OpenAI and Microsoft Face Legal Action Over Alleged Copyright Violations


OpenAI and Microsoft are grappling with a fresh lawsuit over claims of copyright infringement. The tech giants are accused of employing nonfiction authors’ work without authorization for training their artificial intelligence models. This legal action is the latest in a series of similar lawsuits filed by copyright owners against tech companies.

Renowned tech companies OpenAI and Microsoft are embroiled in a new lawsuit over allegations that they misused nonfiction authors’ work in training their artificial intelligence systems. The lawsuit alleges that OpenAI copied tens of thousands of nonfiction books without permission to instruct their large language models on responding to human text prompts, according to Julian Sancton, an author and Hollywood Reporter editor leading the proposed class action.

“While OpenAI and Microsoft refuse to pay nonfiction authors, their AI platform is worth a fortune,” – Justin Nelson, Julian Sanctions attorney.

Several lawsuits alleging similar misuse of copyrighted work have been filed by groups of copyright owners, including prominent authors John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, and Jonathan Franzen, against OpenAI and other tech firms. However, the companies have consistently denied these allegations. This class action is the first author-filed lawsuit against OpenAI to include Microsoft as a defendant.

Microsoft’s Role in the Lawsuit

Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars into the artificial intelligence startup OpenAI and integrated its systems into its range of products, has been singled out in this lawsuit. The plaintiff claims that Microsoft has been “deeply involved” in training and developing the models, thus making it accountable for alleged copyright infringement.

Sancton seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order prohibiting the alleged copyright infringement. His lawsuit highlights that OpenAI copied his nonfiction book, “Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night,” to train its Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) large language models.

Neither OpenAI nor Microsoft have commented on the lawsuit, citing ongoing litigation.

Implications of the Lawsuit

This lawsuit could have significant implications for OpenAI, Microsoft, and the broader tech industry if proven guilty. The case raises important questions about the ethics of AI training and the use of copyrighted materials without permission. It also underscores the need for clear regulations around AI training and copyright issues.

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