There’s some wild stuff going on with this lawsuit, man. The Authors Guild and a bunch of authors are launching an attack on OpenAI for allegedly using their works to train its chatbots. And let me tell you, the list of plaintiffs is no joke. We got David Baldacci, Mary Bly, Michael Connelly, Sylvia Day, Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, Elin Hilderbrand, Christina Baker Kline, Maya Shanbhag Lang, Victor LaValle, George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult, Douglas Preston, Roxana Robinson, George Saunders, Scott Turow, and Rachel Vail. That’s a powerhouse team right there.
So, these writers are not happy, my friends. OpenAI apparently went ahead and trained their models using these authors’ works without permission. But that’s not all, the AI systems are also allegedly copying their writing when responding to people. The scribes are not digging it, man.
According to the complaint, these OpenAI chatbots have actually created a whole outline for a prequel book to A Game of Thrones using the characters from George R.R. Martin’s existing series. And guess what? They did the same thing for other authors too. Now, that’s pretty damn problematic, my friends. These authors never gave OpenAI permission to access their works, but it looks like they went ahead and used them anyway. That’s some unauthorized copying right there, and the writers are not happy about it.
This lawsuit is not messing around, my friends. They’re accusing OpenAI of systematic theft on a massive scale. The complaint highlights that OpenAI used datasets called “Books1” and “Books2” for training their models, but they never disclosed what’s in those datasets. The plaintiffs suspect there might be some pirate books in there, man. They argue that the growth in power and size of these language models suggests that a whole bunch of pirated ebooks must have been used to train them. There’s just no other explanation.
Now, OpenAI does mention one way they could have done things properly: by paying for the content they used to train these chatbots. But according to the lawsuit, OpenAI didn’t bother to do that. They quoted CEO Sam Altman’s testimony to Congress where he claims to believe in copyright and paying for training data. But it seems like that didn’t quite happen, my friends.
Mary Rasenberger, the CEO of the Authors Guild, had some strong words about this whole situation. She said, “For fiction writers, OpenAI’s unauthorized use of their work is identity theft on a grand scale.” And she’s got a point, man. These writers pour their hearts and souls into creating entirely new worlds, characters, and stories, and it’s not cool for others to profit off their hard work without permission. It’s a clear infringement on their intellectual property rights.
So, these brave authors are seeking damages for the lost opportunity to license their works, and they want a permanent injunction to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. It’s only fair, my friends.
Now, we reached out to OpenAI for comment, and we’ll update you if we hear anything major. Stay tuned, folks. This is gonna be interesting.