Getty Images has announced a lawsuit against Stability AI, the company behind popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion, alleging the tech company has committed copyright infringement.
The stock image giant has accused Stability AI of copying and processing millions of its images without obtaining the proper license, according to a press release on Tuesday. London-based Stability AI announced that it raised $101 million in funding for open-source artificial intelligence technology in October and released version 2.1 of its Stable Diffusion tool in December.
“Getty Images believes that artificial intelligence has the potential to boost creative endeavours. Accordingly, Getty Images has provided licenses to leading technology innovators for purposes related to training artificial intelligence systems in a manner that respects personal and intellectual property rights,” Getty wrote in the release. . “Stability AI has not sought such a license from Getty Images and has instead, in our view, chosen to ignore viable licensing options and long-standing legal protections in pursuit of their self-sustaining business interests.”
Getty declined to comment further on the complaint to CNN, but said it sought a response from the artificial intelligence company before taking action. Stability
“Know that we take these matters seriously. It is unusual that we learned about this legal action from the press,” a spokesperson for Stability AI told CNN. “We are still waiting for the service of any document. If we receive them, we will make appropriate comments.
AI art and traditional media providers have struggled to co-exist in recent months as computer-generated imagery becomes increasingly available and advanced, using man-made imagery and art as data training.
Once only available to a select group of tech insiders, text-to-image AI systems are becoming increasingly popular and powerful. These systems include Stable Diffusion and DALL-E, from OpenAI.
Shutterstock, a competitor to Getty Images and another stock image platform, announced plans in October to expand its partnership with OpenAI, the company behind DALL-E and the AI chat bot viral ChatGPT, and improve AI-generated content while launching a fund to compensate artists for their contributions.
These tools, which usually offer free credits before billing, can create all kinds of images with just a few words, including those that clearly evoke the works of, if not seemingly created by, many artists. Users can invoke these artists with words such as “in the style of” or “by” with a specific name. Current uses for these tools can range from amusement and personal hobbies to more commercial cases.
In just a few months, millions of people have flocked to text-to-image AI systems that are already being used to create experimental films, magazine covers, and images to illustrate news stories. An image generated with an AI system called Midjourney recently won an art competition at the Colorado State Fair, creating an outcry among artists, who fear their art could be stolen by these systems without merit.
“I don’t want to be part of the machine at all that’s going to belittle what I do,” Daniel Danger, an illustrator and printmaker who learned that a number of his works were being used to form Stable Diffusion, told CNN in October. .
Stability AI Founder and CEO Emad Mostaque told CNN Business in October via email that the art was only a tiny part of the LAION training data behind Stable Diffusion. “Art is much less than 0.1% of the dataset and is only created when deliberately called by the user,” he said.