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

Application to copyright Dawn Zarya, a comic featuring images created by image summarization tool Midjourney, was filed by Kris Kashtanova early last year. In September, the USCO approved the first app of its kind, leading many to believe that copyright could go to human creators for AI-assisted works.

Generative AI has brought new creative capabilities 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 was generated by AI? The question, unfortunately, remains unresolved.

Although the USCO accepted Kashtanova’s request, it has launched an investigation to take a closer look at the case and may revoke the copyright approval, according to news outlet CBR.com.

Kashtanova believed the investigation was over and her copyright certificate was revoked on Monday after the app’s online record reported a cancellation. But it was later amended to show it was still in effect. “The Office’s Official Public Catalog, also known as Voyager, reflects the current official status of all public copyrighted material,” a spokesperson for the United States Law Office said. author. The register in a report.

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

In short, Dawn Zarya appears to be protected by copyright law at this time, but that could change if the USCO decides that the AI ​​graphic novel registration is invalid. “The U.S. Copyright Office is aware of a public report regarding an open copyright registration application. The Office has not rendered a decision on this, and it remains pending,” said a spokesperson.

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

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

The USCO has previously ruled that AI cannot be listed as an author in copyright claims, but it’s still unclear whether humans can claim credit and protect content. they didn’t quite generate either. Kashtanova said she spent two weeks and generated over 2,000 images which she edited in Photoshop and used Comic Life 3 software to present the images in comic book form.

“I felt like this comic wouldn’t exist without my human input. I also didn’t feel like it was created by a machine, because I’m a former software engineer and used to to write code. It was created by humans for humans to use,” she said. The register.

Kashtanova said a community of people using AI tools like Midjourney rallied together and filed a copyright request for her graphic novel to help them determine if their work would be copyrighted. the law.

“It’s important because a lot of 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. their process.”

“When the Copyright Office sent me a letter [saying] they were looking to revoke my copyright registration, i didn’t want to fight, but that’s not about me anymore. It is [about setting] a precedent and many people are waiting for this decision to know how to proceed with generative AI tools,” she said. ®

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