A reproduction of the cover page and the second page of Zarya of the Dawn, from the US Copyright Office’s letter. Image: Zarya of the Dawn — Kris Kashtanova / Midjourney

Illustrations in a comic novel made by the artificial intelligence system Midjourney should not have been granted copyright protection, according to the letter seen by Reuters from the United States Copyright Office.

The author of “Zarya of the Dawn,” Kris Kashtanova, is entitled to copyright for the parts of the book she authored and arranged but not for the images created by Midjourney, according to the office’s letter dated Tuesday.

The judgment is one of the first by a US court or agency on the breadth of copyright protection for works made by artificial intelligence. It follows the meteoric emergence of generative AI software such as Midjourney, Dall-E, and ChatGPT.

In its letter, the Copyright Office stated that it would reissue its “Zarya of the Dawn” registration to remove images that “are not the work of human composition” and thus cannot be copyrighted, according to the report.


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