The fact the Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently accepted an application to register copyright in a painting is no big deal.  However, it is where the coauthor is an AI program.   The painting's human coauthor, Ankit Sahni, used his RAGHAV AI program to 'create' the painting.  His Canadian copyright registration identifies himself and his RAGHAV program as coauthors, and is the first time in Canada that copyright authorship has been attributed to an AI entity. This is an interesting development, which perhaps foreshadows how copyright law will evolve or be interpreted, as these types of "creative" AI technologies develop.  The traditional view in Canada has been that only a human being can author a copyrighted work, so the acceptance of Mr. Sahni's application is noteworthy.    

It'll be interesting to see how this evolves, and whether we see more copyright registrations where AI is identified as a coauthor or even the only author.  It'll also be interesting to see whether these AI-authored registrations will be upheld if challenged, in the absence of needed judicial or legislative guidance on the issue.    

That guidance may be coming.  The Canadian government has been soliciting views on these emerging AI ownership issues via its July 2021 "Consultation on a Modern Copyright Framework for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things," which invited feedback on whether and how to recognize and protect AI-created works.  Where this leads remains to be seen, but it's clear that the law needs to clarified around these issues, as we'll undoubtedly see more and valuable AI-created works and innovation as these technologies develop.