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Getty Images Suing Stability AI for Image Theft

Getty accused Stability AI of copying its images without proper licensing.

As AI art and image generation utilities have become more prominent online, so too have they become more controversial, raising both ethical concerns from the internet’s various artists and legal concerns from those whose images are processed to generate AI images. These concerns have begun to boil to the point of full-on legal action.

This week, stock image giant Getty Images launched a lawsuit against Stability AI, the creators of the popular AI-powered image generation tool Stable Diffusion. Getty’s case stats that Stability sourced, copied, and processed millions of their images in the tool’s development without obtaining proper licensure for each of the images in question.

“Getty Images believes artificial intelligence has the potential to stimulate creative endeavors. Accordingly, Getty Images provided licenses to leading technology innovators for purposes related to training artificial intelligence systems in a manner that respects personal and intellectual property rights,” Getty wrote in their complaint. “Stability AI did not seek any such license from Getty Images and instead, we believe, chose to ignore viable licensing options and long standing legal protections in pursuit of their stand-alone commercial interests.”

The precise damages Getty is seeking from Stability have not been disclosed. Stability, for their part, have claimed this is the first they have heard about the grievance, and are awaiting official documentation of a complaint.

“Please know that we take these matters seriously. It is unusual that we have been informed about this intended legal action via the press,” a Stability AI spokesperson told CNN. “We are still awaiting the service of any documents. Should we receive them, we will comment appropriately.”

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