Bingbin Lu, ‘A theory of “authorship transfer” and its application to the context of Artificial Intelligence creations’

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: Published in print: February 2021.

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