AI Art is in trouble after new lawsuit from Getty Images

The landscape of AI-generated art is about to change dramatically. On Friday, Getty Images filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, one of several AI image providers, alleging the service copied more than 12 million images in an attempt to train its artificial intelligence model.

A spokesperson for the editorial image provider confirmed the ongoing lawsuits, adding that lawsuits have been filed both in the United States and across the pond. “We can confirm Friday that Getty Images has filed a complaint against Stability AI, Inc. in the United States District Court in Delaware,” said Anne Flanagan, Getty’s vice president of communications in a statement obtained by The edge. Getty Images has also filed a claim with the High Court which has not been served at this time. As is customary in the UK, Getty Images responded to a letter on January 16 before any action was taken by Stability AI Limited within a customary timeframe. Stability AI Limited has acknowledged receipt of this letter.”

As the lawsuit alleges, Stability AI, among other similar services, uses images to train its software so subscribers can generate new images without any artistic talent. These images are usually created after a user enters a prompt phrase into the software, often telling them to replicate a particular artist’s style without that artist’s prior consent.

Copyright attorney Aaron Moss was the first to break news of the lawsuit, suggesting it could be critical to the future of the industry.

“Getty’s new complaint is much better than the overblown class action lawsuit I wrote about last month,” Moss tweeted. “The focus is where it should be: the inclusion of copyrighted images in the input phase to train the data. This is going to be a fascinating battle for fair use.”

In an interview with The Verge, Moss added that the process is something that could take months to resolve. “I am currently hearing a case there and was told that judges routinely take months (sometimes up to 6-9 months) to rule on motions to dismiss after they are filed,” the attorney told the website. “It will likely take several years for the Getty Images case to get through discovery and summary judgments before trial.”

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