Computational creativity—a subdomain of artificial intelligence concerned with systems that replicate or assist human creative endeavors—has been the subject of academic inquiry for decades. Now, with recent improvements in machine learning techniques and the rising popularity of all things AI, computational creativity is a medium for critically and commercially successful works of art. From a 2016 Rembrandt to Jukedeck’s instant music (or muzak?), AI-assisted and AI-driven works are a reality. This raises mind-bending questions about the nature of creativity, the relationship between the artist and the viewer, even the existence of free will. For many lawyers, it also raises a more immediate question: who owns all of this art?
Cyberlaw Clinicians Jess Fjeld and Mason Kortz discuss copyright in AI-generated works, the need for a shared understanding of what is and isn’t up for grabs in a license, and how forward-thinking contracts can prevent AI developers and artists from having their rights decided by our (often notoriously backwards-looking) legal system.
Jessica Fjeld is a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic. She works in diverse areas including intellectual property, media and entertainment (particularly public media), freedom of expression, and law and policy relating to government and nonprofit entities. Before joining the Clinic, Jessica worked in Business & Legal Affairs for WGBH Educational Foundation, and as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP focused in corporate transactions. She received a JD from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and the Arts; an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts; and a BA from Columbia University.
Mason Kortz is a clinical instructional fellow at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, part of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. His areas of interest include online speech and privacy and the use of data products (big or small) to advance social justice. Mason has worked as a data manager for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a legal fellow in the Technology for Liberty Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and a clerk in the District of Massachusetts. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in Computer Science and Philosophy from Dartmouth College. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and game design.