On Tuesday, the US corporation Getty Images threatened to file a lawsuit against a tech startup it claims stole millions of images for an artificial intelligence (AI) art tool.
Stability AI was accused of making money off of its images and the images of its partners by Getty, which distributes stock photos and news images including those from AFP.
Stability AI operates a program called Stable Diffusion that enables users to create mash-up images from a few bits of text, although the company frequently uses content that it has illegally scraped from the internet.
Copyright is still a contentious issue, with authors and artists saying that the tools violate their intellectual property while AI companies argue that they are covered by “fair use” laws.
Last year, software like Stable Diffusion and Dall-E 2 shot to fame, swiftly becoming a worldwide phenomenon as ludicrous graphics in the styles of well-known artists flooded social media.
Three artists who allege their copyright has been violated have already filed a class action lawsuit against Stability AI in the United States. The lawsuit was just last week.
Getty announced that it had filed a lawsuit at the High Court of London.
In a statement, the business claimed that Stability AI had “illegally downloaded and processed millions of copyright-protected images. This is Getty Pictures’ opinion.
The photo agency claimed to have offered licenses specifically designed for businesses looking to train AI models.
Stability AI did not request this type of license from Getty Images; instead, in our opinion, they chose to disregard practical licensing options and well-established legal protections in order to further their own independent business objectives.
We take these issues seriously, a spokeswoman for Stability AI said. It is remarkable that the press has alerted us of this planned legal action.
“We have yet to receive any documents that have been served. In the event that we do, we will respond accordingly.”