Contemporary Artificial Art and the Law

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In: Brill Research Perspectives in Art and Law
Gianmaria Ajani University of Torino, Italy

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The advent of Artificial Intelligence as an “autonomous author” in the various modes of Arts urges the law to rethink the traditional concepts of authorship, originality, and creativity. AI-generated artworks are in search of an author, so to speak, because current copyright laws only offer the solution of the public domain or fragile regulatory mechanisms. Several adjustments have globally led copyright laws to cover new forms of authorship as well as new sorts of works. Yet, the romantic idea of a lone individual as the master of creativeness still influences theoretical elaborations and normative choices. Throughout the 20th century, visual artists have been posing persistent challenges to the law: conceptual art and dematerialization have favored legal mechanisms alternative to copyright law. The case of AIart is, however, different: for the first time, the art world is discovering the perspective of an art without human authors. Rather than preserving the status quo in the legal world, policy makers should consider a reformative conception of AI in copyright law and take inspiration from innovative theories in the field of robot law, where new frames for a legal personhood of artificial agents are proposed. This would also have a spill-over effect on copyright regulations.

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