Artist in Focus - Artificial Intelligence & Copyright


A key moment in the fight between artists and artificial intelligence has just taken place with a copyright claim for a digital artwork that was generated entirely by AI. The result? Copyright denied. This claim that originated in the USA could not meet the minimum prerequisite for copyright protection in the US: that artwork must be created with human involvement. That a human is the mandatory ingredient in the creation of art.

And it is a statement that holds true to us at Rosenstiels. We believe that humanity adds more to art than just the end result, and we are thrilled that this has been made abundantly clear in this case.

We know the battle will continue, this fight is not black and white. Many cases will challenge at what point artificial intelligence can no longer be deemed as human led. Did AI assist the creator, or did AI do the creating?

And, can it ever be an original creation if the original content has been taken from real artists and repurposed by AI?

We expect judges and courts throughout the World to rule that any Artificial Intelligent image that has been created using pixels from existing copyrighted work will be illegal. That should give all living artists and artists estates up until 70 years after death additional protection from having their work fed into a computer and regurgitated in a different format.

Where do we stand on the use of Photoshop and similar software by an artist or photographer? Would this also count as Artificial Intelligence? In our view, quite simply, no it most certainly does not.

Because there is always a human hand and a mental conception of an idea. It is not a textbox requesting a computer to generate an image, but a real person - a human - using skills they have acquired to bring together unique, artistic ideas through a digital medium.

So, for now, we are happy to celebrate this step forward for the artists and the art community worldwide. This single step brings us closer to keeping real, innovative and talented artists doing what they do best - creating.

(Image 'The Painter of Sunflowers - Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh' by Paul Gauguin

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