Getty Images to Launch AI Image Generator to Address Copyright Concerns
Photography giant Getty Images Holdings Inc. is set to release an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that will generate images from its extensive content library. The move aims to create AI content that is free from copyright and ownership concerns that have plagued the technology. Getty, which owns the rights to millions of photographs, previously sued Stability AI, the company behind the image generator Stable Diffusion, for using images without permission. Developed in collaboration with chipmaker Nvidia Inc., Getty’s new product will be trained on its own data and will mitigate legal issues by limiting the types of images that can be used to power the generator. The tool will draw from Getty’s creative image bank, excluding its news photo collection, in an effort to prevent the creation of deepfakes. CEO Craig Peters stated that the new image generator will not allow users to incorporate trademarked material or assets they don’t own, ensuring the prevention of controversial images like the viral Pope Francis wearing a Balenciaga puffer coat.
Getty aims to cater to businesses seeking to create ads and other content by allowing customers to add their own proprietary data or branding. However, content generated through the product, which creates images based on text prompts, will not be added back into Getty’s own libraries. The AI-generated images will receive Getty’s usual license to use the content, as well as indemnification against lawsuits. Additionally, the company plans to compensate artists and contributors whose work was used to train the AI model.
The rise in popularity of text-to-image AI tools, such as OpenAI’s Dall-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, has raised concerns about whether these tools benefit from the work of artists, photographers, and designers without their permission or compensation. In addition to Getty’s lawsuit against Stability AI, various artists have also sued services like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney. Getty intends to continue its legal action against Stability AI in the US and the UK.
The uncertainty surrounding AI technology has led companies interested in using AI software to create new images for purposes like ad campaigns or social media posts to worry about potential legal risks and fines. Getty’s CEO, Craig Peters, emphasized that customers want to use generative AI but also want to avoid legal complications related to ownership. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it would defend buyers of its AI products from copyright infringement lawsuits and pay related fines or settlements. The introduction of Getty’s new AI image generator demonstrates that AI companies claiming an inability to develop technology while respecting intellectual property rights are not being truthful, according to Peters.
Overall, Getty Images’ AI image generator aims to address copyright concerns by providing users with AI-generated content that is free from legal complications. The company’s collaboration with Nvidia and its efforts to limit the use of certain images and prevent the incorporation of trademarked material demonstrate its commitment to protecting intellectual property rights.