Getty Images is suing Stability AI, the developers of the popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion, for unlawfully copying and processing millions of images protected by copyright without a license. Last month, the company notified Stability AI of its upcoming litigation in the High Court of Justice in London, and the case has now been filed.
Getty Images CEO Craig Peters said in a press statement that Stability AI had copied and processed the images “absent a license to benefit Stability AI's commercial interests and to the detriment of the content creators.” Peters also noted that Stability AI had made no attempt to contact Getty Images to utilize its or its contributors' material.
The visual media company further commented, "Getty Images believes artificial intelligence has the potential to stimulate creative endeavours. Accordingly, Getty Images provided licenses 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 license 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."
Stable Diffusion AI is an AI art tool developed by Stability AI that uses copyrighted images to generate unique artwork. The tool uses machine learning algorithms to analyze a photo and generate an AI-generated artwork that is based on the original photo but contains unique elements. The tool has become popular among digital artists who use it to create unique digital art pieces.
The infringement case is part of a growing trend of legal challenges to AI art tools, which have been growing in popularity recently. These tools use copyrighted images to train their AI systems and generate new artwork, and many creators feel that their work is being stolen without their knowledge or consent.
The controversy is compounded by the fact that AI art tools often recreate the original watermark from the copyrighted images in their generated artwork. This has raised questions as to whether the AI art industry is infringing on copyright laws and taking away from original creators.
The legal battle between Getty Images and Stability AI is sure to be closely watched as it could set an important precedent for the AI art industry. It remains to be seen how the case will play out, but with the growing popularity and the ‘intelligence’ of AI tools, it’s clear that this issue is not going away anytime soon.
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