Another Dumb Idea Out Of The EU: Giving Robots & Computers Copyright
from the ain't-no-monkeying-around dept
It’s a good thing to think about the technology of the future. Especially if you’re politicians and the future may have a big impact. Considering how frequently we see politicians ignore future technological change, it might be encouraging that the EU Parliament is at least considering what happens when our new robot overlords enslave us. Except that the report that the EU Parliament has come out with… is ridiculous. Most of the headlines are focusing on the ideas raised around making robots “electronic persons” for the purposes of paying social security or taxes, but the part that gets me is the plan to give them access to copyright as well.
Notes that there are no legal provisions that specifically apply to robotics, but that existing legal regimes and doctrines can be readily applied to robotics while some aspects appear to need specific consideration; calls on the Commission to come forward with a balanced approach to intellectual property rights when applied to hardware and software standards, and codes that protect innovation and at the same time foster innovation; calls on the Commission to elaborate criteria for an ?own intellectual creation? for copyrightable works produced by computers or robots;
The resolution calls on the Commission to come forward with a balanced approach to intellectual property rights when applied to hardware and software standards and codes that protect innovation and at the same time foster innovation. Moreover, the elaboration of criteria for “own intellectual creation” for copyrightable works produced by computers or robots is demanded.
The current insufficient legal framework on data protection and ownership is of great concern due to the (expected massive) flow of data arising from the use of robotics and AI.
This is both maddening and pointless. As we’ve already discussed with regards to the monkey selfie, it’s pretty standard under copyright that it only applies to work created by persons, and not animals or machines. That matters quite a bit. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was in a conference session talking about questions about copyright and artificial intelligence, and a point that I made to people there was that the output of an AI is (currently) not subject to copyright and that’s a good thing. Yet here we have the EU already proposing adding copyright to the output of AI without bothering to even consider if the concept makes sense or not.
It does not.
Again, the purpose of copyright is to create incentives for creation that benefits the public. It’s not as if a robot or an AI is going to say that it won’t create something new unless it gets copyright. You can just program it to create. That’s the idea. The fact that politicians are already seriously looking at creating special copyright for patents and AI seems like more of the same old thinking of “everything needs copyright protection.”