Comedian Sarah Silverman and other authors sue 'plagiarists' Meta and OpenAI

Comedian-author Sarah Silverman and other authors sued the companies over copyright infringement.
Sejal Sharma
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman(Left), Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Right).
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman(Left), Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Right).

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OpenAI and Meta have been sued by writer and comedian Sarah Silverman and two other writers Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden for copyright infringement and training their large language models — ChatGPT and LLaMA respectively — on the writers’ work.

The suits, filed separately for OpenAI and Meta, allege that the works of the three writers were acquired illegally acquired from shadow libraries like Bibliotik, Z-Library, Library Genesis, and others. The lawsuits also acknowledged that the books are “available in bulk via torrent systems.”

The class-action complaint, filed by Joseph Saveri Law Firm, filed against OpenAI says: “...when ChatGPT is prompted, ChatGPT generates summaries of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works—something only possible if ChatGPT was trained on Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works…” The lawsuit further says this benefits OpenAI commercially and financially from the use of Silverman, Kadrey, and Golden’s copyrighted materials.

Material in Meta’s training dataset from copyrighted works

In the other class-action complaint filed against Meta, the law firm argues that the material in Meta’s training dataset “comes from copyrighted works—including books written by Plaintiffs—that were copied by Meta without consent, without credit, and without compensation.”

This comes nine days after the same firm had filed a similar class-action lawsuit against OpenAI on behalf of two authors - Paul Trem­blay and Mona Awad. The suit chal­leng­ed “Chat­GPT and its under­ly­ing large lan­guage mod­els, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4” for remixing “the copy­righted works of thou­sands of book authors—and many oth­ers—with­out con­sent, com­pen­sa­tion, or credit.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified monetary damages on behalf of a nationwide class of copyright owners whose works were allegedly infringed, reported Reuters.

All’s not well for the ChatGPT creator

After gaining much popularity since it introduced its chatbot ChatGPT to the market last year, OpenAI is now swimming in a pool of controversies and lawsuits. The number of people visiting ChatGPT’s website was down 10 percent worldwide in June, reported The Washington Post Friday.

Interesting Engineering had reported earlier that another 157-page lawsuit had been filed against OpenAI accusing the AI company of violating privacy laws by secretly scraping 300 billion words from the internet, tapping “books, articles, websites, and posts — including personal information obtained without consent".

The lawsuit accuses OpenAI of using “stolen private information, including personally identifiable information, from hundreds of millions of internet users, including children of all ages, without their informed consent or knowledge. Furthermore, Defendants (OpenAI) continue to unlawfully collect and feed additional personal data from millions of unsuspecting consumers worldwide, far in excess of any reasonably authorized use, in order to continue developing and training the Products.”

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm it seems is actively fighting for the rights of authors, publishers, and writers who are concerned about ChatGPT’s ability to generate similar texts found in copyrighted materials. The firm in a separate lawsuit, has also challenged Sta­ble Dif­fu­sion, an AI image gen­er­a­tor built on the heist of five bil­lion dig­i­tal images.

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