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AI Art Denied Copyright: A Clash of Creativity and Code

Exploring the Boundaries of Art and AI

In a landmark decision on December 11, 2023, the US Copyright Office Review Board firmly rejected a Second Request for reconsideration for an AI-generated artwork. This case, involving photographer Ankit Sahni and the RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App, probes deep into the complexities of authorship in the AI era.

Ankit Sahni’s endeavour commenced in December 2021 with his application to register a collaborative work with RAGHAV. The Office’s request for more details led Sahni to explain RAGHAV’s “Neural Style Transfer” feature. Despite his inputs, the Office denied his application in June 2022, citing the blurred lines between AI and human creation.

Persisting in his quest, Sahni made a second appeal in July 2023. He presented three key points: RAGHAV as a mere tool under his creative command, the presence of traditional authorship elements in his process, and the originality of the resulting work, evolving beyond the initial photograph.

However, the Board remained unyielding. It stressed that creations by non-humans fall outside copyright protection. It dissected Sahni’s claim, separating the analysis for existing work and derivative authorship. The Board concluded that RAGHAV’s autonomous image generation did not constitute human authorship.

The Board dismissed Sahni’s notion of creative control, highlighting RAGHAV’s central role in the final work. It acknowledged Sahni’s involvement but deemed it insufficient for copyright. The argument comparing RAGHAV to photo-editing software was also rejected, focusing on the AI’s unique generative process.

This case underscores the Copyright Office’s stance: AI creations require substantial human creative effort for protection. Sahni’s case, involving a higher degree of human input than some rejected cases, still fell short of this threshold.

The ruling contrasts with a recent decision by China’s Beijing Internet Court, showcasing jurisdictional differences in evaluating AI art. As AI continues to evolve, the struggle to define the limits of human and AI collaboration in creativity becomes more pronounced. This case spotlights the vital questions on the future of copyright in an AI-dominated landscape and the delicate interplay of human and machine creativity.

While the advance of AI in artistic domains is undeniable, this case highlights a significant challenge: ensuring human creativity remains at the forefront in the era of algorithmic artistry.

* Original content written by Coinlive. Coinbold is licensed to distribute this content by Coinlive.