Monday, September 25

AI-created images in a novel to lose US copyrights, here’s why

Generative AI software like — Midjourney, Dall-E and ChatGPT has witnessed a meteoric rise in the past few months. Meanwhile, a US agency has enclosed its decision on the scope of acquiring copyright protection for the works created with AI. According to a report by Reuters, the US Copyright Office has said that the images of a graphic novel were created by an artificial intelligence system named Midjourney and these images should not have been granted copyright protection.
A graphic novel with AI-created images
“Zarya of the Dawn” is a graphic novel which is authored by Kris Kashtanova. As per the letter from the copyright office, Kashtanova is entitled to copyright the parts of the book she wrote and arranged. However, the images produced by Midjourney shouldn’t have been granted copyright.
The US-based office has also mentioned that it would reissue its registration for “Zarya of the Dawn”. The agency claims that the author should exclude the images that “are not the product of human authorship” and therefore cannot be copyrighted.
Kris Kashtanova’s reaction
The US Copyright Office’s decision to allow copyright protection for the novel’s story and the way the images were arranged was “great news”, claims Kashtanova. She also mentioned that the decision “covers a lot of uses for the people in the AI art community.”
Kashtanova is considering the best ways to press ahead with the argument that the images were a “direct expression of my creativity and therefore copyrightable,” the report claims
Midjourney’s reaction
Midjourney is an AI-based tool that can produce images based on the text prompts entered by users. Kashtanova wrote the text of the novel “Zarya of the Dawn,” while Midjourney created the book’s images based on prompts.
Meanwhile, Midjourney general counsel Max Stills suggested that the decision was “a great victory for Kris, Midjourney, and artists.” Stills also mentioned that the Copyright Office is “clearly saying that if an artist exerts creative control over an image generating tool like Midjourney …the output is protectable.”

In October 2022, the Copyright Office told Kashtanova that it would reconsider the book’s copyright registration because the application did not disclose Midjourney’s role. Later, the office said that it would only grant copyright protection for the book’s text and the way Kashtanova selected and arranged its elements. However, it also mentioned that Kashtanova was not the “mastermind” behind the images themselves.
The letter from the US Copyright Office also said, “The fact that Midjourney’s specific output cannot be predicted by users makes Midjourney different for copyright purposes than other tools used by artists,”

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