The US Copyright Office says you can’t copyright Midjourney AI-generated images

A reproduction of the cover page of Zarya of the Dawn, showing an AI-generated drawing of a young woman with braids behind the book’s title.
A reproduction of the cover page and the second page of Zarya of the Dawn, from the US Copyright Office’s letter. | Image: Zarya of the Dawn — Kris Kashtanova / Midjourney

The US Copyright Office has reconsidered the copyright protection it granted last fall to Kristina Kashtanova for her comic book Zarya of the Dawn, reports Reuters. It featured pictures created by feeding text prompts to Midjourney, an artificial intelligence image generator.

According to this letter (PDF) sent to her lawyer by Robert Kasunic, the associate Register of Copyrights, the US Copyright Office has decided that 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.”

The images themselves, however, “are not the product of human authorship,” and the registration originally granted for them has been canceled. To justify the decision, the…

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