Getty is suing a popular AI image generator for copyright infringement

Getty Images is suing the makers of an AI image generator tool over alleged copyright infringement.

On Tuesday, the image supplier announced it was launching legal proceedings in the UK against Stability AI, alleging that the company had “unlawfully copied and processed millions of copyrighted images and associated metadata owned by or owned by Getty Images.” Getty Images will be represented”. Essentially, Stability AI is accused of scraping images from Getty’s digital library without paying for a license or compensating the image creators.

Apparently, Stability AI was not directly notified of Getty’s legal action. “Please know that we take these matters seriously. It is unusual that we were informed of this proposed legal action through the press,” a spokesman for Mashable said in an email. “We are still waiting for documents to be delivered. Should we receive them, we will respond accordingly.”


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Stability AI makes Stable Diffusion, a popular tool for generating AI images. By entering a text prompt such as “Dog lying in the sun,” Stability Diffusion generates unique images based on the text. The tool’s artificial intelligence learns what type of artwork to create by consuming massive amounts of images from the web, making it smarter and more accurate over time.

With image-generating AI companies like Stability AI, DALL-E, and NightCafe relying on human-made imagery and artistic styles, the intellectual property issue is murky and uncharted territory. And the increasing popularity of these tools has brought copyright laws to the forefront of the discussion.

Regarding copyright for use of the tool-generated images, Stable Diffusion’s website states: “The area of ​​AI-generated images and copyright is complex and will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.”

Stable Diffusion also says that the images it creates are open source and protected by the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. All in all, this is an entirely new area of ​​intellectual property and copyright law, and there is no easy answer.

Getty Images declined to provide further details when asked by Mashable.

UPDATE: Jan. 17, 2023 5:45 p.m. EST This story has been updated to include comment from a Stability AI spokesperson. Getty is suing a popular AI image generator for copyright infringement

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