Where Does Midjourney Get Its Art From?

Uncovering the art source behind Midjourney’s vibrant images might leave you puzzled. Let’s unravel one startling fact – David Holz, the founder of Midjourney, admitted that his AI image generator was trained using hundreds of millions of images obtained from internet scraping without explicit consent.

This blog delves into how these captivating images are generated, touching on critical aspects like copyright and consent issues related to image sourcing on such platforms. Intrigued? Let’s dive right in!

Key Takeaways

  • Midjourney sources its art from a massive dataset created by scraping hundreds of millions of internet images without explicit consent from copyright owners.
  • The use of open datasets for training AI image generators, although common in the industry, raises concerns about potential copyright infringement issues and the need for clearer regulations surrounding AI-generated art.
  • Copyright ownership becomes complex when it comes to images generated on Midjourney, as they are based on a wide array of training data that may contain copyrighted materials. Currently, there is no established legal framework to claim copyright over these AI-generated images.
  • Users should exercise caution when using images from Midjourney to avoid potential copyright violations and ensure proper permissions or licenses are obtained for any copyrighted materials used in their designs.

Source of Midjourney’s Art/Data

Midjourney uses an impressive AI image generator, the heart of which is a massive dataset. The founder, David Holz, revealed in a Forbes interview how this vast reservoir of data was created.

Pulling from hundreds of millions of internet images without direct consent forms the backbone of Midjourney’s art and data source. Utilizing open data sets – resources that are readily available to everyone – has allowed Midjourney to train their AI effectively.

Critics voiced concerns over potential copyright infringement issues given the indiscriminate nature of collecting such large datasets. However, Holz maintains that tracing each image back to its copyright owner for authentication remains near impossible due to the sheer volume.

It’s worth noting here that using open datasets for training machine-learning algorithms is not unique to Midjourney; many other developers in the world of AI opt for similar methods when building their systems.

Meanwhile, specific measures have been implemented within the platform itself to avoid misusage or inappropriate content generation like banning certain words related with reproductive system or Chinese President Xi Jinping’s images.

In this section, we will delve into the crucial topics of copyright and consent surrounding Midjourney’s use of images in its AI-generated art.

Are the images used on Midjourney copyrighted?

Midjourney, a platform that generates unique pieces of art through AI, has sparked discussions around copyright issues. While the platform uses machine learning and AI development to create these digital artworks, it’s important for beginner designers to understand where the initial data sets used for training have originated.

According to Midjourney founder David Holz, hundreds of millions of images scraped from various open data sets on the internet were used without obtaining explicit consent from their respective copyright owners.

This implies that some copyrighted artwork may be among those images.

This controversial practice raises questions about copyright infringement and highlights the current legal void surrounding AI-generated art. Unfortunately, there isn’t a system in place yet which could trace back each individual image within these vast datasets to its original owner or establish if an embedded copyright exists as stated by some artists.

Hence, despite claims of consent breaches and widespread social media outrage over possible violations including copyrighted photos by famous photographer Ansel Adams being trained on the AI image generator without permission; definitive proof remains elusive due to lack of technology capable of authenticating such allegations.

Navigating the complex world of copyright claims with AI art can be a challenging task for any creator. In the case of Midjourney, images generated are unique pieces of art created based on text prompts given by users and produced through machine learning algorithms.

Therefore, copyright ownership becomes complex here. As it currently stands, there isn’t an established legal framework to claim copyright over these AI-generated images on platforms like Midjourney, as they are created from a wide array of training data sources which themselves may have some potential copyright issues.

This is indicative of new challenges in technology and creative industries that need urgent legislative attention heading into 2023.

Using images generated by Midjourney can potentially lead to copyright issues. This is because Midjourney’s AI image generator has been trained on hundreds of millions of images without obtaining consent from the copyright owners.

As a result, there is no guarantee that the images produced by Midjourney are not copyrighted materials.

One major concern raised by artists and photographers is the unauthorized use of their copyrighted photos in training the AI image generator. For example, famous photographer Ansel Adams’ copyrighted photos have been used without permission to train Midjourney’s AI.

This raises questions about copyright infringement and the legal framework surrounding AI-generated art.

Additionally, it should be noted that currently creators cannot opt out of being included in an AI training model or being named in prompts generated by Midjourney. This lack of control further increases the potential for copyright violations when using these generated images.

In light of these concerns, it is important for beginner designers to be cautious when using images from Midjourney and ensure they have obtained proper permissions or licenses for any copyrighted materials they use in their designs.

Understanding and respecting intellectual property rights will help avoid potential legal issues down the line.


In conclusion, Midjourney’s art is sourced from a dataset built through a large scrape of the internetusing open data sets that are available to everyone. However, founder David Holz admitted to using images without consent, sparking outrage among digital artists and photographers.

The controversy surrounding Midjourney highlights the importance of copyright protection and the need for creators to have control over their work in the age of AI-generated art.


1. Where does Midjourney source its art?

Midjourney sources its art from a variety of places including galleries, independent artists, art fairs, and online platforms that specialize in selling artwork.

2. Does Midjourney only feature established artists?

No, Midjourney is committed to showcasing a diverse range of artists at different stages of their careers. They believe in supporting emerging talent as well as established names in the art world.

3. How does Midjourney ensure the quality and authenticity of the artwork?

Midjourney has a rigorous selection process where they carefully curate the artwork they feature. They work closely with experts and specialists to ensure that all pieces are authentic and meet their high standards of quality.

4. Can I purchase art directly from Midjourney?

Yes, you can purchase art directly from Midjourney’s website or through their affiliated partners. They provide detailed information about each piece along with pricing options for interested buyers.

Share with others:

Table of Contents

More Posts