Game of Thrones authors George RR Martin and John Grisham are suing ChatGPT-owner OpenAI over claims that their works were infringed to train the system. The case was brought to the federal court in Manhattan, New York, by the Authors Guild, a trade group in the US.
The lawsuit claims the authors’ books were used without their permission to make ChatGPT smarter. According to the filing, it accused OpenAI of engaging in “systematic theft on a mass scale”- similar to the legal action brought by comedian Sarah Silverman in July. Similarly, an open letter signed by authors Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman that same month called for AI companies to compensate them for utilizing their work.
The lawsuit also reveals a broader concern in the media industry – that the AI technology is “displacing human-authored” content.
However, OpenAI says it respects the rights of authors, and believes “they should benefit from AI technology”.
A spokesperson for OpenAI said: “We’re having productive conversations with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild, and have been working co-operatively to understand and discuss their concerns about AI.
“We’re optimistic we will continue to find mutually beneficial ways to work together.”
According to BBC News, Patrick Goold, a reader in law at City University, said how he could sympathize with the authors filing the lawsuit because he believed it was unlikely their case would succeed, as they will initially need to prove ChatGPT had copied and duplicated their work.
“They’re actually not really worried about copyright, what they’re worried about is that AI is a job killer,” he said, likening the concerns to those screenwriters are currently protesting against in Hollywood.