HomeWinBuzzer NewsMidjourney Faces Copyright Lawsuit for Alleged Artist Style Mimicry

Midjourney Faces Copyright Lawsuit for Alleged Artist Style Mimicry

AI art startup Midjourney faces copyright lawsuit for potentially copying thousands of artists' styles without permission.


AI startup is currently embroiled in a copyright lawsuit, with evidence presented by the plaintiffs indicating that the company's technology may be replicating the works of thousands of artists without authorization. An Excel spreadsheet submitted as evidence in a northern California court lists over 4,700 artists and catalogs various image styles, suggesting that Midjourney's AI has the capability to imitate these creators' unique techniques.

Legal Challenges Ahead

The heart of the case purports that Midjourney has wrongfully profited from the intellectual property of artists by training its models on copyrighted images, thus facilitating the generation of derivative works on demand by users of its platform. Alongside Midjourney, other companies in the AI sector, including Stability AI, Runway AI, and DeviantArt, are contending with similar lawsuits raised by artists who argue that their copyrighted images were used to train machine-learning models without proper or compensation.

Ripple Effects across the AI Industry

The ongoing lawsuit includes claims that Midjourney CEO David Holz collected artist names into a Sheet, acknowledged as Exhibit J, to allow users to prompt the system to recreate specific artistic styles. While the legal process unravels, the case sheds light on the broader discourse of copyright and intellectual property in the context of emerging technologies like AI and ML, creating precedents that may shape the relationship between AI developers and creative communities.

The lawsuit finds its origins with claims made by illustrators Sarah Andersen and Kelly McKernan, and painter Karla Ortiz, although Judge William Orrick dismissed initial copyright violation claims due to the lack of registration with the US Copyright Office. The plaintiffs have since refined their complaint, incorporating a broader range of artists, and highlighting internal communications suggestive of knowing infringement by Midjourney.

As of now, both Midjourney and the legal representation for the artists have refrained from providing further declarations regarding the lawsuit. The art and tech industries are closely watching the developments of this case, as the implications could define the boundaries of creativity and ownership in the era of .

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.