We’ve filed law­suits chal­leng­ing AI image gen­er­a­tors for using artists’ work with­out con­sent, credit, or com­pen­sa­tion.
Because AI needs to be fair & eth­i­cal for every­one.

This is Joseph Saveri and Matthew Butterick. In Novem­ber 2022, we teamed up to file a law­suit chal­leng­ing GitHub Copi­lot, an AI cod­ing assi­tant built on unprece­dented open-source soft­ware piracy. In July 2023, we filed law­suits on behalf of book authors chal­leng­ing Chat­GPT and LLaMA.

In Jan­u­ary 2023, on behalf of three won­der­ful artist plain­tiffsSarah Ander­sen, Kelly McK­er­nan, and Karla Ortiz, we filed an ini­tial com­plaint against Sta­bil­ity AI, DeviantArt, and Mid­jour­ney for their use of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, a 21st-cen­tury col­lage tool that remixes the copy­righted works of mil­lions of artists whose work was used as train­ing data. Lock­ridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. joined us as co-coun­sel.

In Novem­ber 2023, we filed an amended com­plaint, adding seven new plain­tiffs and one new defen­dant, Run­way AI.

In April 2024, we filed an ini­tial com­plaint against Google for its train­ing of Ima­gen.

Case updates are posted reg­u­larly. You can also get updates by email.

The plain­tiffs

Our plain­tiffs are won­der­ful, accom­plished artists who have stepped for­ward to rep­re­sent a class of thou­sands—pos­si­bly mil­lions—of fel­low artists affected by gen­er­a­tive AI.

Sarah Ander­sen

Sarah Ander­sen is a car­toon­ist and illus­tra­tor. She grad­u­ated from the Mary­land Insti­tute Col­lege of Art in 2014. She cur­rently lives in Port­land, Ore­gon. Her semi-auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal comic strip, Sarah’s Scrib­bles, finds the humor in liv­ing as an intro­vert. Her graphic novel FANGS was nom­i­nated for an Eis­ner Award. Sarah also wrote The Alt-Right Manip­u­lated My Comic. Then A.I. Claimed It for the New York Times.

Kelly McK­er­nan

Kelly McK­er­nan is an inde­pen­dent artist based in Nashville. They grad­u­ated from Ken­ne­saw State Uni­ver­sity in 2009 and have been a full-time artist since 2012. Kelly cre­ates orig­i­nal water­color and acryla gouache paint­ings for gal­leries, pri­vate com­mis­sions, and their online store. In addi­tion to main­tain­ing a large social-media fol­low­ing, Kelly shares tuto­ri­als and teaches work­shops, trav­els across the US for events and comic-cons, and also cre­ates illus­tra­tions for books, comics, games, and more.

Karla Ortiz

Karla Ortiz is a Puerto Rican, inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized, award-win­ning artist. With her excep­tional design sense, real­is­tic ren­ders, and char­ac­ter-dri­ven nar­ra­tives, Karla has con­tributed to many big-bud­get projects in the film, tele­vi­sion and video-game indus­tries. Karla is also a reg­u­lar illus­tra­tor for major pub­lish­ing and role-play­ing game com­pa­nies. Karla’s fig­u­ra­tive and mys­te­ri­ous art has been show­cased in notable gal­leries such as Spoke Art and Hashimoto Con­tem­po­rary in San Fran­cisco; Nucleus Gallery, Think­space, and Maxwell Alexan­der Gallery in Los Ange­les; and Galerie Arludik in Paris. She cur­rently lives in San Fran­cisco with her cat Bady.

Hawke South­worth

Hawke South­worth is an illus­tra­tion and 3D artist who has been active in the online art com­mu­nity since 2006. He attended Laguna Col­lege of Art and Design in 2014. Since then, his focus has ranged from char­ac­ter and crea­ture designs, to world­build­ing, ARPG com­mu­nity build­ing, and game devel­op­ment. He cur­rently works as a free­lance designer and runs an up-and-com­ing Art Role­play­ing Game web­site, fea­tur­ing his own crea­ture designs and an eclec­tic fan­tasy world that users can inter­act with.

Grze­gorz Rutkowski

Grze­gorz Rutkowski is a Pol­ish fine artist, dig­i­tal painter, illus­tra­tor, and con­cept artist. He started his pro­fes­sional career in 2009. He has worked for com­pa­nies like Wiz­ards of the Coast, Ubisoft, Bliz­zard, Dis­ney, CD Pro­jekt RED, Games Work­shop and many more. He lives in Poland with his wife and two daugh­ters.

Gre­gory Manchess

Gre­gory Manchess has cre­ated art­work for National Geo­graphic Mag­a­zine, Time, Atlantic Monthly, and The Smith­son­ian. His large por­trait of Abra­ham Lin­coln and seven other paint­ings are high­lighted in the Abra­ham Lin­coln Pres­i­den­tial Library and Museum. Manchess wrote and illus­trated his first ‘widescreen novel’ Above the Tim­ber­line, released in 2017 to stel­lar reviews. The Soci­ety of Illus­tra­tors pre­sented him with their high­est honor, the Hamil­ton King Award, in 1999. Today, Gre­gory lec­tures at uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges nation­wide and gives work­shops in paint­ing at the Nor­man Rock­well Museum in Stock­bridge MA, and The Ate­lier in Min­neapo­lis. He teaches at the Illus­tra­tion Mas­ter Class in Savan­nah GA and online with SmArt School.

Ger­ald Brom

Artist and author Ger­ald Brom has been con­tribut­ing his macabre and often bizarre visions to all facets of the cre­ative indus­tries for forty years, includ­ing major motion pic­tures, top-tier video games, comics, and books. He has also writ­ten and illus­trated six hor­ror nov­els, includ­ing such pop­u­lar titles as The Child Thief, Kram­pus the Yule Lord, Lost Gods, and Slew­foot.

Jingna Zhang

Jingna Zhang is a Bei­jing-born, US-based Sin­ga­porean pho­tog­ra­pher whose award-win­ning works have appeared in Vogue, Time, and Harper’s Bazaar. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites and anime, her roman­tic images inter­weave Asian influ­ences with painterly art styles, and fea­ture col­lab­o­ra­tors such as Coco Rocha, Sug­izo, and Michelle Yeoh. Prior to pho­tog­ra­phy, Jingna was an agent and con­sul­tant for con­cept artists and illus­tra­tors with clients span­ning LucasArts, Ama­zon Pub­lish­ing, and Sony Music Japan. Jingna is cur­rently the founder of Cara, a plat­form for dis­cov­er­ing human artists.

Julia Kaye

Julia Kaye is an LA-based sto­ry­board artist & revi­sion­ist with over six years of indus­try expe­ri­ence, and the award-win­ning author of two crit­i­cally acclaimed graphic nov­els: Super Late Bloomer and My Life in Tran­si­tion. Her com­mit­ment to activism has led to col­lab­o­ra­tions with non-profit orga­ni­za­tions such as The Trevor Pro­ject and Trans Life­line. Her work has appeared on Webtoon, GoComics, Buz­zfeed, and the Dis­ney ani­mated show Big City Greens.

Adam Ellis

Adam Ellis is a comic artist and illus­tra­tor who lives in New York City. When he’s not draw­ing he’s watch­ing doc­u­men­taries about cults and dream­ing about one day own­ing a back­yard big enough to keep chick­ens.

Hope Lar­son

Hope Lar­son is a New York Times best­selling, multi–Eis­ner Award–win­ning car­toon­ist and comics cre­ator. She has authored con­tem­po­rary mid­dle-grade graphic nov­els includ­ing the Eagle Rock series fea­tur­ing All Sum­mer Long, All Together Now, and All My Friends, fan­tasy sto­ries such as Salt Magic (illus­trated by Rebecca Mock), adapted Madeleine L’Engle’s clas­sic, A Wrin­kle in Time into a graphic novel, writ­ten Bat­girl for DC Comics, and co-cre­ated the Goldie Vance series for BOOM! Stu­dios. Her most recent work, Be That Way, is a YA novel that blends prose, illus­tra­tion, and comics. She lives in Asheville, North Car­olina with her fam­ily.

Jess Fink

Jess Fink is an illus­tra­tor and graphic nov­el­ist from New York. Author of the award-win­ning graphic novel series Chester 5000 (pub­lished by Top Shelf). Author of We Can Fix It, A Time Travel Mem­oir (pub­lished by Top Shelf). Illus­tra­tor of the award-win­ning table top role play­ing game Star Crossed (writ­ten by Alex Roberts, pub­lished by Bully Pul­pit). Their work has been fea­tured in var­i­ous comic antholo­gies and pub­li­ca­tions. As an illus­tra­tor they mainly focus on romance and humor.

The defen­dants

Sta­bil­ity AI

Sta­bil­ity AI, founded by Emad Mostaque, is based in Lon­don.

Sta­bil­ity AI funded LAION, a Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion that is cre­at­ing ever-larger image datasets—with­out con­sent, credit, or com­pen­sa­tion to the orig­i­nal artists—for use by AI com­pa­nies.

Sta­bil­ity AI is the devel­oper of Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion. Sta­bil­ity AI trained Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion using the LAION dataset.

Sta­bil­ity AI also released Dream­Stu­dio, a paid app that pack­ages Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion in a web inter­face.


DeviantArt was founded in 2000 and has long been one of the largest artist com­mu­ni­ties on the web.

As shown by Simon Willi­son and Andy Baio, thou­sands—and prob­a­bly closer to mil­lions—of images in LAION were copied from DeviantArt and used to train Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion.

Rather than stand up for its com­mu­nity of artists by pro­tect­ing them against AI train­ing, DeviantArt instead chose to release DreamUp, a paid app built around Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion. In turn, a flood of AI-gen­er­ated art has inun­dated DeviantArt, crowd­ing out human artists.


Mid­jour­ney was founded in 2021 by David Holz in San Fran­cisco. Mid­jour­ney offers a text-to-image gen­er­a­tor through Dis­cord and a web app.

Though hold­ing itself out as a “research lab”, Mid­jour­ney has cul­ti­vated a large audi­ence of pay­ing cus­tomers who use Mid­jour­ney’s image gen­er­a­tor pro­fes­sion­ally. Holz has said he wants Mid­jour­ney to be “focused toward mak­ing every­thing beau­ti­ful and artis­tic look­ing.”

To that end, Holz has admit­ted that Mid­jour­ney is trained on “a big scrape of the inter­net”. Though when asked about the ethics of mas­sive copy­ing of train­ing images, he said “There are no laws specif­i­cally about that.”

Run­way AI

Run­way was founded in New York in 2018 by Anas­ta­sis Ger­mani­dis, Ale­jan­dro Mata­mala-Ortiz and Cristóbal Valen­zuela. Run­way also employs Patrick Esser, for­merly a mem­ber of the Com­pVis research group at Lud­wig Max­i­m­il­ian Uni­ver­sity in Munich, where he was a prin­ci­pal devel­oper of the tech­nol­ogy under­ly­ing Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion.


Google cre­ated and released Ima­gen, an image-dif­fu­sion model that Google admits was trained on LAION-400M.

Con­tact­ing us

If you’re a mem­ber of the press or the pub­lic with other ques­tions about this case or related top­ics, con­tact stablediffusion_inquiries@saverilawfirm.com. (Though please don’t send con­fi­den­tial or priv­i­leged infor­ma­tion.)

If you’d like to receive occa­sional email updates on the progress of the case, click here to sign up.

This web page is infor­ma­tional. Gen­eral prin­ci­ples of law are dis­cussed. But nei­ther Matthew Butterick nor any­one at the Joseph Saveri Law Firm or Lock­ridge Grindal Nauen is your law­yer, and noth­ing here is offered as legal advice. Ref­er­ences to copy­right per­tain to US law. This page will be updated as new infor­ma­tion becomes avail­able.