OpenAI, artificial intelligence startup, is facing legal action as award-winning novelists Paul Tremblay, Mona Awad, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Golden, and Richard Kadrey have sued the company, alleging copyright infringement.
The lawsuits were filed in the Northern District Court of San Francisco and claim that OpenAI trained its language model, ChatGPT, on their books without obtaining proper consent, thereby violating copyright laws.
According to court documents in the first suit, OpenAI allegedly made unauthorized copies of Tremblay’s novel “The Cabin at the End of the World” and Awad’s books “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” and “Bunny” during the training process of its language models. The authors point to ChatGPT’s ability to generate accurate summaries of their works as evidence supporting their claim of their books being used as training data.
In the second suit filed by Silverman et al, similar allegations are made. The authors highlight that their books, including Silverman’s comedic autobiography titled “The Bedwetter,” contain copyright management information that was not replicated by ChatGPT. This forms the basis of the third count against OpenAI, as the authors claim a breach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by removing the copyright management information. OpenAI’s training process involves scraping text from the internet, and while the specific sources have not been disclosed, the company has acknowledged training on a large number of copyrighted books sourced from websites like Sci-Hub and Bibliotik.
The authors assert that their works were ingested by ChatGPT without their permission, allowing OpenAI to benefit from their intellectual property without proper attribution. They have initiated a class-action lawsuit, inviting other affected authors to join, and are seeking compensatory damages and permanent injunctions to prevent OpenAI from continuing its alleged actions.
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