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(48,519 posts)
Wed Sep 20, 2023, 06:54 PM Sep 2023

George R.R. Martin, John Grisham and other major authors sue OpenAI, alleging "systematic theft" [View all]

Source: CBS News

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is facing a lawsuit from bestselling writers including George R.R. Martin, John Grisham and Elin Hilderbrand that claims the company fed their books into its "large language models" allegedly violating their copyrights and engaging in "systematic theft on a mass scale."

The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday on behalf of the Authors Guild and 17 noted writers, including Scott Turow, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly and George Saunders. OpenAI didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


The suit alleges that ChatGPT has been used by a programmer named Liam Swayne to "write" the sequels to George R.R. Martin's best-selling series "A Song of Ice and Fire," which was adapted into the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones." Martin hasn't yet published the two final novels in the series – the lawsuit notes that he's currently writing them — but Swayne used ChatGPT to create his own versions of these novels, which he has posted online.

"When prompted, ChatGPT accurately generated summaries of several of the Martin infringed works, including summaries for Martin's novels 'A Game of Thrones,' 'A Clash of Kings,' and 'A Storm of Swords,' the first three books in the series A Song of Ice and Fire," the suit notes, adding that ChatGPT has also created prequels and alternate versions of his books.


Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/openai-lawsuit-george-rr-martin-john-grisham-copyright-infringement/

I posted about that outrageous ripoff of Martin's work two months ago: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100218106670 .

Another article on this lawsuit, from The Hollywood Reporter:


Stressing that ChatGPT undermines the market for authors’ works, the lawsuit says that the tool facilitates the creation of infringing derivative productions. It cites businesses that sell prompts allowing users to create what are essentially works of fan fiction. When prompted, ChatGPT generated the “next purported installment of While the Patient Slept, one of the Authors Guild Infringed Works, and titled the infringing and unauthorized derivative ‘Shadows Over Federie House,'” according to the complaint. A derivative is a work based upon a preexisting, copyright-protected work.

“For example, a business called Socialdraft offers long prompts that lead ChatGPT to engage in ‘conversations’ with popular fiction authors like Plaintiff Grisham, Plaintiff Martin, Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, and others about their works, as well as prompts that promise to help customers ‘Craft Bestselling Books with AI,'” the lawsuit states.

Works of fan fiction are considered infringing creations. Authors, however, typically don’t take action unless the works are monetized.

“The prompting and output of AI that creates a summary or a new storyline using the same characters or the same themes would be very possibly be considered a derivative and infringing work,” says Ed Klaris, an intellectual property lawyer and professor at Columbia Law School.
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