Adobe Stock starts selling art created with AI

On Monday, Adobe announced that its stock photography service Adobe Stock will allow artists to submit AI-generated images for sale, Axios reported. The move comes amid Adobe’s embrace of computer-generated imagery, as well as an industry-wide effort to address the rapidly growing field of AI illustration in the stock art sector, including earlier announcements from Shutterstock and Getty Images.

Submitting AI-generated images to Adobe Stock has some limitations. The artist must own the image (or have the rights to use it), the AI-synthesized artwork must be presented as a work of art (even if it is photorealistic), and it must be tagged “Generative AI” in the title.

In addition, each AI work must comply with Adobe’s new Generative AI Content Guidelines, which require the artist to include a version of the model for any real person realistically depicted in the illustration. Artwork that includes illustrations of fictitious people or brands, characters, or properties requires a property release certifying that the artist has all rights necessary to license the content on Adobe Stock.

Photobank Odyssey

An example of an AI-generated image available from Adobe Stock.

Earlier this year, the advent of computer-based imaging tools such as Stable Diffusion, Midjourney and DALL-E opened up a seemingly limitless source of generative work that can mimic common art styles in a variety of media, including photography. Each AI tool allows the artist to create work based on a textual description called a hint.


In September, we looked at some of the first examples of artists posting AI work on stock photography websites. Shutterstock reportedly initially responded by removing some of the generative art, but later reversed course by partnering with OpenAI to create AI art on the site. In late September, Getty Images banned AI artwork for fear of copyright issues that have not been fully verified in court.

Apart from these legal issues, AI-generated artwork has proven to be ethically problematic for artists. Some have criticized the ability of computer-generated image models to reproduce artwork in the styles of living artists, especially given that AI models have acquired this ability through unauthorized web browsing.

Despite these disagreements, Adobe is openly supporting the growing trend in computer graphics that shows no signs of slowing down.

“I believe our decision to responsibly accept content created with generative AI serves both customers and contributors,” said Sarah Casillas, Senior Content Manager at Adobe Stock, in a statement emailed to members of Adobe Stock. “Stock knowledge, craftsmanship, taste and imagination are essential to success in the stock market, where clients demand quality, and these are attributes that our successful members can continue to bring, no matter what tools they choose.”

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