The Authors Guild and famous writers like George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Franzen, John Grisham, and Jodi Picoult are suing OpenAI. They claim that the company used their books without asking to train their AI models – without permission, apparently. The lawsuit was just filed in New York, and it will be a class action suit, which would let other writers join in.
The lawsuit claims OpenAI “copied plaintiffs’ works wholesale, without permission or consideration.” Basically, OpenAI took the authors’ books and fed their content to AI models “These authors’ livelihoods derive from the works they create. But the Defendant’s LLMs endanger fiction writers’ ability to make a living in that the LLMs allow anyone to generate — automatically and freely (or very cheaply) — text that they would otherwise pay writers to create,” the lawsuit reads further.
The writers are concerned that OpenAI’s computer programs can produce writing that looks like it came from their own books, which might hurt their book sales. The lawsuit also mentions that OpenAI could have used old books that aren’t copyrighted, but instead they used modern, copyrighted books without paying for the right to do so.
Potential solutions to AI copyright challenges
AI-generated content is still a huge gray area considering that it’s developing fast, and laws can’t seem to catch up. A few months ago, the EU’s AI Act reportedly had a new addition to the legislation, forcing force companies such as OpenAI to disclose their use of copyrighted training data.
This month, Bria AI announced a collaboration with Getty Images, Alamy, and others to take the “responsible” approach to AI imagery. They claim that their AI models are trained on legally licensed stock images. But what’s more important, they want to pay you if your content was used to generate AI images.
Still, there’s a lot more to be done. And until Ai development slows down or making new copyright laws speeds up, I think we’ll have plenty more lawsuits like this.
via The Verge