John Grisham among writers suing OpenAI over data

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STORY: John Grisham could be going to court for real.

The legal thriller writer is among major U.S. authors unhappy with ChatGPT-creator OpenAI.

A trade group that represents the likes of Grisham this week filed to sue the firm.

The Authors Guild also represents big names like 'Game of Thrones' novelist George R.R. Martin and "Freedom" writer Jonathan Franzen.

The suit accuses OpenAI of unlawfully training its artificial-intelligence based chatbot on their work.

It joins several others from writers, visual artists and source-code owners against generative AI providers.

Similar lawsuits are pending against Meta Platforms and Stability AI over the data used to train their AI systems.

OpenAI and other defendants have said their use of training data scraped from the internet qualifies as fair use under U.S. copyright law.

A spokesperson for the company said on Wednesday (September 20) that it respects authors' rights.

But the Authors Guild said writers "must have the ability to control if and how their works are used by generative AI".

They said they needed this to - quote - "preserve our literature."

The new lawsuit is concerned with datasets used to train OpenAI's large language model to respond to human prompts.

They allege it included text from the authors' works that may have been taken from illegal online "pirate" book repositories.

The complaint said ChatGPT generated accurate summaries of the authors' books when prompted, which they believe indicated their text is included in its database.

It also cited growing concerns that authors could be replaced by systems like ChatGPT that make what they called "low-quality ebooks, impersonating authors and displacing human-authored books."