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Do artists own their styles?
First, let's start with actual US copyright law, which is very clear on the concept of "style".
Quote:310.2 Aesthetic Value, Artistic Merit, and Intrinsic Quality
In determining whether a work contains a sufficient amount of original authorship, the
U.S. Copyright Office does not consider the aesthetic value, artistic merit, or intrinsic quality of a work. H.R. REP. NO. 94-1476, at 51 (1976) , reprinted in 1976 U.S.C.C.A.N. at5664. For example, the Office will not look for any particular style of creative expression. Likewise, the Office will not consider whether a work is visually appealing or written in elegant prose.

As the Supreme Court noted, “it would be a dangerous undertaking for persons trained
only to the law to constitute themselves final judges of the worth of pictorial
illustrations, outside of the narrowest and most obvious limits.” Bleistein v. Donaldson
Lithographing Co., 188 U.S. 239, 251 (1903).  <= Note the .gov in the URL.

It's pretty clear. The US copyright office will NOT look at style and even goes so far as to consider it dangerous. I agree and believe this is a very good thing, as it PROTECTS artists.

Watch Out...You May Just Get What You Think You Want

Some of you artists actually think you are protecting yourself by claiming others can't use "your" style. What if "Big Art" like Disney, with almost a century of creating art (legal precedents!) decides that "your" style actually looks like one of their millions of images and wins a court case? Are you prepared to then defend your use of their style and win?

Follow the money...who stands to make the most if styles can be copyright protected? There are already rumblings about these companies funding anti-AI art movements.

Do some research. Big Art wants to control AI and sees us as a threat.

Here's an example that should concern every creative person. Lisa Frank is claiming they own rainbow colors. Is this what you really want? Because this is EXACTLY what you are arguing for:

Childhood Royalty Brand Lisa Frank Continues To Go After Artists as if They Own The Rainbow Palette

As people, we should be listen to artists concerns, but that doesn't mean they are right or we have to agree with them.

They believe AI is copying/stealing their work by bashing multiple images from that artist into a mashup of multiple images stitched together..

Except AI doesn't work this way. AI learns styles and creates brand-new images from this "intelligence". It is NOT piecing together bits and pieces of their images.

AI works a lot like how humans create art from scratch, using their own memories and influences to create something new. It's just AI is faster at learning a bunch of artist styles.

Some claim that seeing text on images is a sign an artist's image is being copied. That isn't how AI works. It's like teaching a chimp to paint a portrait and then show the chimp a bunch of portraits. The chimp sees there are scribbles in the corners of a lot of the portraits it looks at, so it includes some scribbles in the portrait it paints. The chimp doesn't have a clue what the scribbles are and AI isn't intelligent enough yet to understand that signatures aren't part of a lot of paintings either.

Some Questions for Artists:

If I created 100 images using AI, how sure are you can pick out only the ones using "your" style in AI, either alone or in combos with other styles and media?

Can artists "own" more than one style? Let's say Picasso went from his Blue Period to a Purple period? Can he claim both styles now? Again, not his actual artwork, but his STYLES.

How can I get in on this style ownership? Owning colors and shapes seems really lucrative to me.

What if AI blends the styles of two or more artists, is that a new style or do they both share ownership based on the percentage of their styles used in the final image?

Why do you compare your artistic talent and output to AI's? I don't care if you're better than AI or not. Instead, I compare AI to what I can create, how much it costs, how fast I can get it and how much I like doing it. I'm not pretending I have talent. I can't draw a straight line. I may not be "artistic" but I am creative. AI may not be better than you, but it's better than me. A lot better.

Why do you insist that I have to buy ugly clipart for my websites? AI is also better than the clipart I've had to pay for in the past for my websites and videos. Do you sell bad clipart to clipart sites?

Why do you insist on controlling my freedom of expression? Just because you are a better artist than me, you shouldn't get to tell me how I should express myself, with consideration to your actual copyright and trademark protected work?

If I did hire and pay you, what's your turn-around time? AI will get it to me in a minute or two.

Have you ever worked for a client that asked for artwork in a style "like" another artist or sent you an example of art you didn't make that you based your creation on? Did that style influence your project you got paid for?

When does something become art? A simple image may not be art to you, but what if it's used with in a thought-provoking comic or combined with a funny saying? Does it become art to you if I use AI as a background for an animation? Or to create characters for me to animate? Or a cover for an album?

What if someone has some great ideas for comic books, but isn't artistic? What can't they use any available tool to help express their ideas and have final control over the illustrations?

What happened to all the jobs for landscape and portrait artists once photography was invented? CAD? Do you care that ATMs replaced bank tellers or Uber replace cab drivers? Or are you only worried about yourselves being replaced? History is full of occupations being replaced by technology. Should we end all advancements, or just this one that affects you?

Why don't digital animators do "real" art and paint each image frame by frame on film instead of using a computer like "real" artists used to do?

What if I consider myself creative and expressive, but not artistic. Who are you to tell me I have to hire you to express myself? If I like an AI image, why does it matter to you?  Jealous?

What about color grading of your artwork? Did you ever use Photoshop to grab the color grading style from an image you don't own and apply it to your own?

Here's where I believe artists are really under threat:

Your right to "celebrity" and your name. Someone using "your" style in a prompt is one thing. Using your name is another. If people are using your name to promote/sell things, like "in the style of you" that's not OK, whether the style resembles yours or not. They are trying to profit off your celebrity, which is against the law. The same thing applies to real people and copyright/trademark protected characters.

Here's my suggestion to artists whose styles are being included AI. Embrace it. I never heard of any of you before AI. AI introduced me to many of you.

If your styles are being used, BRAG about it and tell folks you are "Featured in 4 AI platforms" or a "Most popular AI fantasy artist". The smart artists will find a way for AI to increase their worth, while the others complain and try to control the artistic expressions of others for their own profits and egos, opening the door for Big Art to claim artistic styles as their own.
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Here's something to think about...Greg Rutkowski is a popular fantasy artist and his style is used in AI prompts. And he doesn't like it and has been very vocal against AI art using his style.

Here's an interview from Greg Rutkowski from a few years ago where he talks about his influences.

So...I made a prompt using the artists he mentions in the interview. How does this figure into the concept of owning styles? Is he claiming to own this combo of styles from other artists? Only he can use it?
Quote:soaring dragon inspired by Aleksander Gierymski, Jan Matejko, Jozef Chelmonski, Ilya Repin, Joaquinn Sorolla, Tyler Jacobson, John Park, Jamie Jones, Craig Mullins, Piotr Jablonski, Eytan Zana, Michael Komarck, Sergey Kolesov, Wesley Burt, Slawomir Maniak, Wangjie Li, Yizheng Ke --v 4

What happens if I rearrange the order (important in AI prompt crafting) and/or add and subtract other artists, medias, colors, styles, lighting, camera angels?

BTW, I ran a few reverse-prompt suggestion tools and they rarely named any of these artists and when they did they only said one name of all the artists in the prompt.
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