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AI art generators face separate copyright lawsuits from Getty Images and a group of artists

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    Nat Quinn

    Tensions are escalating between generative AI companies and content creators.

    On Tuesday, Getty Images filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, the company behind AI art tool Stable Diffusion, alleging it used copyrighted images to train software.

    The company said in a statement that Stability AI “unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright.”

    AI art tools face lawsuits over copyright infringement

    Getty Images has been keeping AI-generated content at arm’s length for some time. Last year, the stock image library refused to carry or sell AI-generated artwork due to uncertainty around copyright and commercial use.

    “There are real concerns with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models and unaddressed rights issues with respect to the imagery, the image metadata, and those individuals contained within the imagery,” Getty’s CEO, Craig Peters, told The Verge in September.

    A representative for Stability AI told Insider that the company only learned about Getty Images’ legal action from media reports and was awaiting official documents before commenting.

    The lawsuit follows similar litigation launched by a trio of artists on Monday. Stability AI, along with companies that produce similar text-to-image generators Midjourney and DeviantArt, are all named in the complaint from artists Sarah Ander­sen, Kelly McK­er­nan, and Karla Ortiz.

    The artists’ class action accused the companies behind these text-to-image generators of several violations including copyright infringement and unlawful competition.

    Matthew Butterick, a lawyer representing the artists, claimed in a blog post that Stable Diffusion had copied “five bil­lion images – with­out the con­sent of the orig­i­nal artists.”

    Artists have complained that AI image generators are trained on their work without their consent and allow users to generate and distribute art that mimics their style.

    AI companies generally contend that training machine-learning software on copyrighted data is covered by the fair use doctrine in the US, per The Verge.

    A representative for Stable Diffusion told Insider that the artists’ “allegations represent a misunderstanding about how our technology works and the law.”

    Midjourney, Getty Images, and DeviantArt did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours.


    AI art generators face separate copyright lawsuits from Getty Images and a group of artists | Business Insider

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