Federal Judge Rules AI Art Ineligible for Copyright

The decision supports the U.S. Copyright Office’s denial of copyright for works created without human authorship.

U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell has ruled that images created by artificial intelligence (AI) cannot receive a copyright, only those authored by humans are eligible. 

Computer scientist Stephen Thaler attempted to copyright an image created by his AI program through the U.S. Copyright Office. The Copyright Office rejected his submission, saying that creative works can only be copyrighted if they are created by humans. 

Thaler then brought the case to court, saying that human authorship should not be required if the image in question meets the Constitution’s outlined use for copyrights: that they “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

Judge Howell refuted this argument, saying that human authorship is foundational to U.S. copyright law based on “centuries of settled understanding.” 

“We are approaching new frontiers in copyright as artists put AI in their toolbox,” which will raise “challenging questions” for copyright law, Judge Howell wrote. “This case, however, is not nearly so complex.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For district court judges as they hear cases and interpret federal and state laws.
  • For wisdom for all members of the judiciary as many of their rulings impact the direction of the United States.

Sources: Reuters, Politico


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