Earlier this month, the United States Copyright Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization co-sponsored a symposium titled Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. The purpose of the symposium was to examine “how the creative community currently is using artificial intelligence (AI) to create original works,” and “what level of human input is sufficient for the resulting work to be eligible for copyright protection,” among other topics.
In his article for The Scholarly Kitchen, Todd A Carpenter read the discussion threads in WIPO’s public consultation and learned that the court decision regarding the famous monkey selfie of 2011 could steer copyright law regarding works created by artificial intelligence.
In 2011, a nature photographer left his camera on a tripod and an endangered Celebes crested macaques, intrigued by its reflection in the lens snapped perhaps hundreds of pictures of itself. One of those photos ended up promoted by the photographer and it ended up in the British press. Other sites, such as Wikipedia and Techdirt reproduced the photo on their sites, that the photographer and PETA eventually perused in court to seek compensation as violation of copyright. Whether the photographer could assert copyright in the photograph was eventually dismissed by the Ninth Circuit court of appeals in 2018.
In the Copyright Office’s Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, released on 22 December, 2014, the Office stated that, “only works created by a human can be copyrighted under United States law, which excludes photographs and artwork created by animals or by machines without human intervention” and furthermore, “Because copyright law is limited to ‘original intellectual conceptions of the author,’ the [copyright] office will refuse to register a claim if it determines that a human being did not create the work. The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants.” What is left open to wide interpretation is the role of human intervention. In the case of AI, so the argument goes, there is human intervention in the design of the algorithms, in their training, and in their post-algorithm curation.
Woody Guthrie originally wrote “This Land Is Your Land” as a kind of screed against the exploitations of private property ownership. When he submitted the song for copyright, Guthrie allegedly wrote that it was, “Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without […]
Motherboard has an interesting new piece about musical copyright law, and the fact that there are only so many musical sequences using half-step frequencies possible. What happens when they’re all used up, and the copyright trolls take everyone to court for any song that even remotely resembles another one, just by virtue of the fact […]
Jukin Media, one of several media companies that acquires rights to viral video clips, has managed unlicensed use of such clips by monetizing them through YouTube’s contentID system. But Jukin has now reportedly threatened to use copyright strikes to shut down a channel while privately demanding money from its operator. It’s extortion, says the target, […]
Not all VPNs are created equal. This is actually a good thing when you take into account how many services are out there these days, offering you cloaked and protected access to the web. Something has to distinguish all these providers from each other. And in most cases, there is. For all 14 of the […]
In case you thought the world was in the midst of a vast migration to cloud-based computing, we hate to break it to you, but…it’s already happened. Right now, 94 percent of all businesses and organizations use a cloud service. As for the operations of all those groups, 83 percent of their workload will be […]
For many, the results of a basic DNA test done by one of the major genealogy companies will satisfy their curiosity. Those findings give users the chance to see where they’re from, maybe discover basic health markers they should know and possibly learn about a 4th or 5th cousin or two. And that’s usually as […]