In February 2023, the Copyright Office determined that a graphic novel comprised of human-authored text combined with images generated by the AI service Midjourney constituted a copyrightable work, but that the individual images themselves could not be protected under copyright. The Copyright Office has taken the view that copyright can protect only material that is the product of human creativity.
Applicants for registration have a duty to disclose the inclusion of AI-generated content in a work submitted for registration and to provide an explanation of the human author’s contributions to the work. The Copyright Office is in the midst of an initiative to examine the copyright law and policy issues raised by artificial intelligence. The office has published a new bulletin on the issue and set up a new webpage devoted to this topic: https://www.copyright.gov/ai/