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Apple Paid Shutterstock to Use Their Images For AI Training

$25 to $50 million granted the tech giant access to millions of images and videos.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

While it's no secret that in recent years, big-tech giants like Google, Meta, and Amazon have obtained access to billions of images, videos, and other materials to train their AI models, both legally and not so much, it has only recently come to light that Apple also hopped on the bandwagon at the height of widespread AI rush, paying a pretty penny to one of the biggest online image libraries to get access to their materials.

According to a recent report from Reuters, Apple was among the companies that struck a deal with Shutterstock, a renowned provider of stock photos, videos, and music, back in late 2022 to utilize the library's materials for artificial intelligence training. The deal, previously undisclosed, reportedly cost Apple between $25 to $50 million initially but was likely expanded afterward, as per the report.

Image Credit: Wang Gang, Getty Images

The account further details the use of Photobucket, an image and video hosting website, for AI training, citing the library's CEO, Ted Leonard. Leonard mentioned ongoing discussions with various tech firms to license Photobucket's vast collection of 13 billion photos and videos for training generative AI models, with prices ranging from 5 cents to $1 per photo and $1+ per video, viewing licensing data as an alternative to selling ads

Regarding the legality of this approach, the CEO claims that an update to the company's terms of service in October 2023, which granted Photobucket the "unrestricted right" to sell any uploaded content for training AI systems, legitimizes the sales and puts Photobucket on "solid legal ground".

What do you think about media libraries selling the data of their users for AI training? Should it be legal even if users are against their materials being sold for this specific purpose? Leave your thoughts down in the comments!

Read Reuters' report here and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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Comments 2

  • _ Rombout

    Also, how donisers now know if Shutterstock; sent back selling their photos. Wonder how much control; s for the real photographers


    _ Rombout

    ·3 months ago·
  • _ Rombout

    I do nwnder, normally you pay a fee for a term on using an image. Since this is a new sector, wonder what they priced it at. Also, how are the owners compensated for this deal


    _ Rombout

    ·3 months ago·

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