A group of 17 well-known authors, including George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult, John Grisham and Jonathan Franzen, is suing OpenAI for copyright infringement.
In the class-action suit filed Tuesday, the authors claim that the company behind ChatGPT used their works of fiction to train AI models without their permission, calling it a “flagrant and harmful” infringement of their copyrights.
The lawsuit was organized by the Authors Guild — a professional organization that advocates for the rights of authors.
Why are authors suing OpenAI?
In a press release Wednesday, the Authors Guild stated, “For fiction writers, OpenAI’s unauthorized use of their work is identity theft on a grand scale.”
The suit alleges that OpenAI’s language models harm the authors’ ability to make a living from their works because the AI technology can be used to generate “texts that they would otherwise pay writers to create.”
Authors Guild CEO Mary Rasenberger stated, “People are already distributing content generated by versions of GPT that mimic or use original authors’ characters and stories. Companies are selling prompts that allow you to ‘enter the world’ of an author’s books. These are clear infringements upon the intellectual property rights of the original creators.”
The press release from the Authors Guild also cites an example of ChatGPT being used to generate the sixth and seventh volumes of George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
Meanwhile, AI-generated books are being sold on Amazon in order to “profit off a human author’s hard-earned reputation,” the press release reads.
Who are the authors suing OpenAI?
Seventeen fiction writers, alongside the Authors Guild, are suing OpenAI:
- David Baldacci.
- Mary Bly.
- Michael Connelly.
- Sylvia Day.
- Jonathan Franzen.
- John Grisham.
- Elin Hilderbrand.
- Christina Baker Kline.
- Maya Shanbhag Lang.
- Victor LaValle.
- George R.R. Martin.
- Jodi Picoult.
- Douglas Preston.
- Roxana Robinson.
- George Saunders.
- Scott Turow.
- Rachel Vail.
This is the latest in a series of similar lawsuits against OpenAI. In June, authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad filed a lawsuit against the company for copyright infringement. The next month, comedian Sarah Silverman and authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey sued OpenAI and Meta.
How did OpenAI respond to the lawsuit?
In a statement to Axios Wednesday, an OpenAI spokesperson responded to the most recent lawsuit by stating, “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,” the statement reads.
“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.”