Back in October, I spoke to experts who predicted that legal battles over AI art and copyright infringement could drag on for years, potentially even going as far as the Supreme Court.
Those battles officially began this past Friday, as the first class-action copyright infringement lawsuit around AI art was filed against two companies focused on open-source generative AI art — Stability AI (which developed Stable Diffusion) and Midjourney — as well as DeviantArt, an online art community.
Artists claim AI models produce “derivative works”
Three artists launched the lawsuit through the Joseph Saveri Law Firm and lawyer and designer/programmer Matthew Butterick, who recently teamed up to file a similar lawsuit against Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI, related to the generative AI programming model CoPilot. The artists claim that Stable Diffusion and Midjourney scraped the Internet to copy billions of works without permission, including theirs, which then are used to produce “derivative works.”
In a blog post, Butterick described Stable Diffusion as a “parasite that, if allowed to proliferate, will cause irreparable harm to artists, now and in the future.”