Getty bans AI-generated art due to potential copyright issues

Tips & Techniques

Getty Images, one of the biggest stock image platforms, has banned AI-generated images. If you want to upload and sell work you created through DALL-E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, or any other text-to-image tool, you won’t be able to do it there.

The reason? Potential copyright issues. Getty is concerned about the legality of such content, so they want to protect the site’s customers from unwanted copyright claims.

Speaking with The Verge, Getty Images CEO Craig Peters said that “there are real concerns with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models and unaddressed rights issues with respect to the imagery, the image metadata, and those individuals contained within the imagery.” He added that selling AI artwork or illustrations could potentially put Getty Images users at legal risk.

When asked whether Getty Images has faced any legal challenges over its sale of AI-generated content, Peters refused to respond. He told The Verge that such content was “extremely limited” to begin with, adding that Getty’s only concern was to “avoid risk to [customers’] reputation, brand and bottom line.”

Getty Images isn’t the first platform to ban AI-generated art, but it’s certainly one of the largest ones. At the same time, Flickr welcomes this type of artwork. To the shock of the art community, so do some contests. But there are still various concerns regarding this type of work.

First of all, some text-to-image algorithms were trained on copyrighted images. As The Verge reports, they are normally scraped from the web and include personal art blogs, news sites, and yes – stock photo websites like Getty Images. “The act of scraping is legal in the US, and it seems the output of the software is covered by ‘fair use’ doctrine,” this source writes. However, there could be issues when it comes to selling AI images commercially. As I mentioned earlier, AI picks up specific traits of artists’ styles, especially when it comes to artwork like illustrations. So, someone will use inevitably use prompts that will create AI artwork way too similar to an original work… And we have a problem.

Text-to-image is a fast-evolving concept, but laws and rules can’t quite catch up. So, I believe it’s safer for platforms like Getty Images to ban them completely and avoid any potential legal issues… At least for the time being.

[via Ars Technica]

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