Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Computer Generated Works

19 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2014

See all articles by Siya Shruti

Siya Shruti

Chanakya National Law University

Date Written: February 17, 2014


Copyright recognition exists to reward the creativity of authors, not third parties that happen to provide the tools of the trade to those authors. The use of software is ubiquitous in the creation of many copyright works, yet the requirement in copyright law that every work has a human author who engages in independent intellectual effort means that its use may prevent copyright subsistence. Several recent cases have refocused attention on authorship as an essential criterion of copyright subsistence and these cases suggest that much computer-produced output may be author-less and thus lack copyright protection.

This rapid advancement of which virtually no one is untouched raises important questions of law. Whether the decades old copyright law will be able withstand this technological onslaughts? How can web-sites their layouts, E-Books, softwares, Databases etc. be protected under the law remains the moot question. To make an enquiry to examine the implications of computer and other information communication technologies into the existing copyright law or modify existing one or go for entirely new law?

This project thereby, the first in a two-part series, analyses how each case deals with the question of authorship of computer-produced works and why the use of software diminishes copyright protection for a significant number of computer-generated works. The article critiques the application of conventional notions of human authorship developed in the pre-computer age to modern productions and suggests alternative approaches to authorship that satisfy both the major objectives of copyright policy and the need to adapt to the computer age. The article argues that, without a broader judicial approach to authorship of computer-generated works, Parliament must remedy the lacuna in protection for these ‘author-less’ works. Possible solutions for reform are suggested. In a forthcoming article, the author comprehensively examines those reform proposals.

Suggested Citation

Shruti, Siya, Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Computer Generated Works (February 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Siya Shruti (Contact Author)

Chanakya National Law University ( email )

Chanakya National Law University Patna
Bihar, India
Patna, Bihar 800001

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