Steven Thaler filed an application for copyright registration in a two-dimensional image entitled “Creativity Machine”. In his application, Thaler stated that the work “was autonomously created by a computer algorithm running on a machine”. The Review Board of the United States Copyright Office (“Board”) denied the application stating it lacked human authorship necessary to support a copyright claim. He filed a request for reconsideration arguing the human authorship requirement is unconstitutional.
In its ruling of February 14, 2022, the Board upheld its prior decision stating that this work lacked the required human authorship necessary to sustain a claim in copyright. The Board noted court decisions limiting copyright protection to creations by human authors. Further it cited the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, which has long mandated human authorship for registration. The Board stated, “After reviewing the statutory text, judicial precedent, and longstanding Copyright Office practice, the Board again concludes that human authorship is a prerequisite to copyright protection in the United States and that the Work therefore cannot be registered”. It concluded that Thaler cited no case law or other precedent that would undermine the Office’s construction of the Copyright Act.