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Getty Images sues Stable Diffusion for using millions of images to train a neural network.

Published: 2023-01-17

Stock service Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, the company behind the creation of the popular Stable Diffusion neural network, accusing the developers of the latter of copyright infringement. The artists themselves also come up with collective lawsuits against the creators of "creative" neural networks.

The service believes that Stability AI "illegally copied and processed millions of images protected by intellectual property right" to train its software. Getty Images emphasized that the company did not take steps to establish contacts with the stock service and obtain permission to use the materials of the authors. Stability AI declined to comment.

The lawsuit shows an escalating conflict between content creators and rights holders on the one hand, and companies involved in the development of generative AI networks on the other - the parties are fighting for recognition, profit and direction for the future development of the creative industry.

AI tools like Stable Diffusion learn from human-created images that companies explore by literally millions, very often without the knowledge and/or consent of the creators. The companies behind AI claim that this practice is perfectly legal, but many of the authors and copyright holders take the opposite view. So, a group of artists filed a lawsuit against the creators of AI image generators. They are accused of stealing billions of copyrighted paintings that were used to train smart systems - the authors of the images did not receive compensation, and no one asked for their consent.

The situation with AI tools today is compared to the era of the advent of digital music, when this market segment was not yet legally regulated, and some companies offered popular, but completely illegal services, before they entered into agreements with music labels.

Although the developers of many neural networks prefer not to reveal the sources of their "inspiration", Stable Diffusion uses an open model, and independent analysts have found that Getty Images and other sites for a similar purpose are used so often that in many cases it comes to the ridiculous - AI reproduces water in its creations. source marks.

Getty Images said they are not demanding compensation for damages or stopping the training of neural networks due to available images, rather, we are talking about developing a legal mechanism for using such technologies.

However, not all photobanks have such claims to AI. Earlier it was reported that the generated images will be sold by Shutterstock, then Adobe Stock did the same.