John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and Game of Thrones novelist George R R Martin are among 17 authors who have sued OpenAI, the latest in a wave of legal action by writers concerned that artificial intelligence programs are using their copyrighted works without permission.
The proposed class-action lawsuit filed late on Tuesday by the Authors Guild joins several others from writers, source code owners and visual artists against generative AI providers. In addition to Microsoft-backed OpenAI, similar lawsuits are pending against Meta Platforms and Stability AI over the data used to train their AI systems.
Other authors involved in the latest lawsuit include The Lincoln Lawyer writer Michael Connelly and lawyer-novelists David Baldacci and Scott Turow.
OpenAI and other AI defendants have said their use of training data scraped from the internet qualifies as fair use under US copyright law.
An OpenAI spokesperson said on Wednesday that the company respects authors’ rights and is “having productive conversations with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild”.
In papers filed in federal court in New York, the authors alleged “flagrant and harmful infringements of plaintiffs’ registered copyrights” and called the ChatGPT program a “massive commercial enterprise” that is reliant upon “systematic theft on a mass scale”.