Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Legally speaking

AI Authorship?

two robotic hands drawing each other

Credit: Getty Images

Since the mid-1960s, intellectual property (IP) law specialists have debated whether computers or computer programs can be "authors" whose outputs can be copyrighted.6 The U.S. Congress was so befuddled about this issue in the mid-1970s that it created a special Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) to address this and a few other computer-related issues.4

A second burst of interest in AI authorship broke out in the mid-1980s. Congress once again commissioned a study, this time from its Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), to address this and other controversial computer-related issues. OTA did not offer an answer to the question, perhaps in part because at that time, it was a "toy problem" because no commercially significant outputs of AI or other software programs had yet been generated.5


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.