"OpenAI is clearly signaling its intent to unilaterally rewrite US copyright law in its favor."
Writers Strike Back
Hell hath no fury like a writer scorned.
ChatGPT creator OpenAI has been on the receiving end of two high profile lawsuits by authors who are absolutely livid that the AI startup used their writing to train its large language models, which they say amounts to flaunting copyright laws without any form of compensation.
One of the lawsuits, led by comedian and memoirist Sarah Silverman, is playing out in a California federal court, where the plaintiffs recently delivered a scolding on ChatGPT's underlying technology.
"Generative AI is primarily a device for extracting value from the copyrighted assets of authors to line the pockets of companies like OpenAI," the authors wrote in the Wednesday court filing, per Reuters.
At the crux of the author's lawsuit is the argument that OpenAI is ruthlessly mining their material to create "derivative works" that will "replace the very writings it copied."
The authors shoot down OpenAI's excuse that "substantial similarity is a mandatory feature of all copyright-infringement claims," calling it "flat wrong."
In other words, the plaintiffs believe they don't need to demonstrate that ChatGPT is word-for-word lifting their writing to constitute an infringement.
But beyond that, the authors also claim that OpenAI has more nefarious, and far reaching intentions.
"OpenAI is clearly signaling its intent to unilaterally rewrite US copyright law in its favor — starting now," the authors argued, as quoted by Reuters.
Needless to say, OpenAI is in some seriously hot water. It can brag that it's a leader in a booming AI industry, but in doing so it's also painted a bigger target on its back, making enemies of practically every creative pursuit.
To add to its woes, the other authors' lawsuit filed against the company will prove to be just as big, if not bigger, thorn in OpenAI's side.
High profile literary luminaries behind that suit include George R. R. Martin, Jonathan Franzen, David Baldacci, and legal thriller maestro John Grisham.
Legal experts aren't certain on what will come of either case, but the litigating writers remain adamant. On Thursday, an attorney for the Silverman lawsuit told Reuters that they were "confident that our claims will be sustained."
And, for the sake of human creatives, let's hope they're right.
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