The Copyright Conundrum: Can AI-Generated Content be copyrighted
Published Date - 

The Copyright Conundrum: Can AI-Generated Content be copyrighted



The simple answer is Yes and No. If you use a prompt into ChatGPT to generate a result, you cannot claim copyright protection for the output. On the bright side, if you modify the output in creative ways, it may be eligible for copyright protection! It's important to remember that only the parts of the work that are authored by humans can be copyrighted.

In a world where artificial intelligence is increasingly contributing to creative endeavours, a question arises regarding the copyrightability of AI-generated content. The debate surrounding this topic is complex and multifaceted. Hence, it requires a thorough examination to fully understand the issue. Let’s dive into this murky digital pool with a dash of wit.

Picture this: A robot tapping away at its keyboard, spewing out sonnets that would make Shakespeare blush. Now, who owns those sonnets? The robot? Its creator? Or perhaps the ghost of the Bard himself? Cue dramatic music.

Sure, AI can churn out content faster than a caffeinated squirrel on a treadmill, but does that mean it deserves the same copyright protections as human-made masterpieces? It’s like asking if a blender can claim royalties for the smoothie it blends.


Legal scholars are scratching their heads (and probably reaching for the Advil) trying to decipher this conundrum. After all, copyright law was crafted with human ingenuity in mind, not algorithms that binge-watch cat videos for inspiration.

On the flip side, denying AI copyright protection could stifle innovation faster than you can say “404 error.” Imagine a world where AI creators throw in the towel because they can’t monetize their digital brainchildren. It’s like telling a toddler they can’t keep their finger paintings.

AI with book

So, can AI-generated content be copyrighted? The answer is about as clear as mud in a hurricane but there's some light at the end of this tunnel.

The U.S. Copyright Office has recently provided some guidance on this topic. AI-generated content can sometimes be copyrighted, according to David Siegel, partner at Grellas Shah LLP. Thus far, the Copyright Office, has explained that, for a work to be afforded copyright protection in the U.S., it must have a human author. Yet, Siegel said he is not sure what that means in the world of AI.

If the only human involvement is the input of a chat prompt into ChatGPT, for example, one cannot obtain copyright protection for the raw result of that prompt," Siegel said. On the other hand, if a user inputs a prompt into an AI tool, gets a response and then modifies the result in creative ways, that can potentially result in content afforded copyright protection. However, only human-authored parts of the work can be copyrighted.

One thing’s for sure: as long as there are humans behind the AI, there’ll be a legal circus worthy of the big top. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show!

No items found.


No items found.

Contact us

How can we help you?

Thank you!

We will get back to you in one business day.
If this is urgent, Please schedule a time
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.