On Tuesday, the US Copyright Office declared that images created using the AI-powered Midjourney image generator for the comic book Zarya of the Dawn should not have been granted copyright protection, and the images’ copyright protection will be revoked.
In a letter addressed to the attorney of author Kris Kashtanova obtained by Ars Technica, the office cites “incomplete information” in the original copyright registration as the reason it plans to cancel the original registration and issue a new one excluding protection for the AI-generated images. Instead, the new registration will cover only the text of the work and the arrangement of images and text. Originally, Kashtanova did not disclose that the images were created by an AI model.
“We conclude that Ms. Kashtanova is the author of the Work’s text as well as the selection, coordination, and arrangement of the Work’s written and visual elements,” reads the copyright letter. “That authorship is protected by copyright. However, as discussed below, the images in the Work that were generated by the Midjourney technology are not the product of human authorship.”