Non-Conventional Copyright
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Non-Conventional Copyright

Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection?

Edited by Enrico Bonadio and Nicola Lucchi

This book draws a picture of possible new spaces for copyright. It expands on whether modern copyright law should be more flexible as to whether new or unconventional forms of expression - including graffiti, tattoos, land art, conceptual art and bio art, engineered DNA, sport movements, jokes, magic tricks, dj-sets, 3D printing, works generated by artificial intelligence, perfume making, typefaces, illegal and immoral works - deserve protection. The contributors offer authoritative, coherent and well-argued essays focusing on whether copyright can subsist in these unconventional subject matters.
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Chapter 18: Artificial Intelligence, computer generated works and copyright

Massimo Maggiore


Artificial Intelligence, along with ever-increasing computational capacity, may turn computers into autonomous originators of works that at one time only humans could author. Computers have indeed proven to be credible generators of literary, artistic and scientific works, with no human intervention in the generative process. The question is whether computer generated works of this sort (‘CGWs’) may be protected under the current copyright legal framework. Copyright laws around the globe are based on certain historically justified theoretical premises which make protection strictly conditional upon human authorship. On this basis, CGWs should be denied protection. This chapter discusses the issue of reconciling the principles of copyright law with the protection of CGWs, in particular taking into account certain evolutionary patterns of copyright laws that seem to permit a refocusing of the protection rationale from the ‘author’ to the ‘work’ as such. The position taken advocates the case of copyright protection for CGWs and, to this end, calls for a reform of copyright legislation in those jurisdictions which, unlike the UK and a few others, do not expressly offer GCWs copyright protection.

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