Getty Bans AI-Generated Art Over Copyrights • The Register

Getty Images has banned people from uploading AI-generated photos to its massive stock image collection, citing copyright concerns.

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

All you need to do is tell the AI ​​system in writing what kind of scene you want to create, 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, create advertisements, win art competitions, and so on.

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

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

The copyright on these machine-made photos remains unclear. The neural networks trained to generate images are trained on photos and art scraped online from sites like Pinterest or Artstation. Netizens can easily create digital art in just a few seconds in the style of any living or dead artist included in the training dataset.

That raises a question in some people: if an AI closely follows – or lights up – an artist, how legally safe is that? If a computer is trained from someone else’s photos using someone else’s software and that output is then sold by another party, how does that affect ownership, rights, and liability?

Amid this uncertainty, Getty has updated its policy to now ban entries created by AI software from 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 material in their libraries – without it, it’s unwilling to license work for others to use. It’s too much of a legal mess.

“There are real copyright concerns regarding the output of these models and unaddressed rights issues regarding the images, the metadata of the images and the people in the images,” CEO Craig Peters told The Verge.

“We are proactive in favor of our customers,” he added.

Peters declined to answer questions about whether Getty Images was threatened with legal trouble from people challenging AI-generated content.

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

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

Other stock image giants, such as Shutterstock, also seem to limit AI-created artwork. Motherboard noted that Shutterstock quietly removed images described as “AI-generated” or directly related to tools like Midjourney.

The register has asked Shutterstock for comment. ®

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