Getty Images Has Sued Stable Diffusion AI For Infringing Copyrights On 12 Million Images

Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against artificial intelligence business Stability AI Inc, accusing it of exploiting more than 12 million Getty images to train its Stable Diffusion AI image-generation system.

The Delaware federal court lawsuit follows a separate Getty case against Stability in the United Kingdom and a related class-action complaint filed by artists in California against Stability and other companies in the fast-growing field of generative AI.

Last August, London-based Stability AI unveiled Stable Diffusion, an AI-based system for generating images from text inputs and image generator DreamStudio. In October, the company stated that it had raised more than $100 million in funding and was valued at $1 billion.

Getty, based in Seattle, accused Stability of illegally taking millions of photos and using them to train Stable Diffusion to generate more accurate renderings based on user inputs.

Getty Images claims its images are beneficial for AI training due to their image quality, variety of subject matter, and extensive metadata.

Getty stated that it has licensed “millions of suitable digital assets” to other “leading technology innovators” for AI-related uses and that Stability violates its copyrights and competes unfairly with it.

Stability is also accused of infringing on Getty’s trademarks, including photographs generated by its AI system with Getty’s watermark, which Getty claims may cause consumer confusion.

Getty wanted the court to force Stability to stop using its images and sought monetary damages equal to Stability’s profits from the claimed infringement.

This is not the first case of AI-based copyright infringement.

Last month, Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz, three San Francisco-based artists, filed a lawsuit against Stability AI and DeviantArt, alleging that both platforms infringed on artists’ rights by using photos scraped from the web.

“This latest lawsuit continues the debate and argument that OpenAI does not have the right to use or learn from publicly posted content, at least not without some sort of credit and compensation,” said Brent Csutoras, digital marketing expert and co-founder and managing partner at Alpha Brand Media, Search Engine Journal’s parent corporation.

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