US photo holding company, Getty Images, has threatened to sue Stability Artificial Intelligence, the tech company behind the popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion over photo theft.
Getty is alleging that the tech company committed copyright infringement by illegally copying millions of photos for use in an AI art tool.
Stability AI runs a tool called Stable Diffusion which allows users to generate mash-up images from a few words of text, but the tech firm often uses material it gets from the web without permission.
Tools like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2 became popular last year, and they became a global sensation with weird images in the style of famous artists flooding social media and the internet, but the increased visibility got the attention of stakeholders like artists, photographers, and other creators and their lawyers.
“It is Getty Images’ position that Stability AI unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright,” the firm said in a statement that was made publicly available.
“Stability AI did not seek any such license from Getty Images and instead, we believe, chose to ignore viable licensing options and longstanding legal protections in pursuit of their stand‑alone commercial interests.”
Getty said it had started legal proceedings at the High Court in London against Stability AI.
“Please know that we take these matters seriously. It is unusual that we have been informed about this intended legal action via the press.
“We are still awaiting the service of any documents. Should we receive them, we will comment appropriately.” The spokesperson for Stability AI said in reaction to the allegation.
Stability AI is already facing a class action lawsuit in the United States, which was launched last week by three artists who claim their copyright has been infringed by the company.