🤖 AI Art: Legal Gray Area

Creative freelancers face a future full of question marks❓; ASMP vs Adobe showdown ⚔️; AI art colors in the lines of legality 🎨.

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Welcome, creative friends!

Is AI ruining photography or is it Adobe’s fault? Freelancers are suffering and lawyers are debating the legality of AI art.

Let’s get into the messy—yet beautifully composed—details.

In today's rundown

For your artistic side.

Creative Artists Agency

Freelance creatives are weathering a storm of uncertainty this year with creatives reporting a tough climate due to a lack of new commissions and obstacles to securing work, and it’s not just because of the global economy.

Photographers and illustrators are feeling the squeeze as algorithm changes on social media platforms and AI-generated imagery shake up the market.

But those who can pivot are finding silver linings, with multidisciplinary artists who can offer a range of services or have multiple income streams weathering the storm more successfully.

It’s a tough landscape to navigate, but as the creative economy continues to shift, adaptability may be the most valuable skill of all.

P.S. We’re working hard on our AI-powered job search tool for creative freelancers and agencies. The goal is to bring opportunities to you, instead of the other way around.

The commercial aspects of creativity.

A poster for 'Civil War' that was made using AI / A24

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has slammed Adobe in an open letter for running ads with the tagline “skip the photoshoot”.

Adobe, whose software is a staple in many photographers’ toolkits, has since halted the ads, but the incident highlights a growing rift between the company and the artists who rely on its products.

And this was an attack; an attack on the creativity of the photographer, on the skill and nuance they bring to the photoshoot, and the countless hours they spend preparing for, and working after the photoshoot you are so cavalier to simply throw away.

ASMP Chair Gabriella Marks

This is the latest in a series of head-scratching moments that's leading some to wonder if Adobe's leadership is on a different wavelength than artists.

The trade group’s letter argued that generative AI lacks the ‘soul’ and ‘emotion’ that comes from years of human practice. It called for Adobe to engage with photographers to create tech tools that they can ‘be proud to use’.

Adobe’s CEO previously commented on AI-assisted photography, saying, “The reality is that there are way more stories that people want to tell than skills that exist to be able to tell that story”.

Navigating the digital creative world.

Caterina Cox / Passionfruit

AI-generated content is stirring up a legal storm.

Laws around AI and creativity are murky at best, with the U.S. Copyright Office says that AI-created works that lack "creative input or intervention from a human author" are not eligible for copyright protection. That means you can use or sell it, but you can’t sue if someone else does too.

But here’s where it gets even murkier: Etsy will let you sell AI art as long as it’s edited by a human.
Sound confusing? That's because it is.

Take the case of “Zarya of the Dawn”, a graphic novel whose visual elements were crafted by AI. The Copyright Office canceled its copyright, leading to a shift in classification where only the text and arrangement were later copyrighted.

Usually, we have regulations to guide us, but right now, we’re in a legal gray area. We have to think really critically about what’s ethically sound and responsible until the laws catch up.

Hannah Peterson, founder of AI Daily

Meanwhile, artists like Sarah Andersen and Kelly McKernan are suing Stability AI and others for allegedly using their work to train AI systems without permission.

It’s a tangled web of rights and wrongs, and the law is still playing catch-up. So, until then, creators need to be vigilant, pioneering their own ethical frameworks to steer clear of copyright quagmires.


Macarena Ibsen Castillo

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