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Getty Images Combats Copyright Infringement Against Stability AI

The lawsuit against Stability AI could prove to be a turning point for artists who are concerned for their own work

Getty Images is a popular supplier of stock images with a library amassing over 477 million assets. Recently the company filed a second lawsuit against Stability AI to combat the unauthorised use of its stock images using artificial intelligence.

The lawsuit claims that Stability AI has taken and duplicated Getty Images intellectual property on a “staggering scale.” The company states that Stability AI has copied over 12 million images from the platform along with associated captions and metadata. This was all done without permission from or compensation to Getty Images.

In addition to taking the content, the lawsuit claims that Stability AI has removed or altered Getty Images, provided false copyright management information and infringed Getty Images trademarks. Getty Images is an extremely popular platform and it claims that artificial intelligence and machine learning have targeted the platform due to its large scale of content and detailed data, which AI can use to scale.

AI lawsuit

While many are excited by AI’s possibilities, others are concerned about how these systems learn. Artists have reported seeing their work stolen by AI without permission and then versions of their artwork have been generated using AI. Some have even filed lawsuits claiming that this illegal use of their work equates to billions in theft.

This lawsuit may come down to whether the courts believe that the AI system uses the images from Getty according to fair use laws. Fair use allows someone to use a copyrighted work under certain conditions without permission. However, Getty will likely be pointing out that Stability AI has been recreating Getty’s watermark, which is solid evidence that the AI system has collected data from the platform and is taking it on as its own.

L image is an original Getty Images photo. R image is an AI generated version featuring the Getty logo.

A statement from Getty notes that the company “believes artificial intelligence has the potential to stimulate creative endeavours. Accordingly, Getty Images provided licences to leading technology innovators for purposes related to training artificial intelligence systems in a manner that respects personal and intellectual property rights. Stability AI did not seek any such licence from Getty Images and instead, we believe, chose to ignore viable licensing options and long-standing legal protections in pursuit of their stand-alone commercial interests.”

Court ruling

The decision made in court regarding this case may be a critical moment for the AI scene, as there are currently many questions surrounding AI and what laws or regulations apply. If Getty were to win the case, it might give artists some hope for their own original work. Others are already trying to implement more regulations on AI and some platforms like ArtStation have applied settings so artists can opt out of having their work used for AI research.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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