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Artist receives first known US copyright registration for generative AI art

Enlarge / An excerpt from the AI-assisted comic book Zarya of the Dawn, which received a US copyright registration. (credit: Kris Kashtanova)

In what might be a first, a New York-based artist named Kris Kashtanova has received US copyright registration on their graphic novel that features AI-generated artwork, according to their Instagram feed and confirmed through a public records search by Ars Technica.

The registration, effective September 15, applies to a comic book called Zarya of the Dawn. Kashtanova created the artwork for Zarya using Midjourney, a commercial image synthesis service. In their post announcing the news from Tuesday, Kashtanova wrote:

I got Copyright from the Copyright Office of the USA on my Ai-generated graphic novel. I was open how it was made and put Midjourney on the cover page. It wasn’t altered in any other way. Just the way you saw it here.

I tried to make a case that we do own copyright when we make something using AI. I registered it as visual arts work. My certificate is in the mail and I got the number and a confirmation today that it was approved.

My friend lawyer gave me this idea and I decided to make a precedent.

Going by their announcement, Kashtanova approached the registration by saying the artwork was AI-assisted, and not created entirely by the AI. Kashtanova wrote the comic book story, created the layout, and made artistic choices to piece the images together.

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