AI-Created Works Denied Copyright Protection by US District Court

In the case of Thaler vs. The Register of Copyrights, Stephen Thaler attempted to secure a copyright for artwork created by his AI system. However, the US Copyright Office turned down his request. This decision was backed by the court, stating that copyright protections are reserved only for works authored by humans.

If “Thaler” rings a bell, it’s because he’s the same individual who has been pursuing patents for AI-created innovations in multiple countries, including the US, Australia, UK, and New Zealand. In a consistent trend, the judiciaries in these nations have determined that AI cannot be recognized as an inventor on patent applications. For a detailed overview of Thaler’s patent endeavors, check out this link:

Through the Thaler trials, we now possess clear legal interpretations in some jurisdictions concerning the ability to copyright or patent AI-produced outputs, based on their respective local laws. You can also refer to more ongoing cases in the realm of copyright violations in my separate post here:

[Update] A burning question emerges: What’s the path forward for businesses or creators who presumed AI-created content was eligible for copyright? Particularly for those who have adopted AI-produced works wholesale (sans any human alterations), this could present significant implications.

On a speculative note, I’m intrigued about how legal systems will evolve with the rise of advanced autonomous agents 🤖:
▪ We’ve already witnessed the emergence of software like AutoGPT and AgentGPT, suggesting that self-sufficient agents aren’t mere figments of our imagination. Although their current iterations might seem rudimentary, I’m optimistic about their future sophistication and ubiquity in the corporate world.

▪ Envision a scenario where you direct an autonomous agent to execute specific tasks, leading to the unexpected generation of content (like coding, scripts, etc.). In such a situation:

How would one ascertain and demonstrate human involvement to claim copyrights?
What happens if the autonomous entity was a service offered by another company?
Might the legal framework eventually acknowledge AI as a potential trustee for safeguarding rights on behalf of its human overseer?

I’d love to know your perspectives.

David Christopher Lee


David Christopher Lee launched his first online magazine in 2001. As a young publisher, he had access to the most incredible events and innovators of the world. In 2009, he started, one of the largest portals for all things luxury including 5 star properties, Michelin Star Restaurants and bespoke experiences. As a portrait photographer and producer, David has worked with many celebrities & major brands such as Richard Branson, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Cadillac, Lexus, Qatar Airways, Aman Hotels, just to name a few. David’s work has been published in major magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Instyle, People, Teen, Men’s Health, Departures & many more. He creates content with powerful seo marketing strategies.

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