A judge in California earlier this week dismissed some claims raised by artists in their fight against AI image-generating websites. The artists believe such sites have been using their work unlawfully.
Parts of a class action brought by Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz were dismissed by US District Judge William Orrick, including all the allegations made against DeviantArt and Midjourney, two popular text-to-image AI art generators.
However, despite some claims being dismissed and the offer for an amended complaint to be submitted, the artists’ attorneys Joseph Saveri and Matthew Butterick confirmed that their “core claim” survived.
Artists claim generative AI image creators use their copyrighted work
The case goes as follows: “Plaintiffs allege that Stable Diffusion was “trained” on plaintiffs’ works of art to be able to produce Output Images “in the style” of particular artists.”
Orrick adds: “Finding that the Complaint is defective in numerous respects, I largely GRANT defendants’ motions to dismiss and defer the special motion to strike.”
The hearing on October 30 gave the plaintiffs 30 days to return with an amended complaint addressing “deficiencies” in their arguments, including that some artwork had not been registered with the Copyright Office.
TechRadar Pro asked Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt for further comment on the court case and allegations, but we did not receive any immediate responses.
Orrick also dismissed complaints that the companies in question had violated the artists’ publicity rights and competed with them unfairly. Again, the plaintiffs have been granted permission to refile within 30 days – by the end of November.
More broadly, copyright issues in an evolving AI landscape are expected to become more complex. Microsoft recently announced that it would defend users of its AI Copilot should they find themselves “challenged on copyright grounds.”
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