Colorado’s Jason Allen wants to copyright his AI-generated artwork


When Jason Allen won the digital-art competition at the Colorado State Fair last year, he sprayed fuel on a debate about the role of artificial intelligence in the art world.

Now the Pueblo-based game designer, who created his award-winning piece “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” using the AI software Midjourney, is exploiting his fame as an AI-art poster child to launch a campaign to legally protect AI works.

“The U.S. Copyright Office rejected my copyright registration (for the image), so after some back and forth, I’ve hired a lawyer and am appealing,” said the 39-year-old Allen, who this week is unveiling a coordinated online protest against the ruling. “We’re prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Allen’s Colorado-based protest is called COVER, or Copyright Obstruction Violates Expressive Rights. He’s filing a Request for Reconsideration with the U.S. Copyright Office in an attempt to establish sole ownership of an artwork generated using AI software — the first appeal of its type, he said. It parallels international debates and legal cases…

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