More authors are joining a lawsuit against OpenAI for copyright infringement by using their books to train large artificial intelligence language models. The Authors Guild and 17 prominent writers, including Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and Jodi Picoult, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. a complaint they hope will be classified as a class action.
According to the complaint, OpenAI “copied plaintiffs’ work wholesale, without permission or review” and used copyrighted material to train large language models. “Authors’ earnings depend on the works they create. But Defendant’s large language models jeopardize the ability of science fiction writers to make a living by allowing anyone to create—automatically and freely (or very cheaply)—text that they would otherwise pay writers to create,” the lawsuit states.
The authors added that using OpenAI to write books could result in the creation of derivative works “that are based on, imitate, generalize or paraphrase their books.” OpenAI, the complaint says, could have trained its large language model on public domain works rather than using copyrighted material without paying a license fee.
This is not the first lawsuit against OpenAI from popular authors alleging copyright infringement. Author Michael Chabon, along with several other authors, sued the company for using their books to teach AI in early September. Comedian Sarah Silverman and authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey filed a lawsuit directly against OpenAI and Meta✴, and Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad filed a similar complaint back in June.
Generative AI companies have faced resistance from copyright owners, with lawsuits also being filed against AI image generation platforms. Microsoft, which funds OpenAI, has announced that it will legally defend commercial users of its Copilot AI service if they are sued for copyright infringement.
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