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Computer scientists, using artificial intelligence techniques such as neural networks, are enabling computers to independently create works that appear to qualify for federal intellectual property protection. In at least one case, the creator of this kind of program has registered its output, a series of musical compositions, under his name as author with United States Copyright Office. Whether the output of the computer satisfies the statutory and constitutional requisites for protection is questionable, however. The author of this Article argues that the output of an autonomously creative computer program cannot be protected under the current copyright and patent laws. Further, he will assert that the statutory infirmity cannot be cured, as this would violate the Patent and Copyright Clause of the Constitution.


Originally published by the Tulane Law Review in 1997.