In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 3 and released on Monday, Getty Images says artificial intelligence firm Stability AI has infringed on the visual media company’s intellectual property.
Getty Images said its massive library of images was illegally seized and announced it had “initiated a lawsuit” against Stability A.I., the makers of the popular image-generation tool Stable Diffusion. Stability AI has “illegally copied and manipulated millions of copyrighted images” to form its software, Image Bank said in a press release.
According to the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Delaware, “Stability AI copied more than 12 million images from the Getty Images library, along with associated commentary and metadata, without permission or compensation from Getty Images, as part of its efforts to build a competitive business.
Stable dissemination collected Getty Images illegally
Getty says in its complaint that infringement of its content “on a large scale was instrumental” in the success of Stability AI. The company says images created with Stable Diffusion sometimes remove the popular Getty name watermark, but often contain a modified version of it or reduce image quality. This is clearly a violation of trademark law and a Getty trademark infringement, according to the company.
In addition to stealing his photos to train his AI, Stable Diffusion allegedly also stole all of Getty’s detailed descriptions and metadata, which are also highly valuable. Stability AI may use this data to better respond to written user requests.
Unsurprisingly, Getty requested a jury trial “to terminate AI’s flagrantly infringing stability conduct and to obtain redress for AI’s flagrant disregard of its intellectual property rights.” The company is seeking damages and is asking the court to request “a full account from Getty Images of the profits, earnings, interest, and business opportunity value that Stability AI derived from its infringing acts.”