Copyright Lawsuits Against Image Generators that Use Artificial Intelligence

Three artists filed a class action lawsuit in the United States alleging that image generators based on artificial intelligence (AI) violate the copyrights of millions of artists when they use their works without their consent.

The defendants are Midjourney, Stability AI, and DeviantArt which operate image generators that rely on significant amounts of content to train their algorithms to generate images based on user instructions. The AI-based generators cannot operate without sample input content, and that content may be protected by copyright. In the absence of a license from the rights holders, the use of the content is only permitted under the fair use doctrine, a question to be decided by courts.

Meanwhile, Getty Images, a company that offers a large repository of images, photographs, and video, filed a lawsuit in England against Stability AI, alleging that it unlawfully collected millions of Getty Images’ content and violated Getty Images' copyright and terms of use agreement.

At the same time, Shutterstock, a company that offers stock photography, footage, music, and editing tools, recently announced that it will integrate the image generator DALL-E 2 into its services and will license the images it creates. It also announced its intention to establish a fund to compensate creators whose works train the artificial intelligence (AI) models.

Click here to read the class action lawsuit against Midjourney, Stability AI, and DeviantArt.