Getty Images, which supplies photographs and illustrations to news services and corporations, has barred artificial intelligence-generated art from being sold on its website due to fears of copyright lawsuits, the Verge reported.
AI art generators like DALL-E and Midjourney have gained popularity over the last year because they allow amateur artists to create impressive digital artwork using text prompts. AI art has been sold at Christie’s auction house and featured in galleries around the world. However, many photo distribution sites are grappling with the implications of selling it to customers.
These AI art generation sites scrape the web for existing images that aren’t copyright protected to create new images, often copying the aesthetic of an existing image and combining multiple images together. While the technology is currently legal, some artists whose images have inspired AI-art have called for more protections, especially when the AI art is used for commercial purposes.
Getty CEO Craig Peters didn’t say whether or not the company has been involved in AI art-related legal action, and he said this move protects Getty’s customers.
Other photo distribution sites including Newgrounds, PurplePort and FurAffinity have already banned AI-generated content, and while Shutterstock, Getty’s biggest competitor, seems to suppress the images in search results, it has not yet banned them.