April 21, 2024


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OpenAI wins in court after Sarah Silverman's copyright claim is partially dismissed

OpenAI wins in court after Sarah Silverman's copyright claim is partially dismissed

Top line

District Court Judge Deny multiple claims This week from writers like Sarah Silverman who claim that OpenAI's ChatGPT is hacking their work to train the popular chatbot – although the question of whether OpenAI has directly infringed their copyright remains.

Key facts

Judge Araceli Martinez Olguin on Monday dismissed five claims accusing OpenAI of copyright infringement and several other violations, saying the authors failed to prove economic harm and citing any specific output from ChatGPT that was “substantially similar — or similar at all — to their books.”

Failure of authors to claim direct copying of their works means they will have to show “a significant similarity between the output and the copyrighted material,” Martinez Olguin wrote.

However, the plaintiffs — including Silverman, New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and others — point out that they need not claim “substantial similarity” because they have evidence of “direct copying” of copyrighted books to train AI language models. . , according to the filing.

The judge still upheld an unfair competition claim brought by the authors accusing OpenAI of not obtaining permission to use their copyrighted works for profit — a claim that OpenAI has not moved to dismiss.

OpenAI and representatives for the authors did not immediately respond to Forbes' request for comment.

What you should pay attention to

The authors can file changes to the complaint by March 13 in order to continue the unfair competition claim upheld by the judge, which alleged that OpenAI used copyrighted books to train its chatbot without permission.

Main background

AI software such as chatbots and image generators have come under legal fire after their rise in popularity, with companies and writers accusing companies like OpenAI of using their work without permission to train and improve their AI products. George R.R. Martin, John Grisham and several other authors sued OpenAI last September for copyright infringement, accusing the company of “systematic theft on a massive scale” and demanding that authors be compensated for the use of their work. The lawsuit is still ongoing. The New York Times also filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft last year, accusing the companies of illegally using millions of copyrighted articles to train their generative AI models that allegedly caused billions of dollars in damage. The Times said the technology companies' AI products harm “their relationship with their readers and deprive The Times of subscription, licensing, advertising and affiliate revenues.”


OpenAI has Argue The authors' works are not similar enough to ChatGPT output to constitute copyright infringement. In response to similar lawsuits they have been involved in, OpenAI said: Last year's filing That copyright claims “misunderstand the scope of copyright” and fail to take into account limitations and exceptions that “leave adequate room for innovations such as large language models that are now at the forefront of artificial intelligence.”

In-depth reading

George R.R. Martin and other big-name authors sue OpenAI for copyright infringement (Forbes)

New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft: 'Billions' owed over AI copyright infringement, case claims (Forbes)

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