Midjourney, along with fellow AI companies Stability AI and DeviantArt, are caught in a legal tussle, as they request a San Francisco federal court to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit filed against them by a group of artists. These artists claim that the companies committed mass copyright infringement by using their work in generative AI systems. Yikes!
Artists Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz filed the lawsuit back in January, alleging that their rights were violated when their works were used without authorization to train AI systems and create AI-generated images in their styles. However, the companies counter that the AI-created images aren’t similar to the artists’ work and the lawsuit doesn’t even mention specific images that were allegedly misused.
Stability AI’s filing on Tuesday stated that the artists “fail to identify a single allegedly infringing output image, let alone one that is substantially similar to any of their copyrighted works.” Midjourney chimed in, noting that the lawsuit doesn’t “identify a single work by any plaintiff” that they “supposedly used as training data.”
DeviantArt, the online artist community that enables users to create images through Stability’s Stable Diffusion system, has also jumped into the fray, arguing they’re not liable for the AI companies’ alleged misconduct. They said, “Even taking Plaintiffs’ claims at face value, DeviantArt did none of the things that supposedly give rise to the liability asserted.”
This case is part of a growing trend in intellectual property disputes involving AI-generated content. In November, the artists’ lawyers filed another proposed class action lawsuit against Microsoft’s GitHub Inc and OpenAI Inc for allegedly scraping copyrighted source code without permission to train AI systems.
Getty Images isn’t staying quiet either, initiating legal proceedings against Stability AI in the United Kingdom over the alleged copying of millions of its images. A spokesperson for Stability AI responded to the artists’ lawsuit, saying the company takes “these matters seriously,” but added that “anyone that believes that this isn’t fair use does not understand the technology and misunderstands the law.”
These cases could play a massive role on the future of AI-generated content and artists’ rights. We will keep a keen eye on this case moving forward and let you know if there are any new updates. Stay with us!