s important to consider what qualifies as original authorship or an invention when it comes to AI. In most cases, the source code used to create an AI program will be eligible for copyright protection since it would meet the criteria of a computer program that was created by an author and fixed in a tangible medium such as a hard drive or cloud storage system.


However, there is still some uncertainty as to what constitutes an original work in this context, as well as how much human intervention is necessary for an AI-generated work to be considered original. Some have argued that because source code can easily be replicated or modified by others it should not be eligible for copyright protection.


Another argument against granting copyrights to AI creators is that they often don’t create something entirely new but rather use existing data sets and algorithms to generate results. This means that while they created the program itself, they didn’t necessarily create all of its components from scratch so it could be argued that their work isn’t truly “original” enough for copyright protection. On the other hand, some believe that even though AI creators might not have created all of its components from scratch they still created something unique and useful so it should be eligible for copyright protection just like any other creative work.


It should also be noted that while copyright may protect certain aspects of a work created with artificial intelligence, patent law may protect other aspects such as the algorithms used in creating the work or other underlying technology associated with it.


As artificial intelligence continues to grow in popularity and usage, more questions about its copyrightability will arise. It remains unclear exactly what qualifies as an original work when it comes to works generated via artificial intelligence but one thing is certain—attorneys and copyright holders should stay up-to-date on the latest developments in this area so they can ensure their clients’ rights are being protected properly. With advancements in technology happening at breakneck speed, now more than ever it’s important for attorneys to have a firm grasp on both existing and emerging laws relating to intellectual property rights.


If you have copyright-related questions, feel free to contact Curington Law, LLC for more detailed information at (312) 766-6671 or online. We can help ensure that your copyrights are properly protected.

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