March 18, 2023 MDG

Copyright and Artificial Intelligence

The Copyright Office has issued a new policy statement regarding the registration of works containing material generated by artificial intelligence (AI). Providing guidance on how to submit applications for copyright protection for works that contain AI-generated material, and how to correct previously submitted or pending applications.

Key points

  • Individuals who use AI technology in creating a work may claim copyright protection for their own contributions to that work.
  • The Standard Application must be used, and in it, applicants must identify the author(s) and provide a brief statement in the ‘‘Author Created’’ field that describes the authorship that was contributed by a human.
  • Applicants should exclude AI-generated content that is more than de minimis in the application, by providing a brief description of the AI-generated content under the ‘‘Material Excluded’’ heading in the ‘‘Limitation of the Claim’’ section.
  • Applicants who fail to update the public record after obtaining a registration for material generated by AI risk losing the benefits of the registration.
  • If necessary, the examiner will correspond with the applicant to obtain additional information about the nature of the human authorship included in the work.
  • The supplementary registration process may be used to correct errors in a copyright registration or to amplify the information given in a registration, including the exclusion of AI-generated content
  • The policy statement reflects a major change in the way copyright law addresses works containing AI-generated material.

The Copyright Office will host public listening sessions throughout the spring of 2023, with the following dates:

Literary Works on Wednesday, April 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Later in the year, the Copyright Office plans to publish a notice of inquiry soliciting public comments on a wide range of copyright issues arising from the use of AI.  The Copyright Office will continue engaging with the public through informational webinars during the summer.