This article aims to contribute to the copyright debate concerning Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) creations. AI-created works could and should be protected by copyright law. However, existing answers to the issue of allocation of authorship remain somewhat unsatisfactory. A reasonable and practical solution to this issue, fortunately, could be established upon the doctrine of ‘authorship transfer’ (the initial transfer of authorship from the actual creator to a constructive author) in modern copyright law. The ‘control of the creative process’ theory can provide a reasonable and justifiable explanation of ‘authorship transfer’. The person, either a natural or a juridical one, who has exercised sufficient control over the creative process, should be constructed as an author of the outcome. This theory is quite flexible before the ever-changing AI technology that challenges copyright law. For AI-created works, the authorship is better transferred to a person behind the AI who had control over the creative process in order to safeguard the current copyright system and its founding principles.
Bingbin Lu, A theory of ‘authorship transfer’ and its application to the context of Artificial Intelligence creations, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property volume 11 issue 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/qmjip.2021.01.01. Published in print: February 2021.