John Grisham, other American authors sued OpenAI over copyright

Sept 20 (Reuters) – The trade group for American authors sued OpenAI in Manhattan federal court on behalf of prominent authors including John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen, George Sanders, Jody Bigold and “Game of Thrones” novelist George RR Martin. Illegally training its popular artificial intelligence-based chatbot ChatGPT on their job.

Proposed Class Action case The Authors Guild’s filing late Tuesday joins a group of writers, source-code owners and visual artists against AI providers. In addition to Microsoft-backed ( MSFT.O ) OpenAI, similar lawsuits are pending against MetaPlatforms and Stability AI over data used to train their AI systems.

Other writers involved in the recent case include “The Lincoln Lawyer” author Michael Connelly and lawyer-novelists David Baldacci and Scott Durov.

OpenAI and other AI defendants have argued that using training data scraped off the Internet qualifies as fair use under US copyright law.

An OpenAI spokesperson said Wednesday that the company respects authors’ rights and is “in constructive dialogue with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild.”

Authors Guild CEO Mary Rosenberger said in a statement Wednesday that authors “must have the ability to control how their work is used by productive AI” to “protect our literature.”

The Authors Guild’s lawsuit claims that the datasets used to train OpenAI’s large language model included text from authors’ books taken from illegal online “pirate” book repositories.

ChatGPT generates accurate summaries of authors’ books when prompted, indicating that their text is included in its database.

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It also cited growing concerns that authors could be replaced by systems like ChatGPT, “creating low-quality e-books, impersonating authors, and relocating human-authored books.”

Blake Britton’s report on Washington; Editing by David Barrio, Daniel Wallis and Sonali Paul

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Blake Britton reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practice Law and trained as a lawyer. Contact: 12029385713

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