Image generated by Stable Diffusion with the prompt “Mickey Mouse in front of a McDonalds sign.” (credit: Timothy B. Lee / Stable Diffusion)

The AI software Stable Diffusion has a remarkable ability to turn text into images. When I asked the software to draw “Mickey Mouse in front of a McDonald’s sign,” for example, it generated the picture you see above.
Stable Diffusion can do this because it was trained on hundreds of millions of example images harvested from across the web. Some of these images were in the public domain or had been published under permissive licenses such as Creative Commons. Many others were not—and the world’s artists and photographers aren’t happy about it.
In January, three visual artists filed a class-action copyright lawsuit against Stability AI, the startup that created Stable Diffusion. In February, the image-licensing giant Getty filed a lawsuit of its own.Read 29 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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