[Book Review] 25 things you should know about artificial intelligence, art and copyright

This Kat is happy to review “25 things you should know about artificial intelligence, art and copyright” by Pablo Fernández Carballo-Calero (Aranzadi, 2023, 160 p.). Now in its second edition, the book offers a primer on copyright-related challenges that artificial intelligence (AI) presents.

As advanced in the book’s title, this monograph is composed of 25 short chapters, distributed in six parts. Each chapter addresses a specific question raised by AI.

Part I, “Artificial Intelligence, Art and Copyright”, offers its readers a general overview of how AI affects cultural and creative sectors. Using real cases such as “The Next Rembrandt”, the author progresses towards the main issue of the book: are works created by AI protected by copyright and, if so, who is the author and which type of protection should the work receive?

To address this question, Fernández explains the fundamentals of AI works of art in Part II. Here, the author distinguishes between works produced autonomously by AI systems (AI-generated works) and works produced by AI systems with a relevant human contribution (AI-assisted works). In the opinion of Fernández, AI systems are not currently able to produce works autonomously, so the policy efforts should focus on AI-assisted works.

In Part III, the author looks at various legal notions that may be used as inspiration for the issue of AI-generated works. For instance, he reviews the UK system of protection for computer-generated works and the EU sui generis database right. Drawing a parallel with the lack of real impact of the database right, Fernández suggests policymakers should avoid creating a special right for AI-generated works. This might slow down the development of this market in Europe. Instead, in the opinion of the author, AI-generated works should immediately enter into public domain.

Part IV covers the protection for AI-assisted works. For the author, they are in principle eligible for copyright protection, but everything depends on the degree of human involvement in the creation process. It is thus important to define the relevant human contribution. Fernández reviews several possible approaches to the issue. He also looks at the notion of originality in different legal systems, so as to understand whether AI-assisted works can be deemed original.

The book closes with Part V, where several specific questions of authorship and ownership are tackled. The author analyses a case where an AI software “creates” art based on the input of both software developers and software users. In the view of Fernández, this should be treated as joint authorship.

In the Annexes, the reader will find relevant legal norms from selected jurisdictions, as well as a few existing rulings.

Young professionals and students will appreciate this intuitive and affordable book as a first point of entry into the subject. More seasoned lawyers will value the selection of further readings, suggested by the author in the Annexes. As Fernández rightfully points out, the true potential of AI for cultural and creative sectors is yet to come: in preparation for it, this book helps understanding the legal issues behind AI creativity.
[Book Review] 25 things you should know about artificial intelligence, art and copyright [Book Review] 25 things you should know about artificial intelligence, art and copyright Reviewed by Anastasiia Kyrylenko on Monday, July 31, 2023 Rating: 5


  1. The link in the post only shows the first edition and is on the ThompsonReuters Spanish website. There is no indication on that site about which language the book is in.
    The Amazon UK website states that it is Spanish:
    ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C8NXQP4P
    Publisher ‏ : ‎ ARANZADI / CIVITAS; 2nd edition (2 Jun. 2023)
    Language ‏ : ‎ Spanish
    Can you clarify this please.

    1. The book is written in English. Amazon UK reference is wrong. The book published in 2023 is the 2nd edition


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