Zoom in / Excerpt from the AI ​​comic Dawn at dawnwhich received a US copyright registration.

In what may be a first, a New York-based artist named Chris Castanova has received a U.S. copyright registration on her graphic novel, which features AI-generated artwork, according to their Instagram feed and confirmed through a public records search by Ars Technica.

The registration, effective September 15, relates to a comic book called Dawn at dawn. Kashtanova created the work for Dawn using Midjourney, a commercial image synthesis service. In her post announcing Tuesday’s news, Kastanova wrote:

I have been copyrighted by the US Copyright Office on my Ai-generated graphic novel. I was open about how it was done and put Midjourney on the title page. Not otherwise modified. Just like you saw it here.

I tried to prove that we own copyright when we make something using AI. I registered it as a work of visual arts. My certificate has been mailed and today I received the number and confirmation that it was approved.

A lawyer friend of mine gave me this idea and I decided to set a precedent.

Following their announcement, Kashtanova addressed the registration, saying that the work was AI-assisted, not entirely AI-created. Kastanova wrote the story of the comic, created the layout and made artistic choices to assemble the images.

Artists have probably registered works created by a machine or algorithms before because the history of generative art extends to the 1960s. But this is the first time we know of an artist registering a copyright for art created by the recent round of latent diffusion-driven image fusion models, a controversial topic among artists.

Speculation about whether AI artwork can be copyrighted has been the subject of many articles over the past few months, and just yesterday we wrote about Getty Images banning AI-generated artwork from its site due to unresolved issues regarding copyright and ethics.

Despite popular misconception (explained in the Getty article), the US Copyright Office has not ruled against copyrighting AI artwork. Instead, it turned off copyright registered to AI as author instead of human.

Dawn at dawnwhich features a main character with a striking resemblance to the actress Zendaya, is available for free through the AI ​​Comic Books website. This is a developing story and we will update it as more details become available.


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