The recent blog post by Matt Hervey provides an interesting summary by someone who clearly has a good understanding of the subject matter. It does seem a bit one-sided in making it sound (to me, anyway) like people, governments or courts who oppose copyright protection of AI-generated works are fighting a rear guard battle and that at some point copyright protection of such works will almost “naturally” happen. If this was the author’s intent, I beg to differ. There are several powerful doctrinal and normative arguments not to protect AI-generated works by copyright when the autonomy of the machine is such that it breaks a sufficiently strong link of causality between humans (programmers, people who trained the machine, even perhaps those who gave a very detailed prompt in some cases) and the machine’s output. I provided a list of arguments for and against protection here . I summarized some of those arguments on this blog. Many other scholars have taken a similar position, among them Jane Ginsburg and Pam Samuelson and this excellent paper by Ian Kerr and Carys Craig
I do not deny that AI machines can produce valuable content. I do, however, fail to see a case that there is underinvestment at present in text, music and image generation that requires a legal incentive. I also reject the argument that because something is valuable it must have copyright protection. If copyright was meant as a right in all potentially commercially valuable things, the right would have been given to publishers, not authors. Then, self-evidently machines do not need an incentive to run their code. Code is protected if written by humans, but to protect all outputs not causally related to this code (in the way I explain here ), is fraught with significant risks. Those are only a few of the reasons that make me hesitate to celebrate this replacement of human authorship.