Can you copyright an AI creation?

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Copyright Law

In recent years, artificial intelligence has become a prominent tool for creating many forms of content. However, content creators wonder whether these AI-generated creations can receive copyright protection.

Copyright, a legal concept that safeguards the rights of creators, typically applies to human authors. As a result, the answer to this increasingly common question is not so straightforward.

Understanding copyright

Copyright laws allow content creators to control how others use, reproduce and distribute their original works. It covers a wide range of creative outputs, from literature to music.

To be eligible for copyright protection, a creative work must be original and fixed in a tangible medium. That means it exists in a concrete form that a person can perceive or reproduce.

AI’s role in content creation

AI has shown incredible capabilities in producing creative works. However, the key aspect to consider is that AI does not have intentions or consciousness like humans. AI creates content by learning from existing data and patterns and then producing something based on that information.

Human involvement matters

An important factor in determining copyright eligibility for AI creations is human involvement. If a human plays a significant role in the AI’s process – such as curating data, setting parameters or making decisions about the final output – then the work may receive copyright protection.

On the other hand, copyright laws typically attribute authorship to human creators. Since AI lacks personhood, it raises doubts about its eligibility for copyright protection. Some also argue that AI-generated content is a product of its programming, which further complicates legal requirements.

Per Forbes, the market value of the AI industry may grow to $407 billion in less than four years. As a result, legislators and policymakers will need to adapt copyright laws to accommodate AI-generated content while respecting the contributions of human creators.