Artists across the globe have been very vocal against AI-generated art. An art piece created by Midjourney won the Colorado State Fair’s art competition in September. In turn creatives took to social media in droves to protest. Now, the war between artists and AI-generative art is intensifying with a new lawsuit targeting creators of AI digital image generators.
The lawsuit was filed in San Fransico by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, which is representing a group of artists. Said artists claim developers of AI tools use their art pieces, which are under copyright, to train AI art generators. The artists allege that this equates to billions of dollars worth of art theft. The lawsuit targets DeviantArt, Midjourney and Stability AI.
“These resulting derived images compete in the marketplace with the original images,” states the filing. “Until now, when a purchaser seeks a new image “in the style” of a given artist, they must pay to commission or license an original image from that artist. Now, those purchasers can use the artist’s works contained in Stable Diffusion along with the artist’s name to generate new works in the artist’s style without compensating the artist at all.”
Artists involved in the suit include Kelly McKernan, Sarah Andersen and Karla Oritz. According to the lawsuit, the artists “seek to end this blatant and enormous infringement of their rights before their professions are eliminated by a computer program powered entirely by their hard work.”
Lawsuit Inaccuracies Could Hurt The Artists’ Case
However, the filing appears to incorrectly describe how tools like Stabile Diffusion create new images, which may hurt the artists’ cause. It refers to Stable Diffusion as essentially a ” complex collage tool.” This description, however, is highly inaccurate.
“I don’t trust the lawyers who submitted this complaint based on content + how it’s written. The case could do more harm than good because of this”, tweeted artists’ rights advocate Alex Champandard.
Despite its inaccuracies, the lawsuit is definitive proof of the art community’s fears and dissatisfaction with the use of their pieces in training AIs. No matter the outcome, it’s clear that the war between artists and Ais is just beginning.