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Midjourney AI: use of works by 16,000 artists without consent before the Courts

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AI image generation continues to raise important ethical and legal questions, particularly regarding copyright. Recently, Midjourney, one of the leaders in the sector, found itself at the heart of controversy. We have indeed learned that the works of more than 16,000 artists were used without their consent to train its artificial intelligence software.

Midjourney would not be the only company to have behaved in this way, since Stability AI, Runway AI and DeviantAr are also cited. Enough to cause a shock wave in the artistic world and raise a lively debate on the ethical use of works of art in the training of AI models &# 8211; and the necessary legal framework. Artists affected include notable names such as David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread and Anish Kapoor.

Can artists win the battle against AI platforms?

The latter (or their beneficiaries depending on the case) consider that this is a clear violation of copyright. Joined by other American artists, they formed a class action in California against Midjourney, Stability AI, Runway AI and DeviantArt.

“Although the defense presents its AI imaging products in a glowing manner, the reality is darker and more problematic: the products AI images are primarily valued as ways to circumvent copyright, promising customers the benefits of art without the costs associated with artists, we can read in the complaint.

The subject is obviously delicate. It is possible to a certain extent for human artists to reproduce the style of other artists without this causing any copyright complaints.

The whole question is whether or not the artistic productions of an AI trained from the works of artists freely accessible on the internet are of a different nature. However, there is currently nothing in American law (as well as that of other countries in the world) which does not really protect artists against the use of their works as part of the training of artificial intelligence, or the reproduction of works using their style or combining it with others.

A survey conducted by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) reveals that 89% of artists and agents want the implementation place of laws governing generative AI, particularly on the question of the protection of their works.

  • Midjourney and other AI firms are accused of relying without consent on the works of more than 16,000 artists, including French, to train their models.
  • Renowned artists such as David Hockney and Damien Hirst are among those affected, sparking a class action lawsuit in the United States.
  • The controversy raises important questions about copyright and intellectual property protection in the AI ​​era.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116