Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law in a European context - A study on the protection of works produced by AI-systems
Abstract: This master thesis discusses current copyright rules and if there is presently a copyright protection for these types of works. There is a possibility to protect works that have been generated by AI’s. However, this is only possible if a human is using the AI as a ”tool”, in order to reach a certain end-goal. There has to be a clear link between the human author and the machine, otherwise neither authorship nor originality can be established. Ultimately, in a scenario where such a link is missing, the work would fall into public domain. The beforementioned is followed by possible solutions for protecting these works in the future. In fact, it is interesting to look into the legislation of countries such as the UK, the US and EU Member States in order to study their ways of protecting similar types of works. These solutions will treat topics such as AI as an “employee”, the UK concept of computer generated works and the attribution of legal personhood to AI-systems. Additionally, there might be a need for changing the structure of the current EU copyright rules, namely by lowering the thresholds for protection, in order to widen the possibilities to give copyright protection to AI-generated works. Ultimately, the thesis finds that the best way of protecting AI-generated works would be, to develop a new sui generis rule for AI-generated works. This solution is the most likely to see the day, as it is a flexible and easy way of attributing copyright protection without changing and lowering the traditional copyright thresholds for protection.
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