Glitch revokes copyright protection for AI-generated comic • The Register


A glitch in the record-keeping software controlled by the US Copyright Office (USCO) accidentally revoked the copyright registration of an AI-generated graphic novel.

The application to copyright Zarya of the dawn, a comic book of images created by the text-to-image tool Midjourney, was submitted by Kris Kashtanova early last year. In September, the USCO approved the first application of its kind, leading many to believe that copyright could be assigned to human creators for AI-assisted works.

Generative AI has brought new creative possibilities and introduced new debates about what can and cannot be copyrighted.

Current laws only recognize content produced by human authors. Is their work protected if it’s AI-generated? Unfortunately, the problem remains unsolved.

While the USCO accepted Kashtanova’s application, it launched an investigation to further investigate the matter and was able to withdraw the copyright approval, according to comics news outlet

Kashtanova thought the investigation was complete and their copyright certificate revoked Monday after the online record for the application reported a canceled registration. But it was later changed to show that it was still in effect. “The Office’s Official Public Catalog, also known as Voyager, reflects the current official status of all copyright public records,” said a spokesperson for the US Copyright Office. The register in a statement.

A glitch in the Voyager system had inadvertently changed the state of Kashtanova’s AI-generated comic. “The Bureau is also testing a new public records system. The purpose of testing this system is to identify problems or improvements to that system. This situation has alerted the Bureau to an interoperability issue that we are actively working to resolve,” the spokesperson confirmed. . .

In brief, Zarya of the dawn appears to be under copyright for now, but that could change if the USCO decides the registration for the AI ​​graphic novel was invalid. “The US Copyright Office is aware of public notice of an open application for copyright registration. The Office has not made a decision on this matter and it is ongoing,” said a spokesperson.

Kashtanova’s attorney, Van Lindberg, a partner at the Taylor English law firm in Atlanta, said he believes Kashtanova’s work deserves legal recognition.

“Thousands of new works are created every day using AI. This case gives the Copyright Office its first chance to evaluate AI-assisted work. The Office must decide how much human interaction is enough to create an AI-assisted work copyrighted work. We hope that the Bureau will recognize Kristina Kashtanova’s creative work and pave the way for others to have their creativity recognized as well,” he told us.

The USCO previously ruled that AI cannot be credited as an author in copyright claims, but it’s still unclear if humans can claim credit and protect content they didn’t quite generate either. Kashtanova said the project took two weeks and generated more than 2,000 images that were edited in Photoshop and used Comic Life 3 software to format the images into comic book form.

“I felt like this comic book wouldn’t exist without my human input. I also didn’t feel like it was made by a machine because I’m a former software engineer and used to writing code. It’s made by using people for people,” Kashtanova said The register.

Kashtanova said a community of people using AI tools like Midjourney has gathered and filed a copyright claim for their graphic novel to help them figure out if their work would be protected under the eyes of the law.

“It’s important because many artists who use AI in their process want to know if their work is copyrighted. It’s also important for startups and companies that use AI in their process.”

When the Copyright Office sent me a letter [saying] they were revoking my copyright registration. I didn’t want to fight, but it’s not about me anymore. Are [about setting] a precedent and many people are waiting for this decision to know how to proceed with the use of generative AI tools,” said Kashtanova. ®

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