Shutterstock will sell AI-generated art… and cut human creators in
The Future. Shutterstock is bringing DALL-E 2 into its platform, letting AI-generated works to be created and sold alongside the human-created images that they’re trained on. So, Shutterstock is rolling out a fund to reimburse artists for the revenue generated from the generations that use their original works. Shutterstock is the first company of its kind to partner with AI generators so intimately, which may send some artists running to platforms that outlaw the sale of AI art if Shutterstock’s payouts don’t feel generous enough.
If you can’t beat them…
One image database has decided to wade into the controversial AI waters to make a little money.
- Per The Verge, Shutterstock has extended a partnership with OpenAI to bring its text-to-image AI-art generator, DALL-E 2, into Shutterstock’s platform.
- That allows users to generate images on Shutterstock — which is trained by images that Shutterstock sold to OpenAI — and turn around and sell those.
- That obviously would make artists angry, so Shutterstock is also launching a “Creator Fund” that pays artists whose works are used by DALL-E 2 on the platform and allows them to share in the revenue from the sale of AI-generated images.
The Creator Fund payments will be “a share of the entire contract value paid by platform partners. The share individual contributors receive will be proportionate to the volume of their content and metadata that is included in the purchased datasets.” Checks will be cut every six months, but a ballpark of how much will be paid out is anyone’s guess.
Getty off it
Shutterstock’s partnership with OpenAI is ethically and legally murky territory. Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy says that the platform’s images were “critical to the training of DALL-E” and that it is now the company’s “great responsibility to embrace this evolution and to ensure that the generative technology that drives innovation is grounded in ethical practices.”
That’s kind of a “have your cake and eat it too” mentality, which could aggravate artists that believe that Shutterstock shouldn’t have started that partnership with OpenAI in the first place. And with Shutterstock also banning AI-generated works that weren’t used with its DALL-E 2 integration, it’s an implicit recognition that the copyright around these images is… complicated.
No wonder Getty Images basically said, “Nah, we’re staying away from all that.”