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With generative AI tools now filtering through the market, you can bet that all the major tech giants are assessing their options on the same, and how they can iterate their own tools to incorporate AI elements, and facilitate new creative options.

And Meta is most definitely among them – today, AdWeek has reported that Meta has struck a new deal with Shutterstock that will enable Meta to utilize Shutterstock’s library of visual and audio content to fuel its AI tools.

As reported by AdWeek:

Shutterstock says the expanded partnership will allow the two companies to bring new creative offerings to market, build on Shutterstock’s ecosystem to compensate and connect contributors to creators, and enable Meta to use Shutterstock’s expansive content library to develop, evaluate and train its machine learning capabilities.”

That’s an important consideration, because just today, Getty Images has launched legal action against Stability AI, the creator AI art generator ‘Stable Diffusion’, over alleged misuse of its content to fuel Stable Diffusion’s generative models.

If Getty is able to prove its case, that’ll be a significant blow for Stability’s AI tools, as you would assume that it’ll then need to remove all Getty content from its reference material.

It’s impossible to know the full extent of such impacts, but the case does underline the rising demand for more accountability, and compensation for creators, amid the rise of AI tools.

Which is a key focus for Shutterstock.

As explained by Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy:

There are many open questions on the copyright, licensing, rights, and ownership of synthetic content and AI-generated art. We need to do all that we can to not only protect the intellectual property rights of our contributors alongside the advent of this technology, but also ensure that they’re empowered to take advantage of this new creative medium. Simultaneously, we want to provide a platform for our customers to safely use the content they purchase.”

The legal questions around AI content use will become a key point of contention throughout the year, as more content pumped out by these tools makes its way online, and more money starts changing hands based on such creations.

For Meta’s part, it’s keen to bring Shutterstock’s content into its creative tools, aside from AI, with new, integrated options for ads, and other promotional offerings.

But it will also be developing its own AI creation tools.

Meta’s already previewed its initial projects on this front, with tools that can animate kids’ drawings and create short videos based on text prompts. You can bet that Meta’s also working on newer visual models, and added source material from Shutterstock could give it a big advantage.

Shutterstock hosts over a billion images and video clips, and is one of the leading providers of quality stock images on the web. If Meta can arrange exclusive access to that content, that could be a big win, which may help it beat out the competition, depending on next steps.