New, Official AI Copyright Guidance Standards

Apr 2023
José Martínez-Rivera

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued new guidelines and policies for registering works of art, music, literature, and other creative works that have been produced using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. On March 16, 2023, the Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office released a policy statement outlining the new internal procedures for examining and registering works that contain AI-generated material. 

However, the Office still requires human authorship for registrability. To determine whether AI has made contributions to a work that are eligible for registration, the Office will evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether the contributions were the result of mechanical reproduction or the original mental conception of a human author that was implemented using AI technology. The policy statement is available for viewing here.

Recently, the Office granted a limited copyright registration to an AI-assisted graphic novel in which AI-generated images were combined with human-authored text to create a protectable expression. However, the individual AI-generated images were not considered protectable on their own.

So, What Does this Mean for Creatives?

While the new policy provides guidance on how to register AI-assisted works, there are still many unanswered questions regarding what is protectable and what is not. For example, there is currently no requirement for a specific level of human input, such as a percentage or other measure, to determine whether an AI-assisted work is eligible for registration. 

Additionally, the Office has not yet determined which parts of AI-generated works are registrable, such as whether the source code behind the prompt is eligible. Until specific rules for AI are established, the Office will continue to use its existing criteria for determining registrability. The Office has announced plans to hold a series of “listening sessions” to gather input and feedback from the public as AI technology and corresponding laws continue to develop.

Delgado & Fernández, LLC for Intellectual Property Litigation

At Delgado & Fernández, LLC we will continue to monitor the updates and how they may impact intellectual property law. Our copyright registration attorneys take pride in providing our clients with high-quality legal services that prioritize their interests throughout the entire legal process. It is part of our role as your trusted legal counsel to stay up-to-date on these developments. As always, our ultimate goal is to deliver cost-effective solutions that are tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients, based on a carefully designed legal strategy.

Speak to our copyright registration attorney today about your IP matter or other complex litigation needs.