With a new world of visual potential recently opened up by artificial intelligence (AI) image generators such as DALL-E and Halfway through, there is also a new world of potential legal complications. Seeking to anticipate problems before they start, Getty Images – a massive stock photography provider – has banned the downloading and sale of any content generated using AI art tools. The technology can quickly generate multiple shots of images from user-provided text prompts, with results ranging from silly, to pretty realistic, to pretty nightmarish, or even the worst thing ever.
But where does the source material for these AI robots come from? For the most part, it is extracted and remixed from the work of human artists, who use the internet as a place for their work to connect with audiences and potential buyers. Not only do some see this as a disenfranchisement for artists who have worked hard to develop a personal brand, but it presents legal quicksand for image sites that decide to trade AI-crafted content.
“Effective today, Getty Images will stop accepting all submissions created using AI generative models (e.g. Stable Diffusion, Dall-E 2, MidJourney, etc.) and past submissions using these models will be removed,” reads a statement released this week. by the company to the media and its image suppliers. “There are open questions regarding the copyright of the outputs of these models and there are unresolved rights issues regarding the underlying imagery and metadata used to train these models.”
The statement went on to say that the submission limits do not prevent 3D renders or impact the use of digital editing tools like Photoshop and Illustrator.
When asked how many images currently on the website would be affected by the new policy, Craig Peters, CEO of Getty Images, said: “To our knowledge, there is extremely limited in our library of creative content and there there were already important controls for our editorial. offer. We communicate with other businesses and communities to understand views on these issues, how legal or regulatory bodies might address them, and whether we might be helpful in resolving them.
Getty’s decision to remove and limit this content mirrors equivalent measures instituted by image sites like Newgrounds and Fur Affinity.
“Our goal is to bring creatives together in a safe, honest and vibrant community to create fantastic imagery, and so the use of 100% machine-generated imagery, while an incredible breakthrough, is not something that helps our community,” it read. a September 14 statement from PurplePort CEO Russ Freeman on banning AI art from the site. “I believe that the use of machine-generated images, while allowing everyone to participate in the creation of art, does not reflect the main purpose of our service, nor does it contain enough human input.”
Peters told The Verge that Getty Images will rely on users to identify and report these images, and that she is working with C2PA (the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) to create filters that filter content from the AI. Other major image stock providers, like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, have yet to explicitly ban the sale of AI content, but the industry as a whole is aware of how the current discourse on artistic appropriation will affect regulatory legislation, which often tends to set back technological innovation for years or even decades.
This leaves plenty of time for the digital art space to continue to be flooded with eerie, proliferating multi-eyed baby corpses, which seems to be the aesthetic space where AI art is still thriving – and many wasted time for artists trying to protect their intellectual property by playing a losing game of molestation against the internet.
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