Author! Author? What Is An “Author” and How Can AI Be One?

The Copyright Office notes that it “will not register works produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically without any creative input or intervention from a human author.” This has led to the Office issuing several high profile registrations rejections for works created in whole or in part using artificial intelligence tools. To determine whether, and to what extent, a human author is involved in the creation of works made with generative AI tools, it is important to understand just what we mean by the term “author.” Our panelists will discuss what it means to be an “author,” whether that “author” must be a human being, and the various doctrines adopted by courts throughout the years in trying to identify and define an author. The panelists will compare the U.S. approach to AI-generated work authorship with those of jurisdictions such as the UK that recognize ownership rights.