AI produces complications with copyrighting photos


Lucas Verosky

Picture of robot drawn by 5th grader Lucas Verosky

The world of AI-generated content is vast and ever-expanding. AI stands for artificial intelligence which is basically the simulation of human-performed tasks like creating art, by processes of machines. In AI generation, it includes wonders such as AI-generated stories to things like AI-generated people. Just things created by AI and only AI are clear as day if they are copyrightable or not. There is content created by people or a company, like books or artwork that are also copyrightable. But what if there’s a hybrid of AI generation and human input? Is it copyrightable? If so, then who would get the rights to the product created?

Well, that very compelling-sounding story was made a reality on Sept. 2, 2022, when Kris Kashtanova announced that she had received a U.S. copyright by the United States Copyright Office (USCO), on her comic book “Zarya of the Dawn.” The comic book was written by Kashtanova but the images were generated by an AI-generating engine called “Midjourney.” Kashtanova stated that she was a “prompt engineer” and then explained that she originally went to the copyright office to explain that the creator does own the copyright when they make something using AI.

AI-generated content is content made by an AI. It works by someone putting a prompt in for what they want to make. Like for example a prompt for an AI-generating art could be an eye. Once you put in your prompt it will then generate an image of an eye by learning from other artists and art styles. It’s about the same with every AI-generated piece of content like stories or people.

As of late the USCO has come to a decision to copyright the story but not the actual images made by the AI.