News Report Technology
May 03, 2023

German Stock Photographer Receives Penalty for Request to Remove Photos from Training Dataset

In February 2023, German stock photographer Robert Kneschke learned that the images he had taken were being used to train generative models. When examining the training dataset, he quickly discovered “a bunch of images” from his portfolio in LAION-5B, an open-source dataset used by artificial intelligence applications. Unaware of the implications of his discoveries, Kneschke contacted the dataset’s owner and requested that his work be removed. His inquiry was met with surprise, and the owner of the dataset referred him to their law firm, Heidrich Rechtsanwälte.

German Stock Photographer Receives Penalty for Request to Remove Photos from Training Dataset
Robert Kneschke, a German stock photographer, found out in February that his photographs were being used to train AI image generators through a site called Have I Been Trained. After seeing another photographer comment online about asking to have their images removed from the LAION dataset, Kneschke decided to contact them about his own work. He received a letter from the organization that said it was compliant with copyright laws and that it was not possible to remove his images. The letter also threatened to collect claims for damages from Kneschke, saying he filed an unjustified copyright claim. At the end of March, Kneschke decided to send out a cease-and-desist request, which Motherboard viewed, that asked the LAION team to take his images out of the training dataset and provide information on the extent to which the works were used, how long they were used, and where they got the images from.
Read more: 5+ Best AI Background Removers in 2023

The firm’s lawyers responded to Kneschke’s request, saying that their client only maintained a database with links to images from the Internet and did not store images. Therefore, in their view, there was no violation, and there was nothing to remove. Kneschke, however, was dissatisfied with this response and was determined to pursue it further. He sent a request to the LAION team to stop their unauthorized use of his photographs and asked them to remove the photos and provide information on the extent and time of their use.

Unfortunately, his persistence only resulted in further repercussions. The lawyers of Heidrich Rechtsanwälte rejected Kneschke’s claims, stating there had been no violation by their client. In addition, they committed a penalty of $979 within 14 days for sending an unfounded complaint.

Kneschke refused to pay the fee and swiftly filed a lawsuit against LAION in the District Court of Hamburg, Germany. He is optimistic about his chances and is determined to receive both compensation and recognition for his work. If Kneschke succeeds, it could set an important precedent in protecting photographers’ rights in the age of artificial intelligence.

The legality of using copyrighted material to train AI is still contentious. There has not yet been a precedent case that can be used to determine the validity of either side of the case.

  • Getty is suing Stability AI for its role in supporting the development of LAION, which includes over 12 million photographs from Getty Images’ collection. Karla Ortiz, an artist and board member of an advocacy organization for artists called the Concept Art Association, is leading a fundraising campaign to hire a lobbyist in Washington, D.C Ortiz and the organization hope to bring changes to US copyright, data privacy and labor laws to protect artists’ intellectual property.
  • Artists should theoretically be able to remove their work from the training dataset, according to Stability AI, which announced in December that it would honor all opt-out requests collected from the Have I Been Trained.

Read more about AI:

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Damir is the team leader, product manager, and editor at Metaverse Post, covering topics such as AI/ML, AGI, LLMs, Metaverse, and Web3-related fields. His articles attract a massive audience of over a million users every month. He appears to be an expert with 10 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. Damir has been mentioned in Mashable, Wired, Cointelegraph, The New Yorker, Inside.com, Entrepreneur, BeInCrypto, and other publications. He travels between the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and the CIS as a digital nomad. Damir earned a bachelor's degree in physics, which he believes has given him the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in the ever-changing landscape of the internet. 

More articles
Damir Yalalov
Damir Yalalov

Damir is the team leader, product manager, and editor at Metaverse Post, covering topics such as AI/ML, AGI, LLMs, Metaverse, and Web3-related fields. His articles attract a massive audience of over a million users every month. He appears to be an expert with 10 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. Damir has been mentioned in Mashable, Wired, Cointelegraph, The New Yorker, Inside.com, Entrepreneur, BeInCrypto, and other publications. He travels between the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and the CIS as a digital nomad. Damir earned a bachelor's degree in physics, which he believes has given him the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in the ever-changing landscape of the internet. 

NFTs & Mining: A Digital Synergy

The rise in usage of the non-fungible tokens has changed the way we see and engage with ...

Know More

AI in Crypto

Explore the ever-evolving realm of artificial intelligence within the cryptocurrency sphere. Discover the transformative impact of AI ...

Know More
Join Our Innovative Tech Community
Read More
Read more
Figure Raises $675M Funding for Humanoid Robot Development, Collaborates with OpenAI for AI Model Research
Business News Report
Figure Raises $675M Funding for Humanoid Robot Development, Collaborates with OpenAI for AI Model Research
February 29, 2024
Telegram Plans to Sell TON at Discount to Long-Term Investors, Limiting Token Holdings to 10%
News Report Technology
Telegram Plans to Sell TON at Discount to Long-Term Investors, Limiting Token Holdings to 10%
February 29, 2024
FTX-Linked Crypto Hedge Fund Rebrands to MNNC Group, Attracts “Mid-Eight-Figure” Investment Post-FTX Collapse
Business News Report
FTX-Linked Crypto Hedge Fund Rebrands to MNNC Group, Attracts “Mid-Eight-Figure” Investment Post-FTX Collapse
February 29, 2024
Silence Laboratories Raises $4.1M Funding to  Protect Enterprise Data with Cryptographic Multiparty Computation 
Business News Report
Silence Laboratories Raises $4.1M Funding to Protect Enterprise Data with Cryptographic Multiparty Computation 
February 29, 2024
What You
Need to Know

Subscribe To Our Newsletter.
Daily search marketing tidbits for savvy pros.