A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt on behalf of artists who have been affected by AI-generated imagery. The plaintiffs, who include Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz, are seeking compensation for damages caused by the companies and an injunction to prevent future harms.
AI-generated imagery is a controversial area in the art world, where artists use algorithms to learn and replicate a specific aesthetic by analyzing a vast number of images. These algorithms then generate new images that adhere to the aesthetics they have learned. The use of AI in this way raises questions about authorship, creativity and the definition of art. This method of art creation is different from the traditional approach, where artists use their own skills and techniques to create original work.
The lawsuit accuses the companies of direct copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement related to forgeries, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), violation of class members’ rights of publicity, breach of contract related to the DeviantArt Terms of Service, and various violations of California’s unfair competition laws.
The artists are concerned about AI systems being trained on vast amounts of copyrighted work with no consent, no credit, and no compensation. Stability AI (who make Stability Diffusion) and Midjourney are the companies behind the two most popular AI-generated art platforms, while DeviantArt—most commonly known as a portfolio and community art site.
As fun as the Tiktok AI filters are, I’ve always imagined that it might somehow infringe copyright material. Oh well, on to the next one, I guess.