Apr 20, 2023

Companies Seek Dismissal of Class-Action Suit Claiming AI Copyright Infringement

On April 18th, the legal battle between a group of artists and the companies Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt came to a head when the defendants filed motions in San Francisco federal court seeking to dismiss the proposed class-action lawsuit. The artists, Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz, had accused the companies of extensive copyright infringement in January, claiming that their works were used without permission to train generative artificial intelligence systems.

The companies argued that the AI-generated images were dissimilar to the artists’ work and that the lawsuit lacked specific information about the allegedly misused photos. Stability AI, a deep learning, text-to-image model AI company, argued that the artists “fail to identify a single allegedly infringing output image, let alone one that is substantially similar to any of their copyrighted works.” Midjourney, an AI company that generates images from natural language descriptions, said that the lawsuit also does not “identify a single work by any plaintiff” that it “supposedly used as training data.” DeviantArt, an online community for artists that offers a service enabling users to generate images using Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion system, supported the same arguments and also claimed that it was not responsible for any alleged wrongdoing by the AI companies.

The legal dispute raises a number of questions about the application of copyright law principles such as authorship, infringement, and fair use to content created or used by AI. Generative AI computer programs such as Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion program and Midjourney’s self-titled program are able to generate new images, texts and other content or outputs in response to a user’s textual prompts or inputs. These AI programs are trained to generate such works partly by exposing them to large quantities of existing works such as writings, photos, paintings and other artworks.

For companies looking to enter the world of web3, NFTs, and crypto, it is important to understand the potential legal implications of using AI for marketing and promotion. AI-generated works may be subject to copyright infringement, and companies should be aware of the risk of using AI to generate works that are substantially similar to existing works.

To avoid potential legal issues, companies should ensure that their AI programs are trained using only authorized data, and should use caution when using AI for NFT marketing and promotion. Additionally, companies should consider using an NFT marketing agency or web3 agency to help them navigate the complexities of the web3 space. If a company is looking to sell NFTs, they should work with an experienced NFT marketing agency to ensure that their NFTs are properly marketed and promoted.

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