From The 1709 Blog:
[I]n the realm of IP one of the questions that have been asked with increasing frequency is whether and to what extent AI has the potential to replace humans, including in the creative fields.
As AI machines become increasingly autonomous, can they be regarded as ‘authors’ in a copyright sense and, if so, can the works they create be eligible for copyright protection? If the answer was again in the affirmative, who would own the copyright in such works?
. . . .
For instance, readers with an interest in music might have had the opportunity to listen to the recently released single Hello Shadow, which is the first song extracted from the the first multi-artist music album composed with AI.
This album was curated by Benoit Carré, head of SKYGGE, who collaborated with several musicians and performers, including – in the case of Hello Shadow – Stromae and Kiesza.
The SKYGGE project started as a research project (the Flow-Machines project, conducted at Sony Computer Science Laboratories and University Paris 6) in which scientists were looking for algorithms to capture and reproduce musical “style” [an example being Daddy’s car, a song in the style of the Beatles]. However, the novelty and huge potential of the approach triggered the attention of musicians who joined the team.
It is clear that SKYGGE produces music thanks to AI, but there is a substantial human input. But as things have the potential to develop in the sense that AI will be able to create music entirely on its own, without any human input, will the resulting songs be protected by copyright?
. . . .
[A]t the international level there is no definition of who is to be regarded as an ‘author’ in a copyright sense. However, legal scholarship seems oriented in the sense of concluding that, from its text and historical context, under the Berne Convention only natural persons who created the work can be regarded as authors.
In any case, although generally speaking it seems possible “to agree that an author is a human being who exercises subjective judgment in composing the work and who controls its execution”, this does not mean that at the national level there are not situations in which also works created by non-human authors can qualify for protection, or courts have not addressed issues of non-human authorship.
. . . .
Harmonization of the standard of originality at the EU level has been limited. Only the Software Directive (Article 1(3)), the Database Directive (Article 3(1)) and the Term Directive (Article 6) provide that, respectively, for computer programs, databases and photographs copyright protection shall be only available if they are their “author’s own intellectual creation”.
. . . .
One may wonder how a non-human author can exercise such rights. The question becomes even more complex, if not impossible to solve, if one considers that the CJEU has clarified that the language of that directive imposes that authors are considered as the exclusive first owners of economic rights.
Link to the rest at The 1709 Blog
PG just checked the number of posts he has created for TPV.
The number is . . . . . 16,130.
PG stifled an OCD impulse to figure out a way to determine how many sentences and words are contained in those 16,130 posts.
PG doesn’t think MS Word is up to the task, but he’s never tried. (OCD stifling is going quite well at the moment.)
However, PG wondered if he could create a short program to rearrange segments of the 16,130 posts to create an almost infinite number of new posts and transform TPV into a perpetual blog.
(PG understands that perpetual motion devices are supposed to be impossible, but, since blog posts don’t contain motion, physics may not negate the concept of a perpetual blog. PG will stop trying to think about physics now.)
PG couldn’t stop wondering whether MS Word could be up to some sort of word-counting task for those 16,130 blog posts (OCD scores one point). Quite frankly, he had his doubts about MS Word.
So, he copied and pasted 20 copies of the ms from Mrs. PG’s forthcoming novel into a single MS Word file, expecting the word-counting function to fail.
PG apologizes to all the programmers in Redmond.
20 copies of Mrs. PG’s next book contain:
- 2081 pages (MS Word manuscript pages, not pages in a printed book or ebook pages)
- 43,500 paragraphs
- 1,154,740 words
- 6,295,780 characters (with spaces)
As PG looks at these numbers, he may need to retract his apologies.
Other than the page count, MS Word says that 1) the number of paragraphs, 2) the number of words and 3) the number of characters in 20 copies of Mrs. PG’s next book are each divisible by 10.
What are the chances of this happening? (PG is becoming tired of numbers, so he won’t go down that path).
Ever dubious, PG suspected a bit of fudging by the programmer responsible for the word count feature in MS Word. Was Microsoft just guessing?
He was about to make an accusation.
But first, he added a single character to this monstrous file.
(no sexism intended)
And . . .
the characters count increased by 1. To a number not divisible by 10.
Then he entered a space and another single character.
And the word count increased by 1 while the character count increased by 2 (one space and one character).
Then he hit the Enter key and another single character.
And the paragraph count increased by 1 with character and word count each incrementing properly.
PG can confirm that the paragraph, word and character counting algorithms in his copy of MS Word appear to be accurate (No, he’s not going to personally count words. He’s an attorney, not an accountant.), at least for a document containing 20 copies of Mrs. PG’s next book.
He unconditionally withdraws any and all disparaging comments directed towards any and all nameless programmers in Redmond.