Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against artificial intelligence company Stability AI Inc., accusing it of “brazen infringement” in using more than 12 million photographs from the stock image company’s collection to train its artificial intelligence image generator Stable Diffusion.
The lawsuit was filed in a Delaware federal court on Feb. 3 and made public earlier this week. In the complaint, Getty alleges that Stability copied the company’s photographs, associated captions, and metadata “as part of its efforts to build a competing business” through its revenue-generating interface called DreamStudio.
“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 complaint reads, which was first reported by Reuters.
Stability also offers open-source versions of Stable Diffusion to third-party developers to access, use, and develop their own image-generating models. Getty Images is also apparently not thrilled about that, stating in the lawsuit, “Those third parties benefit from Stability AI’s infringement on Getty Images and, in turn, Stability AI benefits from the widespread adoption of its model.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Stability has “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” in copied photos and generated images.
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. Getty’s lawyers have requested a jury trial and statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each infringed work.
Earlier this year, Getty filed a separate case against the artificial intelligence image company in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, in January, artists filed a class-action lawsuit against Stability and two other image generating giants in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California.
In September, Getty Images also announced it was banning AI-generated art from its platform due to concerns about copyright law. The lawsuit also followed a report from tech blogger Andy Baio, who sampled the 12 million images used to train Stable Diffusion, indexed the domains, and found that 15,000 were from Getty Images.
Getty Images and Stability AI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.