In its lawsuit, Getty Images also claimed that the Stable Diffusion creator also modified its image watermarks in “callous disregard of Getty Images’ rights.” The core argument here is that Stable Diffusion produces images that either closely resemble stock images owned by Getty, or seem like a derivate of an actual image.
This isn’t the first lawsuit of its kind targeting the markers of AI image generators, and it likely won’t be the last. In January, a bunch of artists sued Stability AI, Midjourney, and Deviant Art for imitating billions of copyright-protected images that copied artists’ distinct styles without their permission, or compensating them for it.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in a San Francisco federal court. Microsoft-backed GitHub and ChatGPT-creator OpenAI were also the target of a lawsuit late last year, accusing the two of scraping code to train their respective AI systems without due compensation, credit, or even consent.
Artists claim that instead of commissioning them for visual artwork in the future, brands will resort to using tools like Stability Diffusion, depriving them of their livelihood. The key content is that an AI company can’t just do anything it wants with data. AI developers must be aware of any restrictions on using the data, whether they are connected to copyright laws, or data privacy laws.