File image of American writer George R.R. Martin at a press conference on August 16, 2017. EFE/Anatoly Maltsev

George R.R. Martin and other authors sue OpenAI for ‘systematic theft’

New York, United States, Sept 20 (EFE).- Writers George R.R. Martin, John Grisham, Elin Hilderbrand, and 14 others organized by the Authors Guild have sued technology company OpenAI for violating their copyrights.

The company gained widespread popularity last year with the launch of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot capable of creating content in a sophisticated language that mimics humans after being trained on large language models (LLM).

In the lawsuit, filed on Tuesday but became public on Wednesday, the authors allege that ChatGPT’s use of their copyrighted works to train its models makes it a “massive commercial enterprise” that relies on “systematic theft on a mass scale.”

The suit cites specific ChatGPT searches for each author. For example, it says ChatGPT users have used this tool to write prequels and sequels to Martin’s best-selling “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of fantasy novels that was adapted into the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.”

Martin still needs to publish the final two novels in the series.

The authors want the court to prohibit OpenAI from using copyrighted works in its LLMs without express permission. They are seeking damages of up to $150,000 per work.

OpenAI is not the only company that has released generative AI chatbots; other companies, such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft, also offer such tools for free.

And this is not the only complaint these technologies have faced. This year, comedian Sarah Silverman and authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey sued OpenAI and Meta for copyright infringement in GPT-4 and Llama 2 training.

So far, the tech companies have maintained that their chatbots do not plagiarize artists’ content but are inspired by their work to create their own.

In August, OpenAI said website owners could now block its web crawler from using their content to train its LLM. Several sites, including news publishers such as The New York Times, have prevented OpenAI from mining their data.

Meanwhile, this week, a class-action lawsuit alleging privacy violations by OpenAI was dismissed in California. EFE