In January and February 2023, two similar court cases were launched against companies for their use of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that generates images in response to text prompts on the grounds that the model was developed in breach of copyright law.
The first case concerns a class-action lawsuit initiated by three artists in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division on 13 January 2023, against Stability AI, DeviantArt, and Midjourney. The artists contend that their (and others’) copyrighted work was used to train the AI model without their consent and without their receiving appropriate credit or compensation.
The second case concerns a challenge by Getty Images against Stability AI launched in January – February 2023. Papers have been filed in both the High Court of Justice in London, United Kingdom and the United States District Court in Delaware, United States. Getty Images alleges that Stability AI “unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright,” without obtaining a license offered by Getty for the purposes of training AI systems.
These cases, likely to unfold over the coming months and years, raise challenging questions in intellectual property law and are likely to set important international precedents in this area.
- The papers for the first case can be accessed here.
- The papers for the second case can be accessed here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].