Originality and Authorship in AI-generated works: The Australian Copyright Law perspective – Law and Media WPS no. 6/2021

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Law and Media Working Paper Series no. 6/2021

Salvatore Rocco

Originality and Authorship in AI-generated works: The Australian Copyright Law perspective.

SUMMARY: 1. Introduction. Artificial Intelligence & Creativity – 2. Current legal status of AI creations under the Australian Copyright Law. – 3. The authorship issue. – 4. The originality issue. – 5. Conclusions. A comparative overview of alternatives and solutions from other countries and fields. – 6. Suggested readings.

Under the Australian Copyright Law, copyright is attributed to ‘the author of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work’, when such work is ‘original’, expressed in a ‘material form’ and connected to the Australian jurisdiction. As in many other civil law and common law systems worldwide, this framing has led to a problematic intersection between Intellectual Property (IP) Law and the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) creations – the latter becoming, today, less and less distinguishable from human creations under the classic standards of authorship, originality and creativity. At the same time, the new field of AI is fraught with misconceptions that often hamper a correct assessment of the questions it raises. This short paper aims to tackle and fill these technical and legal gaps between AI and the current Australian IP Law framework. In the conclusions, briefly, the current state of play of AI & Creativity will be presented from the perspective of other countries and fields.

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