Should AI Created Images Be Given Copyright Protection? The U.S. Copyright Office Says No.

The U.S. Copyright Office has determined that images created by the artificial-intelligence system Midjourney in a graphic novel should not be granted copyright protection.

Author Kris Kashtanova is entitled to a copyright for the parts of the book they wrote and arranged, but not for the images produced by Midjourney, according to the letter from the Copyright Office, which is one of the first decisions made by a U.S. court or agency on the scope of copyright protection for works created with AI. The decision comes at a time of rapid growth in generative AI software like Midjourney, Dall-E, and ChatGPT.

The Copyright Office stated that it would reissue its registration for “Zarya of the Dawn” to exclude images that “are not the product of human authorship” and therefore cannot be copyrighted. However, Kashtanova is considering how to argue that the images themselves were a “direct expression” of their creativity and thus copyrightable. Midjourney general counsel Max Sills said the decision was a victory for artists, stating that the Copyright Office is saying “if an artist exerts creative control over an image generating tool like Midjourney … the output is protectable.”

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Should AI Created Images Be Given Copyright Protection? The U.S. Copyright Office Says No.

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