Getty Images Sues AI Art Generator

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Getty Images announced it’s suing Stability AI, makers of the AI art tool Stable Diffusion, over alleged copyright violations. “It is Getty Images’ position that Stability AI unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright and the associated metadata owned or represented by Getty Images absent a license to benefit Stability AI’s commercial interests and to the detriment of the content creators,” the company wrote in a press statement released Tuesday. The lawsuit will reportedly include copyright and site TOS violations, like web scraping. The company wants to establish a favorable precedent, rather than chase monetary damages.

Text-to-image generation tools, like Stable Diffusion and Dall-E, are trained to do what they do using massive databases of annotated images, pulling together thousands of commonalities. That’s why Getty’s huge stable of images is so compelling. An independent study last August concluded that a notable portion of Stable Diffusion’s data was likely pulled directly from the Getty Images site. The art tool had a tendency to recreate the Getty watermark in its generated images. I think that’s what they call evidence.


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