The US Copyright Office has once again rejected an attempt to copyright a work of art created by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. Stephen Thaler attempted to copyright a work of art titled "Recent Entry into Paradise" by arguing in a second 2019 reconsideration request that USCO's "human authorship" requirement is unconstitutional.
The work was created by artificial intelligence, which Thaler calls "The Creativity Machine". Thaler applied for registration of the work done as "work for hire done for the owner of the Creativity Machine".
However, the bureau said that the current copyright law only protects "intellectual products" that are "based on the creative powers of the [human] mind." Thus, a copyrighted work “must be created by a human,” and the office says it will not register works “created by a machine or a simple mechanical process” that lack the intervention or creative input of a human author.
The agency said that Thaler was unable to provide evidence that "A Recent Entrance to Paradise" is the result of human authorship. He also failed to convince USCO to "depart from the age of copyright litigation"—in other words, to change the rules.
Thaler made similar attempts in several countries. In the UK, the patent application was rejected and the Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The European Patent Office rejected the applications because the inventor was not human. The same position was taken by the relevant authorities of Australia and Germany. However, last year a judge in Australia ruled that inventions created with the help of AI could be subject to patent protection. South Africa granted Thaler a patent for one of the inventions last year, noting that "the invention was self-created by artificial intelligence."