Should authorship equate to purely human effort?

Following on from my previous post on Naruto’s case, it’s interesting that in the appeals court and the District Court for the Northern District of California (Naruto v. Slater, 15-cv-04324-WHO (January 28, 2016) the courts based their reasoning largely on a lack of statutory standing. In other words, whether the case was brought by the type of plaintiff that can sue under a particular statute (copyright).

The problem here of course is that PETA had little or no connection with the “author” Naruto. They had their own agenda. What if Naruto was a highly trained pet – skilled in photography – and his minder or “owner” brought the claim? Would he or she have standing to bring a claim? Perhaps they would.

Arguably, this would be no different to a situation where a sophisticated AI system produced a highly creative, independent work but could not be defined as a human author in the traditional sense.

Perhaps we need to revisit the concept of authorship?

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