Robots vs. Monkeys: Intellectual Property Rights of Non-Human Creators [Poster Session]

1 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2016

See all articles by Tiffany Li

Tiffany Li

Yale Law School - Information Society Project

Charles Roslof

Wikimedia Foundation

Date Written: March 29, 2016


A fundamental tenet of intellectual property law is that it is beneficial to give creators some measure of ownership over their creative or scientific works.

New innovations in technology have changed the way works are created, but current IP law still lacks clarity regarding IP rights in works by non-human creators, including robots and animals. Legal scholarship has not reached a consensus on how principles of intellectual property can or should be applied, broadly, to works of non-human creators.

In this study, we explore possible directions for the future of IP law, specifically involving works by non-human creators. We look at the (scant) legal precedent in these two realms and provide comparisons of the legal precedent and academic discourse surrounding each topic.

Based on findings from this comparative analysis, we offer potential recommendations and future paths of research for the field of IP rights of non-human creators.

Keywords: intellectual property, law, intellectual property law, animal law, robot law, robots, artificial intelligence

JEL Classification: K11, K00, K10, K19, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Li, Tiffany and Roslof, Charles, Robots vs. Monkeys: Intellectual Property Rights of Non-Human Creators [Poster Session] (March 29, 2016). Available at SSRN:

Tiffany Li (Contact Author)

Yale Law School - Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Charles Roslof

Wikimedia Foundation ( email )

149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA
United States

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