Microsoft AI Image Generator Blocks ‘Disney’ After Viral Movie Poster Trend

AI-generated movie poster in the style of Disney Pixar
Internet users have been enjoying creating AI-generated movie posters of their dogs such as this one, but Microsoft have moved to dampen it.

After a viral social media trend saw people making AI-generated movie posters in the style of a Disney-Pixar with their dogs as the main character, Microsoft has tweaked its artificial intelligence image generator tool.

The viral AI film posters look real; in large part because of the Disney logo visible on the images. But now Microsoft has now moved to clamp down on the viral posters blocking the term “Disney” from being entered into the image generator hosted on Bing.

The Financial Times suggests that Disney likely raised concerns over copyright or intellectual property infringement.

After Microsoft took action, when users entered the term “Disney” they received a message saying that the search term was against its policies. That has since been adjusted and now the Disney text and logo appear scrambled.

“Reproduction of the Disney logo is clear trademark infringement. I would imagine that is why the AI might be jumbling the logo,” Andrew White, partner at IP law firm Mathys & Squire, tells The Financial Times.

“In this instance, it is likely more for fun than trying to pass the images off for their own film or animation, but that would be a huge issue. From a PR perspective, it is a fine line for Disney seeming to come down on something for fun that is ultimately raising its profile versus something that is actually anti-competitive.”

Copyright Questions

With generative AI trained on millions of pieces of copyrighted works, there are questions over whether Disney’s content was used to train AI programs with.

Disney has not commented on the movie poster trend but it is likely that Disney content was used to train AI. Another huge media company, Getty Images, is still suing Stability AI (the makers of Stable Diffusion) for using Getty’s photos to train its AI with — something that is known to be factual thanks to Stable Diffusion’s open-source model.

“There is a current level of variability that may return different results from time to time as we continue to refine our safety systems,” Microsoft tells The Financial Times. 

“Additionally, artists, celebrities, and organizations can request to limit the creation of images associated with their names and brands.”