Copyright news: Judge Rules Out Multiple Copyright Claims Against AI Firms in Artist Collective Lawsuit

A big win for AI Art copyright!

A judge in a California federal court dismissed several claims made by a group of artists against developers of AI text-to-image generator tools such as Stability AI and Midjourney​.

In a significant legal dispute involving artists and AI companies, a California federal judge dismissed several claims in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit was spearheaded by artists Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz against AI text-to-image generator tool developers Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt, alleging unauthorized use of their artwork for AI training.【source】【source】【source

The judge’s decision came after a series of separate motions by the three companies seeking dismissal of the copyright infringement accusations, marking a pivotal point in the discourse surrounding AI-generated art and intellectual property rights.【source】【source

The crux of the dispute revolves around the allegations that these companies scraped vast amounts of images from the internet, including the artists’ copyrighted work, to train their AI systems without obtaining requisite permissions. The artists claimed this unauthorized usage directly infringed on their copyrights and sought legal recourse to address the alleged violations.【source】【source

U.S. District Judge William Orrick, during a hearing, inclined towards dismissing most claims but allowed for a new complaint to be filed. Judge Orrick advised the artists to furnish more explicit details about the alleged copyright infringements, especially since they had access to relevant source code from Stability AI. He highlighted the implausibility of the artists’ claims considering the AI systems were trained on a colossal dataset comprising “five billion compressed images.” Nonetheless, he acknowledged that Sarah Andersen’s claim of direct copyright infringement might have merit for further legal examination. The judge also expressed skepticism towards the artists’ claim concerning images generated by AI systems using their names, citing a lack of substantial similarity between the artists’ work and AI-generated images.【source

This case, among others, forms part of a broader legal landscape exploring the intersections of AI, copyright law, and the rights of creators, setting a precedent for how similar cases might be adjudicated in the future.