Getty Images Ban AI-Generated Pictures, Shutterstock Following Suit


Getty Images has announced it will not accept submissions that were created with AI-image generators and will remove all such artworks.

The world’s largest repository of images shared with PetaPixel the note sent to contributors stating that images generated from artificially intelligent (AI) image generators such as Stable Diffusion, DALL-E, and Midjourney will not be allowed on the site.

“There are open questions with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models and there are unaddressed rights issues with respect to the underlying imagery and metadata used to train these models,” the company says.

“These changes do not prevent the submission of 3D renders and do not impact the use of digital editing tools (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) with respect to modifying and creating imagery.”

Elaborating further, Getty Images CEO Craig Peters tells The Verge that the legal uncertainty that surround AI-images prompted the behemoth into action.

“There are real concerns with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models and unaddressed rights issues with respect to the imagery, the image metadata and those individuals contained within the imagery,” says Peters.

Meanwhile, after PetaPixel previously reported that thousands of AI-generated images were advertised on stock photo websites. Shutterstock, who was named in the piece, now appears to be removing the works en-masse. Last week, a search for “Midjourney” threw up many results, but today there are virtually no results available for that term.

The Training Data is Murky

Text-to-image generators such as DALL-E have been trained on millions of images that have been scraped from the internet. While the image generator companies don’t say as much, the data set will include millions of copyrighted photos.

Users can even replicate a specific photographer’s style using the prompt box. For example, Ansel Adams’ name was used to generate the below image of an apocalyptic festival. This leads to a nebulous area and begs the question, should the artists whose work has informed the image synthesizers be compensated?

ansel adams ai

Creators of AI image generators believe the technology to be legal but the law has simply not caught up with this new frontier.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.