The U.S. Copyright Office has denied an attempt to register copyright in images created using the Midjourney generative AI tool. The reasoning of its decision sharply limits the potential paths to receiving copyright in images created using generative AI tools, even where that output is generated in response to a prompt containing substantial textual authorship. The Copyright Office reasoned that because the person providing the textual prompts cannot predict how the generated image will look, that person is not an author of the image.
The decision is subject to appeal but provides the first look at what the Registration Division of the Copyright Office thinks can and cannot be registered.
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