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  /  Artificial Intelligence   /  AI Pictures Restricted by Getty Images! Copyright is Too Great a Mess to Handle
AI

AI Pictures Restricted by Getty Images! Copyright is Too Great a Mess to Handle

Getty Images bans AI art over copyright concerns. It says the technology is too risky!

Getty Images has prohibited people from uploading AI-generated pictures to its massive stock image collection, showing copyright concerns. AI text-to-image tools, such as DALL-E, Midjourney, Craiyon, and Stable Diffusion, have introduced a wave of machine-made artwork. Anyone, by paying a small fee, can create AI images from text descriptions.

All you need to do is tell, in writing, the AI system what kind of scene you desire it to make, and the AI software will develop it for you. The quality of these generated images is so good they are now being used by professionals to create magazine front covers, adverts, win art competitions, and many more. These AI creations can be seen as interesting tools to generate pictures, or as the extremity of art as we can see. The copyright on these machine-made pictures is still not clear. The neural networks are trained to generate AI images based on photos and art scraped online from sites such as Pinterest or Artstation. Netizens can easily develop digital art in the style of any living or dead artists included in the training dataset in just a few seconds.

It arises questions in some people’s minds if an AI can closely rips off an artist, and If it is legally safe. If a computer is trained from some other people’s pictures using someone else’s software and that product is then being sold by another party, how does that affect ownership, rights, and liability? Getty has, amid this uncertainty, revised its policy to now prohibit submissions created by AI software to its stock libraries and declared that from now it will not host and sell these types of AI-generated pictures anymore. If there are one thing stock libraries like, it is well-defined ownership and copyright of the material in its libraries – without these, it is not any more prepared to license work to other to use. The stock photo provider says it is really too much of a legal mess.

“There are real concerns to the copyright of outputs from these models and unaddressed rights issues for the imagery, the image metadata, and those individuals contained within the imagery,” CEO Craig Peters said to The Verge. “We are being proactive to the benefit of our customers,” he further mentioned. Moreover, Peters has declined to answer questions on whether Getty Images had been threatened with legal issues from people challenging AI-generated content. He commented the changes were made to “avoid risk to [customers’] reputation, brand, and bottom line.” A quick search on the company’s iStock site for keywords such as “AI-generated” or “Midjourney” reveals that thousands of pictures have been removed. There is still many lurking on the platform that is less obviously produced from a computer’s imagination.

Peters stated that Getty Images is going to rely on users to identify and report AI-generated pictures and the company is currently working with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) to create filters that may be able to automatically flag problematic content. Other stock image giants, such as Shutterstock, also appear to be curtailing AI-made artwork. Motherboard noticed Shutterstock had quietly been removing images that are described as “AI-generated” or directly associated with tools like Midjourney.