Partner Louis Tompros discussed the current legal landscape surrounding AI—including why AI-generated art does not qualify for copyright protection—in a recent Q&A with Harvard Law Today.
Excerpt: In general, copyright law gives copyright owners the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, or display their works, and to create derivatives of those works. I think of the impact of AI on copyright in two categories. One is the rights that AI-generated material itself has, and the second is what rights someone might have that they can assert against AI-generated material.
On that first issue, the question is: Who, if anyone, owns the copyright to material that is in whole or in part generated by artificial intelligence. And there has been some incredibly helpful recent guidance from the Copyright Office on exactly this. On March 15, the Copyright Office issued its latest formal guidance, which reaffirmed its position that works that are created by AI without human intervention or human involvement cannot be copyrighted. The Constitution is what gives Congress the ability to enact copyright laws, and the Constitution uses the word “author.” The copyright statutes therefore use the word “author,” and “author” has been interpreted repeatedly to mean a human. So, only humans can be authors for purposes of the constitutional and statutory copyright grant.
Tompros also discussed the topic in a TikTok video for Harvard.
@harvard Can you copyright music made by AI? Harvard Law School’s Louis Tompros explains. #Harvard #HarvardUniversity #Music #Copyright #EduTok #FYP #Law #CopyrightInfringement #AI #ArtificialIntelligence ♬ original sound - Harvard