Getty Images suing the makers of popular AI art tool for allegedly stealing photos

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Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, the company behind the popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion, accusing the tech company of copyright infringement.

The stock image giant has accused Stability AI of copying and editing millions of its images without obtaining the proper license, according to a press release issued Tuesday. London-based Stability AI announced that it had raised $150 million in funding to open-source AI 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 stimulate creative activities. However, Getty Images has granted licenses to technology leaders for purposes related to training artificial intelligence systems in a manner that respects human and intellectual rights,” Getty wrote in a statement. “Stable AI did not seek such a license from Getty Images and, we believe, chose to ignore valid licensing options and long-standing legal protections in pursuit of their commercial interests.”

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Getty declined to comment on the suit to CNN, but said it requested a response from the AI ​​company before taking action. Stability

“Please know that we take these matters very seriously. It is unusual that we were informed about this legal action through the media,” a spokesperson for Stability AI told CNN. “We are still waiting to be served with any documents. If we receive them, we will respond accordingly.”

AI art and traditional media vendors have struggled to coexist in recent months as computer-generated imagery grows more accessible and advanced, using human-made images and techniques as training data.

Once only available to a select group of insiders, text-to-image AI systems are becoming increasingly popular and powerful. These systems include Stable Diffusion and DALL-E, from OpenAI.

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Shutterstock, a competitor of Getty Images and also one of the photo platforms, announced plans in October to expand its partnership with OpenAI, the company behind DALL-E and the viral AI chat bot ChatGPT, and to add AI-generated content during the launch of a fund to reward artists to. their contributions.

These tools, which usually offer some free credits before charging, can create all kinds of images with a few words, including those that really inspire the works of many, many artists, if they don’t seem to have been created by them. Users can refer to the artists with words such as “in the form of” or “by” as well as the actual name. Now the uses of these devices can range from personal entertainment and hobbies to other commercial cases.

In 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 created by an AI system called Midjourney recently won an art competition at the Colorado State Fair, creating an uproar among artists, who worry that their art could be stolen by this system without proper credit.

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“I don’t want to participate in a machine that will cost what I do,” Daniel Danger, an illustrator and printmaker who studied several of his works used to teach Stable Diffusion, told CNN in October.

Stable AI founder and CEO Emad Mostaque told CNN Business in October via email that art is a small part of LAION’s training data behind Stable Diffusion. “Art makes up less than 0.1% of the dataset and is only created when deliberately called upon by the user,” he said.


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