Additional Authors File Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Against OpenAI Regarding AI Training

Education

A group of U.S. authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, has initiated legal action against OpenAI in federal court in San Francisco, alleging that the Microsoft-backed program unlawfully employed their literary works for training its widely-used artificial intelligence-driven chatbot, ChatGPT.

In their lawsuit filed on Friday, Chabon, along with playwright David Henry Hwang and authors Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman, asserted that OpenAI utilized their works without authorization to instruct ChatGPT in responding to human text prompts. Queries regarding the lawsuit were referred to Chabon’s legal representatives, while lawyers for the authors and OpenAI’s representatives had not responded to requests for comments as of Monday.

This lawsuit marks at least the third proposed class action for copyright infringement initiated by authors against Microsoft-backed OpenAI. Various companies, including Microsoft (MSFT.O), Meta Platforms (META.O), and Stability AI, have also faced legal action from copyright owners over the utilization of their content in AI training. OpenAI and other companies have maintained that AI training constitutes fair use of copyrighted material gathered from the internet.

ChatGPT achieved unprecedented growth as a consumer application earlier this year, reaching 100 million monthly active users in January, though it was later surpassed by Meta’s Threads app.

The recent lawsuit in San Francisco emphasized the exceptional value of works such as books, plays, and articles in ChatGPT’s training, considering them the “best examples of high-quality, long-form writing.” The authors contended that their written material was incorporated into ChatGPT’s training dataset without consent, asserting that the system can effectively summarize their works and produce text that mimics their distinctive styles.

In the lawsuit, the authors sought unspecified financial damages and an injunction against OpenAI’s purportedly unlawful and inequitable business practices.

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