Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Fox in the henhouse


A week or two ago the U.S. Copyright office refused to copyright an AI generated picture that had won a State Fair art contest. This followed on a recent Federal Court ruling that says a work has to be significantly authored by a person. I'm not sure how any of these legal copyright decisions would apply to my own work, like the photographs below. These pictures are riddled with AI. And though they are built off of original photos taken by me, lets face it, photos are already merely stolen from the world anyway. I mean, sure, there is quite a bit of Mississippi River water in these pictures that I captured just so, and maybe that means something. But, on the other hand, how, and in what way, should I ever own anything of the Mississippi River, its likeness, vision, or image? Any version of it in any way cannot belong to anyone and can only rightly belong to everyone, just as the river itself should.

These issues of authorship bring up complicated questions, but as long as no one anywhere profits from my fake pictures below, I'm okay with copyright being out of the question. I wasn't going to be making any money from it anyway.

As the great Woody Guthrie said, in the anti-copyright notice to his songs, songs which he borrowed all the tunes for from folk and other traditions, and is often quoted by Cory Doctorow who brought it to my attention:

This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anyone singin it without our permission, will be a might good friend of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.

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