Why This Award-Winning Piece of AI Art Can’t Be Copyrighted

Feb 5, 2024 | Legal

The US Copyright Office has ruled that an award-winning piece of AI art is not eligible for copyright. The artwork, Théâtre D’opéra Spatial, was created by Matthew Allen using the generative AI program Midjourney. Allen plans to file a lawsuit against the US federal government in response to the ruling. The Copyright Office maintained that copyright protections are not extended to artificial intelligence and that human authors are required for copyright. This follows a precedent set in 2018 when a photo taken by a macaque was deemed public domain because monkeys cannot hold copyright. Allen’s case highlights the legal consensus surrounding AI art and its copyright protection.

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