Feature images: Photographers generated from Midjourney
The U.S. Copyright Office has warned that an image generated solely from a text prompt does not qualify for human authorship in fresh guidance released yesterday.
The Copyright Office likened text prompts to “instructions to a commissioned artist.” Essentially comparing them to a magazine editor hiring a photographer.
However, the Office did not rule out recognizing copyright for AI in all cases: “An artist may modify material originally generated by AI technology to such a degree that the modifications meet the standard for copyright protection,” it writes.
This will pique the interest of photographers who have been using AI image generators to create realistic-looking “photos” and then improving them on programs like Adobe Photoshop.
Photographers like Tim Tadder have fallen in love with AI imagery and the commercial shooter is now exclusively posting eye-popping “photos” on his Instagram feed that came out of synthesizers like Midjourney instead of his camera.
The Copyright Office says it will apply its human authorship requirement on a “case-by-case inquiry.”