Artists Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz filed a lawsuit against the
creators of the Midjourney, Stable Diffusion neural networks and the DeviantArt platform, which recently created the DreamUp neural network.
The lawsuit alleges that these neural networks were trained on 5 billion drawings taken from the Internet without the consent of their original creators, which violates copyright.
The lawsuit was created by lawyer Matthew Butterick and Joseph Saveri Law Firm, who are also leading a case against Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI for using lines of code in training a neural network for CoPilot programming.
About the new case, Matthew Butterick writes: "This is another step towards making neural networks an honest and ethical tool. AI images that violate copyright will flood the market and cause great damage to both artists and the art industry."
However, the judicial process will not be easy – neural networks are practically not regulated by law. In particular, the lawsuit says that neural networks store compressed images and then combine them. However, the neural network algorithm converts images into mathematical data, which are used to create pictures. In this case, it is even more difficult to prove copyright infringement.
Recall that in early December, artists staged a strike on ArtStation with a call to ban or limit the publication of images created by neural networks. The platform introduced a special NoAI tag, but many artists considered such measures insufficient and left ArtStation.