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Game of Thrones’ author filed lawsuit against OpenAI accusing company of “systematic theft on a massive scale”

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against OpenAI accusing the company of violating best-selling fiction writers’ copyrights.

The Authors Guild, an organization representing writers, and several novelists including “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult, accused the company of using their books “without permission” to train ChatGPT’s “large language models”.

The algorithms capable of producing human-like text responses have at heart a “systematic theft on a massive scale,” the complaint filed on 19 September in a New York federal court stated.

George RR Martin, Game of Thrones author

The complaint also said that the company’s language models “endanger fiction writers’ ability to make a living, in that the (models) allow anyone to generate — automatically and freely (or very cheaply) — texts that they would otherwise pay writers to create.”

The Authors Guild and the writers are seeking a ban on the use of copyrighted books to develop language models “without express authorization,” as well as damages, stating: “Unfairly, and perversely, without Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works on which to ‘train’ their (language models), Defendants would have no commercial product with which to damage — if not usurp — the market for these professional authors’ works.

“Defendants’ wilful copying thus makes Plaintiffs’ works into engines of their own destruction.”

OpenAI has relied on mountains of texts found online to power its chatbot but has not specified exactly which sites and writings have been used.

OpenAI has been the subject of several complaints since the success of ChatGPT last year, however the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP regarding the writers’ complaint.

Microsoft announced this month that it would provide legal protection for customers sued for copyright infringement over content generated by its AI tools.

(Source: Insider Paper)

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