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Copyright In the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Technology has come a long way from where we see it now. Things progress so fast, that we as a human race have a hard time taking into consideration the large leaps we have taken. Before the full development of vinyl there were full operational computers in the 1940s. Computers back then were definitely used for more than just crunching in tons of numbers. Computers were being used to process sound. To be more specific the CSIRAC (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer) in Australia in 1949 was the first to successfully play music. Nearly 50 years later the masses not only use computers to generate sound they are using computers to distribute art and music to millions. This advancement in technology caused a new type of copyright that supports artists in an easy download stealing era. In 1998 the Congress passed a law for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), to help publishers copyright to be protected from leaks of mp3s and/or streaming without the artist's permission.


Within this day and age things have become a lot more sophisticated. Things went from barely giving computers a piece of code to read, to music being distributed on computers, now to artificial intelligence. This builds me to my question, is Ai-generated music copyrightable? The simple answer is no, because copyright can only exist with humans. Some may wonder in what ways is music being created by artificial intelligence? According to AIVA (www.aiva.ai) they are literally offering services where AI generates a whole film score based on certain sounds it receives. Crazy to hear in these times, so what type of copyright might be available? We do have one copyright in mind and that would be the “seventh exclusive right”. The seventh exclusive right is the Digital Transmission Of Music which gives you the right to exclude anyonefrom playing your music anywhere. While under this specific copyright it would allow a human and Ai to split royalties. This is nothing but an educated guest on where this would lead to according to Dr. E . Michael Harrignton. He also states that Ai is a public domain free to the public. AIVA business construct diggs into a bit of these aspects in their subscription selection. Free subscription allows you to use the technology (Ai) to generate sound scores. On the contrary the copyright is owned by AIVA, while not allowing space monetization. In a pro annual subscription you own all the rights and have full power to monetize as much as you want. This is a good glimpse on where the future is going in terms of how Ai would be used in copyright.


From my perspective I would say compositions are partly AI- generated by the computer and

partly by the human. This would benefit the AI (the programmer creator creation) and the artist who gave the specific information to the AI to generate their specific outcome they want.


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