Getty Images files lawsuit against artificial intelligence company Stable AI

Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, an artificial intelligence company accused of a “brazen infringement” over its use of 12 million stock images to train its AI image generator, known as Stable Diffusion.

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Stability is accused of copying photographs, captions and metadata “as part of its efforts to build a competing business,” according to the Getty lawsuit. 

“Stability AI now competes directly with Getty Images by marketing Stable Diffusion and its DreamStudio interface to those seeking creative imagery, and its infringement of Getty Images’ content on a massive scale has been instrumental to its success to date,” the lawsuit continues. 

Dream Studio is Stable’s revenue generating interface.

The complaint was first reported by Reuters. It was filed in Delaware federal court on 3 February.

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“[Stability] removed or altered Getty Images’ copyright management information, provided false copyright management information, and infringed Getty Images’ famous trademarks through various treatments on the company’s watermark,” it said.

Getty’s claims against Stability include copyright infringement, providing false copyright management information, removal or alteration of copyright management Information, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. 

It follows a report from tech blogger Andy Baio who studied how the Stable Diffusion generator was trained. He sampled the 12 million images, indexed the domains, finding that 15,000 were from Getty Images.

Lawyers for Getty are requesting a jury trial and statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each of the infringed works.

In September of last year, Getty Images announced a ban on AI-generated art on their platform over concerns about copyright law.

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