From our counsel Matthew Hersh: Yesterday in IP Law Daily I wrote about the Copyright Office Board of Review’s decision to deny registration of a piece of art generated by AI. Based on everything the Office and the courts have told us this year—the Office’s February refusal to register a work created by Midjourney, its March guidance on registration of AI works, its September refusal to register an AI work that had previously won an art contest at a state fair, and of course Judge Howell’s affirmance of the Office’s earlier refusal to register an AI-generated work by Stephen Thaler—this one was a foregone conclusion. The artist feed into his AI program one of his photos, fed in Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night, and entered a single variable to dictate the strength of the resulting style. The computer did the rest. No human authorship here, the Board rightly concluded.
To me the most interesting part of the story is that we now have a very direct—maybe our first?—international split of conflict over registration of AI works. The author in this case, Ankit Sahni, used an artificial intelligence program entitled RAGHAV to create his work. (The name, an acronym for robust artificially intelligent graphics and art visualizer, is a nod to its creator, Raghav Gupta). But this is not the first country that he has tried to obtain registration for the same work. And in at least two countries—India and Canada—he has succeeded. But the United States is holding firm.
I’d love to read an article about how this happened and what’s different about the registration system in those countries than here. Or maybe he pulled the wool over their eyes?