The artist Jason Allen failed to obtain the copyright to the painting Théâtre D’opéra Spatial generated by artificial intelligence. The decision was made by the supervisory board of the US Copyright Office, reports Ars Technica.
Jason Allen became famous last year when a picture he submitted won first place at an art exhibition in Colorado. Then the image of a futuristic royal scene won the main prize in the Digital Art/Digital Photography category.
What makes this situation exceptional is that Jason Allen created this painting using the Midjourney image generator. This caused outrage among other contestants, and the artist himself became a hero in many media.
Last fall, he filed an application for copyright to the images. Given the situation, an expert from the US Copyright Office asked for more information about Midjourney’s role in the process of creating Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.
At the time, the artist said that he made at least 624 edits and suggestions before Midjourney generated the image. But this work was not the final result. The artist edited it further with Adobe Photoshop.
In order to obtain the copyright, Jason Allen was asked to give up part of the image that was created with Midjourney. After he refused to do so, the Bureau rejected his application.
The Supervisory Board has now upheld its earlier decision. It concluded that the image is not subject to copyright protection due to the significant presence of content created by artificial intelligence.