Getty bans AI-generated art due to copyright issues

Getty Images has banned people from uploading AI-generated images to its extensive image collection, citing copyright concerns.

Text-to-image tools such as DALL-E, Midjourney, Craiyon, and Stable Diffusion have opened the floodgates for machine-made artwork. Anyone can either pay a small fee or use a free template to create images from text descriptions.

All you have to do is tell the AI ​​system, in writing, what kind of scene you want it to do, and the software will generate it for you. The quality of these images has become so good that they are now used by professionals to create magazine covers, advertisements, win art contests, and more.

You can see them as interesting tools for generating images, or as the end of art as we know it.

There are real concerns regarding the copyright of the releases of these models

The copyright on these machine-made images remains unclear. Neural networks trained to generate images are trained on photos and artwork retrieved online from sites such as Pinterest or Artstation. Internet users can easily create digital art in the style of any living or dead artist included in the training dataset in just seconds.

This poses a question in some people’s minds: if an AI apes – or scams – an artist, is it legally safe? If a computer is trained from other people’s images using someone else’s software and that output is then sold by another party, how does that affect ownership, rights and responsibility?

Getty has, amid this uncertainty, updated its policy to now ban submissions created by AI software to its stock libraries; it will no longer host and sell these types of images. If there’s one thing stock libraries love, it’s well-defined ownership and copyright of the material in their libraries – without that, they’re not willing to license anyone else to use it. ‘others. It’s too much of a legal mess.

“There are genuine copyright concerns regarding the releases of these models and unresolved rights issues regarding the imagery, image metadata and the people contained in the imagery,” said CEO Craig Peters at The Verge.

“We are proactive for the benefit of our customers,” he added.

Peters declined to answer questions about whether Getty Images had been threatened with legal trouble by people challenging the AI-generated content.

He said the changes were made to “avoid risks to [customers’] reputation, brand and bottom line.” A quick search of the company’s iStock site for keywords such as “AI-generated” or “Midjourney” shows that thousands of images have been removed. There are still more many lurking on the platform that are less obviously produced from a computer’s imagination.

Peters said Getty Images will rely on users to identify and flag AI-generated images and that the company is currently working with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) to create filters that can automatically flag problematic content.

Other stock image giants, such as Shutterstock, also seem to limit AI-created artwork. Motherboard noticed Shutterstock quietly removing images described as “AI-generated” or directly associated with tools like Midjourney.

The register asked Shutterstock for comment. ®

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