In a recent development that has sent ripples through the literary world, 17 prominent authors, including John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, and George RR Martin, have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing the organization of engaging in “systematic theft on a mass scale” and infringing on their copyrighted works.
The lawsuit, coordinated by the Authors Guild, alleges that OpenAI’s ChatGPT program is a “massive commercial enterprise” built upon the unauthorized use of copyrighted material. The authors claim that the program generates content that infringes upon their registered copyrights, posing a significant threat to their creative works and the broader literary culture.
Mary Rasenberger, the CEO of the Authors Guild, emphasized the urgency of halting this alleged theft, warning that failure to do so could irreparably damage the literary culture, which serves as a foundation for various creative industries in the United States.
In the case, ChatGPT searches for each author are particularly mentioned, and examples of alleged infringement are given, such as creating an unlicensed blueprint for a prequel to George RR Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” novel. The lawsuit highlights the significance of safeguarding authors’ creativity and means of subsistence by claiming their right to regulate how their works are used by generative AI.
This legal action is a response to authors’ growing concern over potential intellectual property theft by AI systems. The authors who filed a similar complaint in San Francisco earlier this month, alleging infringement of their intellectual property, were Michael Chabon and David Henry Hwang.
The defendant in these lawsuits, OpenAI, has previously asked the court to dismiss related claims, claiming that they misinterpret the purview of copyright law and neglect to take into account the subtleties and exceptions, like fair use, that allow for advancements in AI, like the large language models created by the company. This legal dispute brings up important issues regarding the relationship between AI, creativity, and copyright in the rapidly changing fields of technology and literature.