The Authors Guild, and a group of prominent fiction authors including Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, and Jodi Picoult have reportedly filed a class action lawsuit against OpenAI, claiming that its AI technology is infringing on their work.
The authors say OpenAI copied their works “wholesale, without permission or consideration,” and that the AI company fed their works into large language models, “algorithms designed to output human-seeming text responses to users’ prompts and queries,” according to a report by Deadline.
The lawsuit claims that OpenAI’s popular chatbot ChatGPT “accurately generated summaries” of specific works by Grisham, using the same exact characters from existing books.
ChatGPT “could not have generated the material” had it “not ingested and been ‘trained'” on Grisham’s works, the lawsuit states.
“Generative AI is a vast new field for Silicon Valley’s longstanding exploitation of content providers. Authors should have the right to decide when their works are used to ‘train’ AI. If they choose to opt in, they should be appropriately compensated,” author Jonathan Franzen said.
Other authors who are plaintiffs in the case include David Baldacci, Mary Bly, Sylvia Day, Elin Hilderbrand, Christina Baker Kline, Maya Shanbhag Lang, Victor LaValle, Douglas Preston, Roxana Robinson, George Saunders, Scott Turow, and Rachel Vail.
The lawsuit is reportedly seeking to prohibit the authors’ works from being used in the large language models without their approval. The suit is also seeking unspecified actual damages and, in the alternative, statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violated work.
An OpenAI spokesperson provided Deadline with the following statement:
Creative professionals around the world use ChatGPT as a part of their creative process. We respect the rights of writers and authors, and believe they should benefit from AI technology. We’re having productive conversations with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild, and have been working cooperatively to understand and discuss their concerns about AI. We’re optimistic we will continue to find mutually beneficial ways to work together to help people utilize new technology in a rich content ecosystem.
This is not the first lawsuit filed against AI creators.
Over the summer, actress Sarah Silverman filed a lawsuit against Facebook parent company Meta and OpenAI for copyright infringement, claiming they used her content without permission to train artificial intelligence language models.