Thursday, August 31, 2023

Art in Action -- Copyright Office notice. Also push back against "opt in" as the default for AI training

Platforms from Zoom to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc have become essential parts of our professional and social lives. 

Why is the default for anyone who posts on these platforms that we "opt in" to have our content available for AI training use?? The companies are updating their "terms of use" agreements to codify this common practice.

More on the Zoom update in this post on the blog:

Just because the "opt in" option is the easiest for the companies.. and helps them make money.. is that right? Is it fair? Or is that a violation of essential copyright protections??? 

Why can't the default be "opt out?"

Artist are pushing back against "opt in".. raising awareness... and fighting the fight for the rest of us.. 

Facebook tried to roll out an "opt out" form. Which instantly revealed a glitch that rejected a required field and prevented anyone from submitting the "opt out" request. 

Here's a link for a news story on the "opt out" request option

Artists have launched several petitions on

This one challenges the US Senate AI Insight Committee to include artists and not just platform executives

"The US Senate’s Committee on AI Insight is missing AI Ethicists, Journalists, Authors, Visual Artists (Illustrators, Animators, Photographers), Performing Artists (Actors, Voice Actors, Musicians) and many of those, whose creative works serve as the data fuel that makes an AI machine able to function.  An AI machine would not be able to output ANYTHING - if it were not filled with the work products of the people listed above.

On a committee comprised of 22 people, only four people are not from the tech industry, and from those four - only ONE, represents a portion of a single category from the numerous groups listed above."

This petition urges Etsy to adopt a "no AI" art policy..

What does the Copyright Office say about all of this???

These issues are on their radar... but things move slowly at the federal level. Hearings have taken place. Officials from the copyright office have been participants at art industry "town halls" to help learn from artists and others impacted by these practices.

On 8.30.23, the Copyright office issued a Notice of Inquiry on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence.

Here's the text from this Notice.

Today, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a notice of inquiry (NOI) in the Federal Register on copyright and artificial intelligence (AI). The Office is undertaking a study of the copyright law and policy issues raised by generative AI and is assessing whether legislative or regulatory steps are warranted. The Office will use the record it assembles to advise Congress; inform its regulatory work; and offer information and resources to the public, courts, and other government entities considering these issues.

The NOI seeks factual information and views on a number of copyright issues raised by recent advances in generative AI. These issues include the use of copyrighted works to train AI models, the appropriate levels of transparency and disclosure with respect to the use of copyrighted works, the legal status of AI-generated outputs, and the appropriate treatment of AI-generated outputs that mimic personal attributes of human artists.

The NOI is an integral next step for the Office’s AI initiative, which was launched in early 2023. So far this year, the Office has held four public listening sessions and two webinars. This NOI builds on the feedback and questions the Office has received so far and seeks public input from the broadest audience to date in the initiative.

“We launched this initiative at the beginning of the year to focus on the increasingly complex issues raised by generative AI. This NOI and the public comments we will receive represent a critical next step,” said Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. “We look forward to continuing to examine these issues of vital importance to the evolution of technology and the future of human creativity.”

Initial written comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Reply comments are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Instructions for submitting comments are available on the Office’s website. Commenters may choose which and how many questions to respond to in the NOI.

For more general information about the Copyright Office’s AI initiative, please visit our website.

And the link for more info:

This is the link for the PDF of the text of the Notice in the Federal Register

Articles on AI and Image scraping (updated 9.18.23)

 August has been "AI" awareness month on the blog. Lots of posts here will be added to the monthly sidebar for easy access. Here are some links for articles that were shared online by artists.

 “Google wants AI scraping to be “Fair Use”


A primer on "Fair Use"...

“Fair use, which is called Fair dealing in Australia and the UK, is a doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted materials without permission for the purpose of criticism, commentary, news reporting, or research. Fair use is not an absolute right, but an affirmative defense for someone who is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit. The U.S. Copyright Office lists four criteria American courts use to determine whether a use is fair:

Purpose of the work: Is the goal of the use research, reporting, or commentary? Is the use “transformative,” in that it adds something new or changes the character of the work?

Nature of the original work: Forms of creative expression – novels, songs, movies – have more protection than those based on facts. Facts are not protected but the expression of them is.

Amount of the work reproduced: Did you use more of the original content than you needed to?

Effect upon the market for the original work: Does your material compete with the original or make it less likely that people will purchase it? If so, that’s a strike against fair use.

There’s a lot of room for debate about whether using copyrighted material as training data is “fair use” as a matter of law. The answer to the question may vary based on whether the work Google takes is creative or factual. Journalistic publications such as Tom’s Hardware deal primarily in facts, so we likely have less protection than someone who wrote a novel. “

Also this excerpt on consent from the same article..

… ““Consent is very important,” Matthew Butterick, a lawyer who is involved in several AI-related lawsuits, told me in an interview. “I don’t feel it should be an opt out because it just puts the burden on the artist to basically be in the mode of how are they going to possibly chase around all of these AI models and all of these AI companies. It doesn’t make sense and it’s not actually consistent with copyright. The idea of copyright is ‘I made it. It’s mine for this duration of time; that’s what the law says and if you wanna use it, you’ve gotta come deal with me. That’s the deal. It’s opt in. Opt out, I think, really inverts the whole policy of U.S. copyright law.”


The Guardian 

“the Professor’s great fear about AI? That it becomes the boss from hell…”

 Excerpt: The key to grappling with current risks, he argues, is to encourage skepticism – not least as ChatGPT makes mistakes – and ensure transparency and accountability. “


AP News

“Visual artists fight back against AI companies for repurposing their work” by Jocelyn Noveck and Matt O’Brien 8.31.23


The case awaits a decision from a San Francisco federal judge, who has voiced some doubt about whether AI companies are infringing on copyrights when they analyze billions of images and spit out something different.

“We’re David against Goliath here,” (Kelly) McKernan says. “At the end of the day, someone’s profiting from my work. I had rent due yesterday, and I’m $200 short. That’s how desperate things are right now. And it just doesn’t feel right.”

The lawsuit may serve as an early bellwether of how hard it will be for all kinds of creators — Hollywood actors, novelists, musicians and computer programmers — to stop AI developers from profiting off what humans have made.

….. “In a few years, everyone can generate anything — video, images, text. Anything that you can describe, you can generate it in such a way that no human can tell the difference between AI-generated content and professional human-generated content,” Schuhmann said in an interview.

The idea that such a development is inevitable — that it is, essentially, the future — was at the heart of a U.S. Senate hearing in July in which Ben Brooks, head of public policy for Stability AI, acknowledged that artists are not paid for their images.

“There is no arrangement in place,” Brooks said, at which point Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono asked (Karla)  Ortiz whether she had ever been compensated by AI makers.

“I have never been asked. I have never been credited. I have never been compensated one penny, and that’s for the use of almost the entirety of my work, both personal and commercial, senator,” she replied.

You could hear the fury in the voice of Ortiz, also 37, of San Francisco, a concept artist and illustrator in the entertainment industry. Her work has been used in movies including “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “Loki,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Jurassic World” and “Doctor Strange.” In the latter, she was responsible for the design of Doctor Strange’s costume.

“We’re kind of the blue-collar workers within the art world,” Ortiz said in an interview. “We provide visuals for movies or games. We’re the first people to take a stab at, what does a visual look like? And that provides a blueprint for the rest of the production.”….

…. And if the technology is this good now, she adds, what will it be like in a few years?

“My fear is that our industry will be diminished to such a point that very few of us can make a living,” Ortiz says, anticipating that artists will be tasked with simply editing AI-generated images, rather than creating. “The fun parts of my job, the things that make artists live and breathe — all of that is outsourced to a machine.”

McKernan, too, fears what is yet to come: “Will I even have work a year from now?”

For now, both artists are throwing themselves into the legal fight — a fight that centers on preserving what makes people human, says McKernan, whose Instagram profile reads: “Advocating for human artists.”

“I mean, that’s what makes me want to be alive,” says the artist, referring to the process of artistic creation. The battle is worth fighting “because that’s what being human is to me.”


Hollywood Reporter

“Scraping or Stealing? A Legal Reckoning Over AI Loom” By Winston Cho 8.22.23

Excerpt: "For nearly 20 years, Karla Ortiz has worked as a concept artist, bringing to life an entire universe of characters in projects like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok. She’s credited with coming up with the main character design for Doctor Strange in her own blend of impressionist and magic realism styles honed by decades of practice.

She was horrified to learn last year that her work at the forefront of multibillion-dollar franchises is being used to train generative artificial intelligence systems without her knowledge or consent. Imitations of her work are now floating all across the web. Her name has been fed into Midjourney, an AI art generator, more than 2,500 times to create art that looks like hers. She’s been paid nothing.


“You work your entire life to do what you do as a creative, and for a company to profit off that — literally take your work to train a model that’s attempting to replicate you — it makes me sick,” Ortiz tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Ortiz is one of three artists suing AI art generators Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt for using their work to train generative AI systems. The first-of-its-kind suit will test the boundaries of copyright law and could be one of a few cases that decide the legality of the way large language models are trained…..

…. Engineers build AI art generators by feeding AI systems, known as large language models, voluminous databases of images downloaded from the internet without licenses. The artists’ suit revolves around the argument that the practice of feeding these systems copyrighted works constitutes intellectual property theft. A finding of infringement in the case may upend how most AI systems are built in the absence of regulation placing guardrails around the industry. If the AI firms are found to have infringed on any copyrights, they may be forced to destroy datasets that have been trained on copyrighted works. They also face stiff penalties of up to $150,000 for each infringement.

AI companies maintain that their conduct is protected by fair use, which allows for the utilization of copyrighted works without permission as long as that use is transformative. The doctrine permits unlicensed use of copyrighted works under limited circumstances. The factors that determine whether a work qualifies include the purpose of the use, the degree of similarity, and the impact of the derivative work on the market for the original. Central to the artists’ case is winning the argument that the AI systems don’t create works of “transformative use,” defined as when the purpose of the copyrighted work is altered to create something with a new meaning or message.

Responding to the proposed class action from artists, Stability AI countered in a statement that “anyone that believes that this isn’t fair use does not understand the technology and misunderstands the law.”

Update 9.18.23 -- You Tube video "AI art is going to have consequences" from channel TB Skyen circa March 2023. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Freedom from "free" art -- revisited (8.23.23)

Art scraped online to build datasets for AI image generators is this year's hot topic. But art is never free. Art is always being stolen or bartered for as "exposure" etc. Fighting art theft has been a longtime theme here on the blog. Securing your creative rights is the first step. Register those copyrights and trademarks! The laws that protect your work from unauthorized commercial use can't be enforced if you aren't securing your registration certificates. Educate your fan base. Build your brand. When your unique vision and products generate a following you will always be the only one providing your original skills and artWORK.

Charge what your work is really worth. Your expertise. Your time. Your supplies. What you deliver is more than the final product.. it's what it goes into it too. Share process posts to get your fans invested in your art life efforts. Artist Lily Williams ( ) shared these templates..

This response to an ad by a UK grocery store chain helps put things in perspective.

Art and Design may seem magical... but they require effort and experience to produce. 

This Jan 2017 post on the blog has been getting a lot of views this month.

(graphic below by Michelle Leivan on cafe press)

Some recent news segments on my You Tube feed prompted me to revisit this topic of freedom from "free art." Why does the public feel entitled to "like and share" without credit and compensation for the art? Why do artists feel their creations have diminished value compared to other skilled labor? 

"How much money do Americans need to feel comfortable?" This August 2023 CNBC report looks at some hard numbers. And how most of us are falling short.

Can you make a living as a free-lance artist? Yes. But it takes more than talent. It takes business skills and an entrepreneurial spirit. 

Start with knowing your numbers. Never work for free. You have expenses to meet. Plus you need savings to set aside. You can do pro-bono work on your terms on your schedule. Don't let anyone feel entitled to your experience, time and supplies for their benefit but at your expense. 

Keep records. Balance sheets. Budgets. Staying on top of these helps at tax time. Make goals for each year and review them quarterly. Having your finances in order takes a lot of stress out of the art life equation. You can't do your best art if you're own physical, mental, and emotional resources aren't meeting your needs. Or are challenged by bills and debt. You need health insurance, car insurance etc. too! Maybe a side job brings benefits you need. All these factors must be managed. 

It's not just artists feeling squeezed. This July "Meet the Press" segment, "The disconnect between cost of living and workers' paychecks" shows how average working Americans feel stretched thin. 

No matter your job -- if you do it well, you should be compensated accordingly. We value good work done well by professionals. Trades people are an excellent example of this. Finding a good plumber, electrician, auto repair technician is like finding a unicorn! We don't ask them to work for free. We pay what they charge because we value their work. Why are art skills dismissed as something different? The right artist is the unicorn for the right client. No one else can deliver their unique skills -- and often it's part of a package of professional practices and good customer service. Economic forces like inflation., and increased cost of goods.. add to the challenges we all face. Art has value. Know your worth. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Artists vs Adobe Stock -- Why is there no Opt Out for AI use??

Several artists have been sharing posts and links about a dispute brewing between artists and Adobe. 

Photoshop has been a longtime tool for visual/digital artists. They pay a license to Adobe to use the company's software and services. But this month, a number of artists were sharing these posts, with their concern about unauthorized use of their name and artwork by Adobe.

The story goes back to earlier in 2023. Adobe made an update that didn't go unnoticed. Here's an excerpt from the January 2023 story "Is Adobe using your photos to train its AI? It’s complicated" by Devin Coldewey on Techcrunch. com.

"A sharp-eyed developer at Krita noticed recently that, in the settings for their Adobe Creative Cloud account, the company had opted them (and everyone else) into a “content analysis” program whereby they “may analyze your content using techniques such as machine learning (e.g. for pattern recognition) to develop and improve our products and services.” Some have taken this to mean that it is ingesting your images for its AI. And … they do. Kind of? But it’s not that simple....

....Adobe told PetaPixel that this content analysis thing “is not new and has been in place for a decade.” If they were using machine learning for this purpose and said so a decade ago, that’s quite impressive, as is that apparently no one noticed that whole time. That seems unlikely. I suspect the policy has existed in some form but has quietly evolved...

......Adobe clarified that “Adobe does not use any data stored on customers’ Creative Cloud accounts to train its experimental Generative AI features.” That wording is clear enough, though it also has the kind of legal precision that makes you think they’re talking around something.

If you look closer at its documentation, it does indeed say: “When we analyze your content for product improvement and development purposes, we first aggregate your content with other content and then use the aggregated content to train our algorithms and thus improve our products and services.”

So it does use your content to train its algorithms. Perhaps just not its experimental Generative AI algorithms. 

In fact, Adobe has a program specifically for doing that: the Adobe Photoshop Improvement Program, which is opt-in and documented here. But it’s entirely possible that your photos are, through one tube or another, being used as content to train a generative AI. There are also circumstances when it might be manually reviewed, which is a whole other thing.

Even if it isn’t the case that Adobe is harvesting your creativity for its models, you should opt out of this program and any others if you value privacy. You can do so right here at the privacy page if you’re logged in."

This Techcrunch article was circulated again in August 2023, when several artists began posting examples of Adobe using their art without permission. This phase of the story is covered in “Artists complain of AI ‘copyright infringement’ on Adobe Stock” a 8.18.23 article by Daniel Piper on

Excerpt: “AI has proven an incredibly contentious topic in the world of art and design over the past couple of years, but one company had been particularly keen to emphasise its ethical approach to the tech. Adobe claims its Firefly AI model is only trained on Adobe Stock and commercially licensed imagery – but some artists are already accusing the brand of copyright infringement.

Several artists have observed that commercially available AI-generated imagery appears in Adobe Stock search results when their name is used as a prompt – even though they didn't create the art. And in some cases, the AI art appears to at least partially mimic the style of the artist. This has drawn the ire of several creatives on Twitter this week – and arguably isn't great optics for a brand so vocally committed to "doing the right thing" with AI.

The controversy comes two months after artist Kelly McKernan complained on Twitter that their name was clearly being used as a tag to sell AI-generated art on Adobe Stock (above). Since then, Wetterschneider has posted multiple examples of artists' names producing results often in the hundreds. These include Beeple, Victo Ngai, Michael Whelan and Loish.

"I'm against the use of my art in the databases used for generative AI," Loish told Creative Bloq. "I think so-called ethical AI stock images should not mimic the styles of artists who did not opt in to the use of their art in such a way. It's copyright infringement, in my eyes."

While it isn't clear whether the AI-generated artwork itself was trained on the artists' work, it seems the fact that their names are clearly linked to it – perhaps through tags or metadata – is enough for them to feel short-changed. As Wetterschneider puts it, "334 results for @Beeple - I don't know how he feels about charging $80 for art using his name as a selling point."

Adobe itself has replied to some of the comments on Twitter. "Hi there, thanks for letting us know about this — it goes against our generative AI content policy. We’ve escalated this with our team to ensure it's addressed," the official Adobe account responded to Loish, while Mike Chambers, senior director for community at Adobe, tweeted to Wetterschneider, "Fyi, these should be removed from Stock now. These all violate our Generative AI submission guidelines, but clearly were missed by our moderators." Creative Bloq has reached out to Adobe for comment, and will update this article on response.”

Artists are using their platforms to protect their creative rights, educate fans and the public, and call companies to account for their actions.

ArtWORK posted online is not free. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Recent lawsuits are confirming that copyright protects human creativity. These laws matter.. and are enforceable.

One case study is cover in this8.19.23 story on Gizmodo “Judge Rules Wholly AI-Created Art Can’t Get Copyright Protections” by Justin Carter.

"For those in the entertainment industry (and creative fields more generally), AI has been an extremely divisive topic. As various websites like ArtStation have decided to basically let art created by the controversial technology persist on their platforms—either freely or with specific guidelines—Hollywood writers and actors are striking in part because they fear how studios could easily use the technology as a way to avoid paying them. Fortunately, intellectual property law is here to say that copyrights will continue to only apply to human-made works.

On Friday, US District Judge Beryl Howell reaffirmed that sentiment with her ruling, stating “human authorship is a bedrock requirement” for anything seeking a copyright. The declaration was made in regards to Stephen Thaler’s bid to have the government begin allowing copyright protections for AI-made works. Thaler, who serves as chief engineer of the neural network firm Imagination Engines, has been trying to push for protecting AI creations since 2018. At the time of his original application, the Copyright Office turned it down, saying “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression” was a key factor in a work being protected.

Howell, in this most recent ruling, reaffirmed that US copyright law “protects only works of human creation.” Further, she stated that creations made by “non-human actors” such as AI “need no incentivization with the promise of exclusive rights under United States law, and copyright was therefore not designed to reach them.” While she acknowledged that the copyright is meant to “adapt with the times,” she argued that anything seeking protection is required to have “an originator with the capacity for intellectual, creative, or artistic labor. Must that originator be a human being to claim copyright protection? The answer is yes.”

Hollywood studios have been gradually making steps towards bringing AI into their productions, and it’s likely they’ll continue to do so by having enough humans involved so the work technically qualifies as being authored by real people. The larger issue of AI’s use in creative fields hasn’t been resolved here—and given that artists are currently pursuing legal action about having their art being used to train AI, it’ll be awhile before there’s any kind of resolution in sight."

This case is also featured in this link from Copyright

Info graphic below by Michele Leivan.

Info graphic below by TheVisualCommunicationGuy. 

Image below by @edfredneg for the Graphic Aritsts Guild

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Her name was Dido -- His name was Bélizaire -- Two art mystery case studies (updated 8.22.23)

From the 8.15.23 story by Sarah Cascone on

"New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired a rare 19th-century portrait featuring an enslaved person, helping restore to view a young mixed-race boy who was painted out of history—figuratively and literally—for over 100 years. It will go on view in the museum’s American Wing this fall.

“The acquisition of this rare painting is transformative for the American Wing, representing our first naturalistic portrait of a named Black subject set in a Louisiana landscape—a work that allows us to address many collection absences and asymmetries as we approach the 100th anniversary of the wing’s founding in 2024,” Sylvia Yount, curator of the Met’s American Wing, said in a statement.

The canvas, titled Bélizaire and the Frey Children, dates to about 1837, when it was commissioned by Frederick Frey, a German-born banker and merchant who lived in the French Quarter with his wife, Coralie D’Aunoy Frey, and their family. It depicts three of the couple’s children—Elizabeth, Léontine, and Frederick Jr.—and an enslaved teenager named Bélizaire.

Uncovering Bélizaire’s identity was a passion project spearheaded by Louisiana art collector Jeremy K. Simien, who turned to art history as a means of better understanding of his own family origins as a ninth-generation Creole of mixed African and European descent. He first saw a photo of the painting in 2013, in an old auction lot attributing the work to either Trevor Thomas Fowler or Theodore Sydney Moise. He was eventually able to track the canvas down thanks to an Instagram tip from art dealer Taylor Thistlethwaite."

(photo below shows Jeremy K. Simien with Bélizaire and the Frey Children, attributed to Jacques Guillaume Lucein Amans, after it was restored, removing overpainting that obscured the figure of an enslaved boy. Photo courtesy of Jeremy K. Simien.)

Summary from the  The New York Times You Tube channel: "The Met recently acquired “Bélizaire and the Frey Children,” a 19th-century Louisiana portrait with a secret: For over a 100 years, the image of an enslaved child was erased. This is his story."

More sources on this story:
UPDATE 8.22.23 -- A 2018 Episode of the BBC documentary series "Fake or Fortune?"

takes a look at two paintings -- uncovering clues about the artists and subjects. 

 "Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (1761-1804) and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray (1760-1825)," circa 1779 
and "Two Children" by Emma Jones (Soyer) 1831 

Here's a You Tube link for the episode

There was a 2013 feature film titled "Belle" that was based on the story of Dido,

Artist Gary Montalbano discusses AI generated images

Digital and fine artist Gary Montalbano posted a statement on AI generated images back on 12.20.22 on his Facebook page. His post arrived on my radar in 8.23 when it was shared by several artist friends. I reached out to Gary and received his permission to include his statement in this post on my blog. Here's Gary's photo from his Facebook post.

Every artist who speaks out on AI image generating is raising awareness with the public. This helps build an army of advocates.  Educated fans are the front lines for fighting unauthorized use of copyright protected art shared online. Educated fans call out counterfeits, and notify artists of infringements. By building a brand, and developing an empowered following, artists will always be able to provide something that other market forces can't compete with -- personal connection with an artistic vision. When fans learn to move from "likes and shares" to supporting the art they count on  via purchases at online stores, convention tables, pledging Ko-fi/Kickstarter/Patreon, etc  indie artists can not just survive, but thrive. Goals like 500-1,000 fans who will spend $100 a year or more on purchases are achievable. It takes work on the business side of indie art life. But it all adds up. And it can be done. Fans who are literally and emotionally invested in the artists they follow become the champions for creative rights.

You can find more of Gary's art on his website: and Instagram

Here is the full text of Gary's Statement...

#  #  #

"Thoughts on A.I. Generated Images (“art”)

A very recent pic of me at LA Comic-Con. All my art in this photo was created traditionally with paint and pencils. However, my professional work is all digital now. Both creative ways are great and I enjoy each of them for different reasons. And I really appreciate when my art and design work is not used without my consent. Which leads to the point of my post…

Artificial Intelligence, (A.I.) art is off to an extremely unethical start. First, the actual program is an impressive invention, which if fed with public domain imagery alone, I would have no problem with it. However, the funders and engineers of Stability A.I. (the company that started this controversy) chose to be dishonorable. 

At present, the generated images (A.I. Art) produced from the A.I. programs are fed from what is called a dataset. The vast datasets are billions of images which mainly include copywritten and/or trademarked art, designs and private photos taken from the internet. The engineers specifically choose living artists based on their popularity and aesthetic appeal. The owners of all those art images did not give permission and were not compensated for the use of their artwork.

The “fair use” clause of non-profit organizations is so they can educate the general public and not put the source (the authors of the actual artwork being used) at a disadvantage. No artists are being compensated despite their artworks being used to build the datasets which generate a product that is being sold and valued in the billions now. That generated “art” product is now in direct competition with the vary artists it took from. It was always about the money and the power, not creativity. This is the opposite of a non-profit.

Let us put aside the non-profit label for a moment. For profit corporations that happen to own the non-profit organizations are who benefit from this. All of this nefarious stuff, a new form of business tailored specifically to profit from A.I. art and to avoid any copyright infringement laws were recently created for this purpose.

Any company or person cannot take the copywritten work of another individual and then profit from it. Copyright literally means, the right to copy, that is only for the owner of the copyright. This is partially what is angering multitudes of artists around the world. For them to see their already copywritten protected artworks being directly copied into the A.I. programs, mimicked and directly exploited for profit is criminal.

To further prove this point, the “borrowed” art in the A.I. generated images still, in many cases, has the original artist creators’ signature and /or watermarks in the A.I. generated image. This is undeniable proof of theft. In brief, the current form of A.I. “art” is theft.

Centuries of human labor along with countless hours of thought pulling from the far reaches of human imagination went into all art and design you see on the internet and everywhere in the world. All of it is from tens of thousands of dead and living artists.

So, why give all past, present, and future art to the current and very questionable form of A.I. that only a very few will control and profit from?

Doing the actual meditative art work is the path of self-discovery, which also resonates universally. The hypocritical action of typing in an A.I. worded description prompt into the A.I. program, getting an image (taken from artists years of labor) and then stating, “Look what I created!” is a lie. And it is an insult to all those artists that came before who spent a life time building their talents and pushing for new forms of expression.

When I put a coin into a vending machine and out pops a candy bar, or a bag of chips, or whatever, I don’t exclaim, “Look at what I created!” This is exactly what A.I. generated images from prompts are: an elaborate vending machine where someone else created the product. The person typing the prompt was just picking from an already existing menu of preexisting artist’s images that have been pureed and spat out in a different configuration.

Artist have always existed throughout human history. However, A.I. image generators can only exist if there is human art first put into it. The program cannot create anything without actual human made images put in first. It has no imagination. It does not create. It regurgitates in a slightly different form giving the illusion of something new.

Laws and regulations to further protect the already existing laws and rights of artists (and the general public) from A.I. need to be implemented now.

Senate and Congress, United States Capitol Main line:


— with Meeyun Kwahk-Montalbano."

 #  #  # 

These posts on the blog have more info on the impact of AI generated images: