Getty’s Image-Scraping Lawsuit Against Stability AI Heads to UK Trial


  • Getty’s lawsuit against Stability AI heads to UK trial over copyright infringement claims.
  • High Court judges express doubts about Stability AI’s defense, paving the way for a trial.
  • Ongoing legal battles involve multiple AI developers accused of scraping copyrighted data without consent.

In a significant legal development, Getty, the renowned stock image provider, will have its lawsuit against Stability AI heard in a UK trial. Getty initiated legal action against Stability AI, alleging that the startup unlawfully copied and processed millions of copyrighted images from Getty’s photo archive. The case revolves around the unauthorized scraping of images by Stability AI for use in training its Stable Diffusion models. Despite Stability AI’s assertions that the case is irrelevant due to the origins of the data and development process, UK High Court judges believe both parties deserve the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in court to resolve the dispute.

Getty’s copyright infringement allegations

Getty’s lawsuit, which was filed in January, accuses Stability AI of infringing upon its intellectual property rights and copyright protections. The central claim is that Stability AI scraped Getty’s images without permission and utilized them in datasets for training its AI models, without obtaining proper licenses. Getty contends that this action has allowed Stability AI to unfairly profit from content creators.

While Stability AI has not explicitly denied the act of scraping images, the startup argues that the case is inconsequential because the data used for training was sourced outside the UK. The datasets were compiled by LAION, a German non-profit organization, and the computational resources were provided by AWS servers in the United States. Furthermore, Stability AI’s CEO, Emad Mostaque, maintains that none of the developers involved in the model development were based in the UK.

High court judges’ assessment

The UK High Court judges, however, have expressed doubts regarding Stability AI’s arguments. In a recent ruling, Justice Joanna Smith highlighted “unanswered questions” and “inconsistencies” in Stability’s defense. Smith opined that Getty’s claims appear to have merit and should proceed to trial, stating, “The Training and Development Claim has a real prospect of success and must be permitted to go to trial. The Location Issue is certainly not an issue on which I can say at present that the Claimants’ claim is doomed to fail.”

Copyright infringement issues to be addressed at trial

As for the copyright infringement allegations, Justice Smith argued that this is a legal matter that should be resolved during the trial. She emphasized that the trial judge should make determinations based on comprehensive arguments from both sides and factual findings

regarding the nature of the acts contributing to secondary infringement.

Getty’s response and ongoing legal battles

Getty’s spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the decision, stating that the company looks forward to the case being determined at trial. Additionally, Getty has filed a second lawsuit against Stability AI in the United States.

This legal dispute is part of a broader trend involving multiple lawsuits against Stability AI and other prominent developers of text-to-image tools and AI chatbots, including OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and Anthropic. In these ongoing legal battles, plaintiffs have accused developers of scraping training data, which consists of various copyrighted content such as books, art, code, and song lyrics, without obtaining proper consent, thereby violating copyright laws.

The forthcoming trial in the UK will provide a platform for both Getty and Stability AI to present their arguments and evidence regarding the alleged copyright infringement and scraping of images. This case is emblematic of the broader challenges and legal battles that continue to emerge in the realm of AI and intellectual property rights. It remains to be seen how the UK High Court will ultimately adjudicate this complex and closely-watched dispute.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Editah Patrick

Editah is a versatile fintech analyst with a deep understanding of blockchain domains. As much as technology fascinates her, she finds the intersection of both technology and finance mind-blowing. Her particular interest in digital wallets and blockchain aids her audience.

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