Copyright Office Backtracks On Allowing AI-Generated Art To Be Protected

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2023 by Chris Hayner

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

At the end of 2022, a short graphic novel was released online called “Zarya of the Dawn,” and it’s big- some would argue only- claim to fame was that all the artwork for it was generated by a popular generative AI tool called Midjourney.

The work was copyrighted by its author and hailed as a victory for the entire AI-generated imagery world. This copyright was of course automatically generated, and after a review, the copyright office has backtracked, saying that the story and the layout can be considered copyrightable, but the AI Generated art absolutely can not.

Somehow the author and Midjourney are both hailing the decision as a victory even though it does nothing to help their hopeless cause. The author even admitted that the Midjourney prompts ended up creating over 1,500 images that were then sorted through to create the 18 page book. The story was then backported to make more sense based on the images selected.

I think the result here is reasonable. The story credit and copyright goes to the writer, one Kris Kashtanova. The art and image credits and copyrights go to… nobody.