Getty asks London court to stop UK sales of Stability AI system

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the High Court in London, Britain March 27, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville/

LONDON (Reuters) - Stock photo provider Getty Images has asked London's High Court for an injunction to prevent artificial intelligence company Stability AI from selling its AI image-generation system in Britain, court filings show.

The Seattle-based company accuses the company of breaching its copyright by using its images to "train" its Stable Diffusion system, according to the filing dated May 12.

Stability AI has yet to file a defence to Getty's lawsuit, but filed a motion to dismiss Getty's separate U.S. lawsuit last month. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Getty spokesperson said the company does not comment on active litigation.

Getty's case in London was first filed in January, days after a similar class action lawsuit filed in California by artists against Stability AI and other companies in the fast-growing field of generative AI.

London-based Stability AI released Stable Diffusion, an AI-based system for generating images from text inputs, and image generator DreamStudio in August 2022.

The company said last year that it had raised over $100 million in funding and Getty cited press reports in its U.S. lawsuit that Stability AI was seeking to raise more money on the basis of a roughly $4 billion valuation.

In its London lawsuit, Getty says Stability AI has relied on infringing its copyright "for the successful operation of its business".

Getty is seeking as-yet unspecified damages. It is also asking the High Court to order Stability AI to hand over or destroy all versions of Stable Diffusion that may infringe Getty's intellectual property rights.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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