Last week, Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court issued a dramatic ruling that shook the artificial intelligence creators community. In response to a lawsuit filed by Dr. Stephen Thaler against the U.S. Copyright Office, the judge determined that in these creations made by machines, there is no human creative element, and therefore they do not have copyright rights.
Thaler attempted several times to approach the Copyright Office in order to obtain rights for a creation he produced using artificial intelligence. However, after being rejected repeatedly, he decided to file a lawsuit against the Office in the District Court. In his lawsuit, he argued that the Office's rejection was arbitrary and contrary to the law.
As mentioned, Judge Howell who heard the lawsuit ruled that it is not possible to give copyright to the creations of artificial intelligence and to the author of the algorithm. According to her, a creation in which there was no guiding human hand is not subject to copyright, and a human creator is a fundamental requirement of copyright.
This ruling shakes up the industry where many creators and illustrators have begun to incorporate in their works the popular tools Midjourney or DALL·E, which create images by writing text, but now according to the ruling in the US their new works are not under copyright protection, which may harm their livelihood.
Thaler has already indicated that he intends to appeal the court's verdict he received, as his legal representative stated, "We disagree with the court's interpretation of copyright law." The creators' community will undoubtedly follow the continuation of the trial, the outcome of which will have far-reaching implications for an industry that is still in its infancy.