Is AI-Generated Output Protected by Copyright?
An AI-generated output is not protected by copyright law when it is solely generated by an AI. This is because the Copyright Act only protects works authored by humans, and so if an AI-generated output is produced entirely by AI with no human authorship, copyright law will not protect that output. This means that the work generated by the AI is in the public domain.
In Thaler v. Perlmutter, the district court for the District of Columbia reaffirmed that human authorship is an essential part of a valid copyright claim and upheld the U.S. Copyright Office’s decision to refuse copyright registration for an AI-generated work devoid of human authorship.
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