In a recent article I discussed possible solutions to the question of liability of algorithms for copyright infringement. The solution put forward some time ago by the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs is creating the status of electronic persons. This would mean that an algorithm, and not people responsible for the algorithm, would be directly liable for breaking the law.
An alternative, originally proposed in the US and subsequently analysed under Swiss, English, and German law, is use of equivalents of a Polish spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością (in the US a limited liability company and GmbH in Germany) as a legal vehicle for attributing legal personality to an algorithm. This would be a ‘memberless entity’.
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In my last post I examined whether artificial intelligence could be regarded as an “author” for purposes of copyright law. This topic is intriguing, but we must remember that AI can not only create works that at least theoretically can be covered by copyright protection, but it can also infringe copyrights held by others when creating its own works. There are already algorithms that can mimic a certain style of painting or a specific author. In the face of technology enabling anyone with access to it to produce their own “masterpiece by a famous painter,” it is worth considering whether AI can be held responsible for copyright infringement, and if not, who can?
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is now capable of producing ever-more complex creations which are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from works made by human beings. Recent news shows that this reality is truly upon us. First, there were the algorithm-created paintings whose complexity and unconventional style were anonymously judged to be superior to human efforts. Then, a novel written by a Japanese AI algorithm made it past the initial selection round for a national literary prize.
Continue reading “Can Artificial Intelligence be the author?”