Xiaohongshu AI image generator copyright abuse

Occurred: September 2023

Chinese artists and illutrators accused Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu of using their work to train its AI image generator Trik AI, infringing their copyright.

The issue was triggered by 'Snow Fish', an illustrator who claimed his illustrations posted on the platform had been 'fed' to train Trik AI without his knowledge or permission. He demanded the company publicly apologise, delete the relevant artwork, and stop using his illustrations to train their model. 

The company later apologised and admitted Snow Fish's artwork had been used to train its AI, but said that the image had been taken from open access sources rather than from his Xiaohongshu account. It added it had 'never used images from Xiaohongshu to train [Trik AI].'

The outcry mirrored the backlash against generative AI systems such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion, and so-called 'shadow libraries' including Library Genesis and Z-Library.

Operator: Snow Fish
Developer: Xiaohongshu

Country: China

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate images

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Copyright

Transparency: Governance

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