John Grisham, and other top American authors sue OpenAI over copyright

September 20 (Reuters) – A U.S. author trade group has sued OpenAI in Manhattan federal court on behalf of prominent writers including John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen, George Saunders, Jodi Picoult and Game of Thrones novelist George R.R. Martin, accusing the company of training a chatbot. The famous ChatGPT-based artificial intelligence illegally controlled their work.

Proposed class action lawsuit lawsuit The lawsuit filed by Authors Guild late Tuesday joins several writers, source code owners and visual artists against creative AI providers. In addition to Microsoft-backed OpenAI (MSFT.O), similar lawsuits are still pending against Meta Platforms and Stability AI over data used to train their AI systems.

Other authors involved in the latest lawsuit include “The Lincoln Lawyer” writer Michael Connelly, fictional attorneys David Baldacci and Scott Turow.

OpenAI and the other AI defendants said their use of training data scraped from the Internet constitutes fair use under U.S. copyright law.

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

Authors “should have the ability to control whether and how their works are used by generative AI” in order to “preserve our literature,” Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild alleges that datasets used to train OpenAI’s large language model to respond to human prompts included text from authors’ books that may have been taken from repositories of illegal online “piracy” books.

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ChatGPT generated accurate summaries of authors’ books when asked to do so, indicating that their text was included in its database, the complaint said.

She also cited growing concerns that authors could be replaced by systems like ChatGPT that “produce low-quality eBooks, impersonate authors and replace human-authored books.”

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by David Barrio, Daniel Wallis and Sonali Paul

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He previously wrote for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced law. Contact: 12029385713

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