The magnitude of the software development, leads to a proliferation of the works autonomously created by computer, without any significant expenditure of human skill and effort. Nowadays, computer’s contribution to the works becoming increasingly substantial, and consequently the user’s input less feasible. Google Deep Dream Art can be exemplary in the substantial nature of the machine made creative output in the artwork. The idea-expression dichotomy of copyrights rendering protection to original expression rather than the idea.
However, this expression in the form of content output is predominantly coming from the computer, rather than from the user with the use of a skill. In Ameretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v Ozimals, Inc., the copyrights over virtual animals in Second Life online computer game was not upheld due to claiming protection over the functionality of the object. This raises the question on possibility of recognizing the computer-generated works as open information and part of the public domain. Leading Australian case Victoria Park Racing & Recreations Grounds Co. Ltd v Taylor connotes lack of ownership in raw information. Moreover, the outcomes of recent Australian case IceTV also did not recognize copyrights over the fact-based works. However, this comes along with the calls to “remedy the lacuna of ‘authorless’ works”, as can implicate predatory attitude to CGWs defeating the incentivizing function of copyrights. It can further curtail the use of virtual tools that facilitate creativity in its contemporary form.
Reported at the 8th International Conference on Information Law and Ethics (ΙCIL) 2018 Modern Intellectual Property Governance and Openness in Europe: A Long and Winding Road? 13-14 December 2018 University of Antwerp, Belgium