Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Rex M. Shoyama


artificial intelligence, computer-generated works, copyright law


The central objective of this article is to propose a clarification of copyright law as applied to works created by intelligent agents. In Part I, the concepts of artificial intelligence and intelligent agents are introduced. Part II identifies the challenges that are presented to the tests of originality and authorship in the application of copyright to works generated by intelligent agents. It is argued that works created by intelligent agents may meet the tests of originality and authorship. It is also argued that the con- cepts of ‘‘author’’, ‘‘owner’’, and ‘‘maker’’ are distinct from one another in Canadian copyright law. Part III addresses copyright policy arguments. It is shown that intelligent agents may be authors of works but not owners of copy- right, and that there is no clear candidate who should be designated the maker of works created by intelligent agents. The role of the public domain is also considered, and it is concluded that the best solution is for no copy- right ownership to be vested in anyone. Database protec- tion legislation is examined in Part IV. The paper con- cludes with some suggestions that should be considered as part of the ongoing process of Canadian copyright law reform.