A group of prominent U.S. authors, including Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and Jodi Picoult, has sued OpenAI over alleged copyright infringement in using their work to train ChatGPT.
The lawsuit, filed by the Authors Guild in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, alleges that OpenAI “copied Plaintiffs’ works wholesale, without permission or consideration … then fed Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works into their ‘large language models’ or ‘LLMs,’ algorithms designed to output human-seeming text responses to users’ prompts and queries.”
The proposed class-action lawsuit is one of a handful of recent legal actions against companies behind popular generative artificial intelligence tools, including large language models and image-generation models. In July, two authors filed a similar lawsuit against OpenAI, alleging that their books were used to train the company’s chatbot without their consent.
Getty Images sued Stability AI in February, alleging that the company behind the viral text-to-image generator copied 12 million of Getty’s images for training data. In January, Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt were hit with a class-action lawsuit over copyright claims in their AI image generators.
Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI are involved in a proposed class-action lawsuit, filed in November, which alleges that the companies scraped licensed code to train their code generators. There are several other generative AI-related lawsuits currently out there.
“These algorithms are at the heart of Defendants’ massive commercial enterprise,” the Authors Guild’s filing states. “And at the heart of these algorithms is systematic theft on a mass scale.”