New Copyright Rules!
In a recent decision, February 22, 2023, the US Copyright Office decided that any work that depends upon or uses AI input cannot be copyrighted!
That kind of changes the picture for a lot of creative artists and writers!
The decision comes in regard to a new graphic novel, “Zarya of the Dawn” in which the author, Kris Kashtanova, made extensive use of Midjourney to produce the images for her book. She claims to have written all the text materials herself. The Copyright office at first granted a copyright for her book, then upon discovering her use of AI tech for the images, they rescinded the copyright and said they will rewrite the certificate to exclude all the graphics, and include only the written content and her personal layout efforts in the book design.
She claimed that Midjourney was used like an artist’s brush, but their decision says that copyright can only cover human creativity, not machine patterns that imitate human creativity. That’s a far reaching conclusion, and one that could be welcome among some, but those who use or are planning to use AI in a variety of ways may not be too happy.
The question that comes immediately to mind is the one discussed in several articles here on Medium, in which there is an issue of distinguishing human writing from AI assisted writing. The bottom line seems to be that if you use ChatGPT to influence your writing, you will not be able to claim copyright on your completed work!
The first implication is that if she had used ChatGPT to assist in the text writing, none of her book except the layout design could be copyrighted.
A deeper look shows that their thinking centers on the example of instances when animals have generated photographic images, which according to law cannot be copyrighted. Hooray for human creativity! But it means that the popular and wide use of AI machine tools will make copyrighting in general a very challenging task in the near future. Many authors have been raving about using ChatGPT, and several other AI tools to make money and claim this as their own creative work.
Many will face the threat of losing their copyright if it is discovered that there is some level of…