The US Copyright Office Rejects the Trademark of AI-Generated Images in a Book

  • An author used AI-generated images in a recently published graphic novel.
  • The US Copyright Office ruled that while the book is protected, the images are not AI-generated.
  • The office said the images were not protected because “they are not the product of human authorship.”

The US Copyright Office said images in a graphic novel created using an artificial intelligence system would not receive copyright protection, Reuters first reported.

The office said in a letter that author Kris Kashtanova has copyright protection for the parts of “Zarya of the Dawn” written or arranged by Kashtanova but that the Midjourney AI tool has not created excessive images. Kashtanova used clues to call Midjourney images for the book.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Kashtanova was first awarded copyright protection for the 18-page graphic novel last year.

However, the Copyright Office said Kashtanova did not inform her of the use of the AI-generated images in the initial copyright application and asked her to update the application or risk losing the copyright.

After months of review, the office ruled on Tuesday that the book would keep its copyright protection, but the images generated by AI would not because they “are not the product of a human author.”

Kashtanova praised the part of the ruling that said the book would retain its copyright protection, saying it was “a great day for everyone who is creating using Midjourney and other tools. When you put your images into a book like Zarya, the arrangement is copyrighted. .”

But when it came to denying the copyright of the images, the author said the office “didn’t understand some of the technology and therefore made a wrong decision.”

The Copyright Office said that because Midjourney’s image output “begins with randomly generated noise that evolves into the final image, there is no guarantee that a particular cue will generate any particular visual output,” and therefore they were not created by the author . .

Kashtanova disagrees, saying that “it is fundamental to understand that the output of a Generative AI model depends directly on the creative input of the artist and is not random.”

“My lawyers are looking at our options to further explain to the Copyright Office how individual images produced by Midjourney directly reflect my creativity and are therefore copyrightable,” Kashtanova said.

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