The U.S. Copyright Office rules that artificial-intelligence (AI)-generated artwork is not open to copyright protection, making any AI artwork public domain and available without permission.
- The U.S. Copyright Office recently decided that any artwork that is AI generated, including music, paintings, or writing, is not protected by copyright laws, thus making it public domain.
- The Copyright Office says regardless if a human helped the AI bot create the concept, phrases, and helped edit the artwork due to it being generated by a bot, it does not qualify for copyright.
- AI bots do not actively understand words and grammar like humans, so its way of creating is different from humans excluding it from copyright laws.
Why it’s news
AI chatbots have been going viral on the internet for their songwriting, drawing, and writing capabilities, but the U.S. Copyright Office has recently ruled that none of the AI-generated artwork is protected under copyright laws.
When an artist makes artwork, it is protected under copyright law—meaning if anyone uses the painting, music, or writing without permission, the original artist can take legal action.
Since AI-generated artwork isn’t covered by laws, it means all artificially made artwork isn’t protected and can be used by anyone without getting permission or paying the original artist.
Some artists who have written books and used AI bots to create the artwork for them have argued that the work should be copyrighted because they used their own creative words from their copyrighted book to help the AI generate the photos, but the copyright office disagrees.
“As stated in the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices (3d ed. 2021), the Office will not register works produced by a machine or mere mechanical intervention from a human author. The crucial question is ‘whether the ‘work’ is basically one of human authorship, with the computer [or other device] merely being an assisting instrument, or whether the traditional elements of authorship in the work (literary, artistic, or musical expression or elements of selection, arrangement, etc.) were actually conceived and executed not by man but by a machine,” says the Copyright Office.
That means that basically, anything created with AI assistance does not meet the rules to be copyright protected.