Getty Images lawsuit says Stability AI misused photos to train AI

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REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
  • Getty said Stability scraped millions of images without a license
  • New complaint adds to actions against Stability over images used in AI training

(Reuters) - Stock photo provider Getty Images has sued artificial intelligence company Stability AI Inc, accusing it in a lawsuit made public on Monday of misusing more than 12 million Getty photos to train its Stable Diffusion AI image-generation system.

The lawsuit, filed in Delaware federal court, follows a separate Getty case against Stability in the United Kingdom and a related class-action complaint filed by artists in California against Stability and other companies in the fast-growing field of generative AI.

Getty declined to comment on the Delaware lawsuit. Representatives for Stability did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Reuters News competes with Getty in the market for images for editorial use.

London-based Stability AI released Stable Diffusion, an AI-based system for generating images from text inputs, and image generator DreamStudio last August. The company announced in October that it had raised over $100 million in funding, and has been valued at $1 billion.

Seattle-based Getty accused Stability of copying millions of its photos without a license and using them to train Stable Diffusion to generate more accurate depictions based on user prompts.

Getty said its pictures are particularly valuable for AI training because of their image quality, variety of subject matter and detailed metadata.

Getty said it has licensed "millions of suitable digital assets" to other "leading technology innovators" for AI-related purposes, and that Stability infringes its copyrights and competes with it unfairly.

The lawsuit also accuses Stability of infringing Getty's trademarks, citing images generated by its AI system with Getty's watermark that Getty says could cause consumer confusion.

Getty asked the court to order Stability to stop using its pictures and requested money damages that include Stability's profits from the alleged infringement.

The case is Getty Images (US) Inc v. Stability AI Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:23-cv-00135.

For Getty: Benjamin Marks and Jared Friedmann of Weil Gotshal & Manges

For Stability: attorney information not available

Read more:

Lawsuits accuse AI content creators of misusing copyrighted work

Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713