Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 217–240 | Cite as

A fourth law of robotics? Copyright and the law and ethics of machine co-production

  • Burkhard SchaferEmail author
  • David Komuves
  • Jesus Manuel Niebla Zatarain
  • Laurence Diver


Jon Bing was not only a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and law and the legal regulation of technology. He was also an accomplished author of fiction, with an oeuvre spanning from short stories and novels to theatre plays and even an opera. As reality catches up with the imagination of science fiction writers who have anticipated a world shared by humans and non-human intelligences of their creation, some of the copyright issues he has discussed in his academic capacity take on new resonance. How will we regulate copyright when robots are producers and consumers of art? This paper tries to give a sketch of the problem and hints at possible answers that are to a degree inspired by Bing’s academic and creative writing.


Robotics Copyright law Bing 



Work on this paper was supported by the RCUK funded CREATE network,


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burkhard Schafer
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Komuves
    • 1
  • Jesus Manuel Niebla Zatarain
    • 1
  • Laurence Diver
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Law, SCRIPT CentreThe University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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