Two New Suits Ask If AI Art Generators Violate Copyright Law – The Hollywood Reporter

A group of artists is suing the creators of artificial intelligence Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt for using their work to train AI tools.

The lawsuit, the first of its kind, accuses the companies of copyright infringement for using billions of images downloaded from the Internet without the artists’ consent. “So far, when a buyer seeks a new picture ‘in the style’ of a particular artist, it must pay to commission or license an original picture from that artist,” reads the proposed class action filed Friday in California federal court. “Now, these buyers can use the artist’s work along with the artist’s name to create new works in the artist’s style without ever compensating the artist.”

Stability’s AI Stable Diffusion, which creates images in response to text prompts, is integrated into the company’s DreamStudio, DeviantArt’s DreamUp, and Midjourney AI imagery system. It allows users to create images based on artists whose work has been used to train art generator algorithms. On Monday, Getty sued Stability AI in the United Kingdom for illegally copying and manipulating millions of copyrighted images.

“Getty Images has provided licenses to leading technical innovators for purposes related to training AI systems in a manner that respects personal and intellectual property rights,” the company, which prohibits the sale of artwork created by artificial intelligence, said in a statement. “Stability Amnesty International has not requested any such license from Getty Images, and instead, we believe, we have chosen to ignore applicable licensing options and long-term legal protections in pursuit of its own independent business interests.”

Amnesty International Stability responded in a statement that “Anyone who thinks this is not fair use does not understand the technology and misunderstands the law.”

Whether artificial intelligence programs, built on models that analyze patterns of copyrighted works, infringe artists’ intellectual property rights Up in the air. Engineers build AI art generators by feeding large databases of images downloaded from the Internet to algorithms without permission. The artists’ lawsuit questions whether AI companies infringed artists’ copyrights by using copyrighted works to train AI tools and when consumers used art generators to create new works. It also asks whether the conduct is protected under fair use, which allows protected works to be used without permission as long as they are transformative.

The lawsuit was filed by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, which is representing programmers in a similarly proposed class action lawsuit against Microsoft, Github, and OpenAI. They claim that the billions of lines of computer code that companies’ AI technology analyzes to create their own code constitute hacking.

The artists argue that the practice of harvesting their work to build AI models constitutes copyright infringement. “The Defendants use copies of training images interconnected with their AI image products to create digital images and other outputs derived exclusively from the training images, which add nothing new,” the complaint reads, noting that the new work has a “significantly negative” impact on Market for Plaintiffs’ Work and Class”.

The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalizes practices intended to circumvent procedures that control access to copyrighted works. It stresses that AI companies have removed copyright management notices, title naming allegedly plagiarized works and other identifying information to “hide copyright infringement.” It also claims the right of publicity, which protects against unauthorized uses of a person’s name or image for commercial purposes, unfair competition and breach of contract.

Midjourney and DeviantArt did not respond to requests for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *