AI illustrations lose copyright battle

Images created by AI are not eligible for copyright protection because they weren’t made by a human.

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AI illustrations lose copyright battle


The Future. The US Copyright Office has determined that images created by AI are not eligible for copyright protection because they weren’t made by a human and they are trained on the work of actually copyrightable material. The ruling may make AI-generated art and writing a legal minefield… and ultimately keep companies from toying with the technology for the content they hope to monetize.

Access denied
The Copyright Office is using Kristina Kashtanova’s Zarya of the Dawn to draw a line in what kind of work is and isn’t copyrightable in the brave new world of AI generation.

  • Forbes reports that the Copyright Office determined that while Kashtanova’s text is copyrightable, the images that were generated using Midjourney were not.
  • The images will, therefore, not receive intellectual property protections.

The Copyright Office said that only works created by humans are copyrightable — even pointing to how photos taken by animals aren’t eligible for protection.

Creation vs. influence
Since Kashtanova originally applied for a copyright in September 2022 without mentioning that the illustrations were created using AI, the Copyright Office noted that her original certificate would be canceled, and a new one would be issued — so beware to all those that have tried to pull off something similar.

Kashtanova didn’t want to go down without a fight, though, saying that her prompts to create the images in Midjourney were a type of authorship in and of themselves. But the Copyright Office disagreed, retorting that while crafting prompts does take effort, they only “influence” AI’s output, not “dictate a specific result.”

That determination will likely be music to artists’ ears.


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