Artificial intelligence: lawsuits for copyright infringement are on the rise

Artificial Intelligence: Copyright infringement lawsuits are on the rise


If an artist wants to copy the style of a work, it would take a good week of inspiration to recreate it, a job that will take an artificial intelligence (AI) system only a few seconds capable of producing hundreds…every week. 

Artificial intelligence tools like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney are being sued for copyright infringement. Lawsuits that are just beginning between tech companies and artists and authors of works of art.

The lawsuit filed by a trio of artists against Stable Diffusion and Midjourney claims that generative AI art tools violate copyright law by scraping artists' work from the web without their consent.

< p>Artists – like Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz – allege that these organizations violated the rights of “millions of artists” by programming their AI tools on five billion images scanned from the web “without the consent of the original artists”.

Additionally, AI art generators can then be used to create artwork that replicates a specific style.

On the lawsuit's blog, the lawyers file a class action lawsuit against Stability AI, DeviantArt and Midjourney for their use of Stable Diffusion, a 21st century collage tool that remixes the copyrighted works of millions of artists whose work was used as training data.

A very powerful competitive advantage

According to the lawsuit, the Stable Diffusion tool contains unauthorized copies of millions, if not billions, of copyrighted images. These copies were made without the artists' knowledge and consent.

Whether or not they look like the original works, these images derived from copies of the training footage give them a huge advantage competitive in the market. At a minimum, Stable Diffusion's ability to flood the market with an essentially unlimited number of counterfeit images will inflict permanent damage on the market for art and artists.

In defense of art firms AI

According to the defendant, technical inaccuracies are pointed out by the prosecutors, namely that the AI ​​artistic models “store compressed copies of [copyrighted] training images” and then “recombine” them, functioning as “21st century collage tools”. However, AI artistic models do not store images at all, but rather mathematical representations of models collected from those images. The software also does not assemble pieces of images in the form of a collage, but creates images from scratch based on these mathematical representations.

In short, the judges will have big efforts to familiarize themselves with these new techniques and ultimately support their decision.

Examples of images created simply by text

Photo above: DALL -E 2, OpenAI's powerful text-to-image AI system, can create photos in the style of cartoonists, 19th century daguerreotypists, stop motion animators and more. But it has an important and artificial limitation: a filter that prevents it from creating images depicting public figures and content deemed too harmful.

In unscrupulous hands, a fully-featured freely available system leaves the door open to bad actors who might create subjectively inappropriate content, like pornography or graphic violence.