It's official: monkeys can't hold copyright over images, and neither can AI

artificial intelligence
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

In a move that will reverberate throughout the creative industries, it has been ruled by a federal judge that AI-generated artwork is not copyrightable under United States law. 

In short, no image can be copyrighted unless it has been authored in part by a human being. "Human authorship is an essential part of a valid copyright claim," said US District Judge Beryl Howell, rejecting a claim made by computer scientist Stephen Thaler over a piece of AI artwork titled A Recent Entrance to Paradise.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.