Getty Images sues Stability AI for copyright abuse

Occurred: February 2023

Stability AI was accused by Getty Images in a lawsuit (pdf) filed in the US of using over 12 million photographs from its stock image collection to train its Stable Diffusion AI image generator.

Getty alleged that Stability copied the company’s photographs, associated captions, and metadata to 'build a competing business' through its DreamStudio revenue-generating interface. The suit also stated that Stability AI 'removed or altered Getty Images' copyright management information, provided false copyright management information, and infringed Getty Images’ trademarks.

In August 2022, blogger Andy Biao discovered that 15,000 images of 12 million images used to train Stable Diffusion were from Getty Images. In January 2023, Getty Images filed a separate case against Stability AI in the UK and, a few months later, asked a UK court to stop UK sales of Stable Diffusion.

The lawsuit prompted further concerns about the data collection and use practices of the company, and those of the AI industry more generally.

Developer: Stability AI

Country: UK

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate images

Technology: Text-to-image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Copyright

Transparency: Governance

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023
Last updated: November 2023