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Why John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, others are suing ChatGPT maker, OpenAI

Why John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, others are suing ChatGPT maker, OpenAI

John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult and 14 other authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, alleging the company infringed on their copyrights.

The lawsuit, organized by the Authors Guild and filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges OpenAI copied the authors’ works without permission and then “fed” their copyrighted work into ChatGPT algorithms.

“These algorithms are at the heart of Defendants’ massive commercial enterprise,” the lawsuit states. “And at the heart of these algorithms is systematic theft on a mass scale.”

Why are authors suing ChatGPT-maker OpenAI?

The lawsuit listed searches for each author, and alleged ChatGPT created “infringing, unauthorized and detailed outline” for purported future installments of the author’s books.

ChatGPT created a prequel to “A Game of Thrones” that was titled “A Dawn of Direwolves” and used “the same characters from Martin’s existing books in the series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,'” the lawsuit says.

An OpenAI spokesperson said in a statement that the company respects the rights of writers and authors, and “believe they should benefit from AI technology.”

“We’re having productive conversations with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild, and have been working cooperatively to understand and discuss their concerns about AI,” the spokesperson said. “We’re optimistic we will continue to find mutually beneficial ways to work together to help people utilize new technology in a rich content ecosystem.”

Who are the authors suing OpenAI?

Here is the full list of authors suing OpenAI, in addition to Grisham, Picoult and Martin:

David Baldacci

Mary Bly

Michael Connelly

Sylvia Day

Jonathan Franzen

Elin Hilderbrand

Christina Baker Kline

Maya Shanbhag Lang

Victor LaValle

Douglas Preston

Roxana Robinson

George Saunders

Scott Turow

Rachel Vail

How has ChatGPT affected authors and creators?

Earlier this month, several authors including Michael Chabon and David Henry Hwang also sued OpenAI in San Francisco for “clear infringement of intellectual property,” according to the Associated Press.

OpenAI is also facing a lawsuit from comedian Sarah Silverman, and a separate lawsuit from author Paul Tremblay, according to the Associated Press.

OpenAI asked a federal judge in California to dismiss the suits from Silverman and Tremblay, according to the Associated Press, alleging in a court filing their complaints “misconceive the scope of copyright, failing to take into account the limitations and exceptions (including fair use) that properly leave room for innovations like the large language models now at the forefront of artificial intelligence.”

The impact of artificial intelligence on publishing has hit Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service as well. Earlier this month, the program announced it was monitoring the “rapid evolution of generative AI and the impact it is having on reading, writing and publishing,” and that it would cap the number of new title creations.

“While we have not seen a spike in our publishing numbers, in order to help protect against abuse, we are lowering the volume limits we have in place on new title creations,” Kindle Direct Publishing said in a Sept. 18 statement. “Very few publishers will be impacted by this change and those who are will be notified and have the option to seek an exception.”

While there previously was no limit to the number of books authors could list per day, Amazon told the Associated Press and the Guardian that the limit is now set to three titles per day.



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