Daniel Gervais, ‘The Machine As Author’

ABSTRACT 
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines using deep learning neural networks to create material that facially looks like it should be protected by copyright is growing exponentially. From articles in national news media to music, film, poetry and painting, AI machines create material that has economic value and that competes with productions of human authors. The Article reviews both normative and doctrinal arguments for and against the protection by copyright of literary and artistic productions made by AI machines. The Article finds that the arguments in favor of protection are flawed and unconvincing and that a proper analysis of the history, purpose, and major doctrines of copyright law all lead to the conclusion that productions that do not result from human creative choices belong to the public domain. The Article proposes a test to determine which productions should be protected, including in case of collaboration between human and machine. Finally, the Article applies the proposed test to three specific fact patterns to illustrate its application.

Gervais, Daniel J, The Machine As Author (March 25, 2019). Iowa Law Review, volume 105, 2019.

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