OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT, is facing a lawsuit alleging that OpenAI used copyrighted books without permission to train its AI systems.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco, alleging that OpenAI unlawfully copied text from books by failing to obtain, credit, or indemnify copyright owners for consent.
This lawsuit isn’t the first legal issue OpenAI has faced in recent times. As lawmakers work to regulate the fast-growing AI industry, OpenAI has been sued in another class-action lawsuit.
That other lawsuit alleges that OpenAI’s machine learning models, including ChatGPT and DALL-E, illegally collect personal information from people across the internet, in violation of various privacy laws.
The outcomes of these lawsuits could set important precedents related to AI, copyright and privacy that will shape the regulatory landscape of the future.
allegations of copyright infringement
Two authors have filed a lawsuit alleging that OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model copied and used their books without permission.
The Tremblay v. OpenAI Inc lawsuit alleges that ChatGPT can accurately summarize authors’ sci-fi and horror books. This indicates that the chatbot has read and recorded their works.
Citing a 2020 OpenAI paper, the lawsuit states that 15% of the data used to train ChatGPT came from “two internet-based book corpora.”
The authors believe one dataset contained over 290,000 book titles from “shadow libraries” like Library Genesis and Sci-Hub, which illegally publish thousands of in-copyright books.
The authors claim that ChatGPT violated copyright law by removing copyright notices from these books.
Data breaches and data theft
A lengthy lawsuit was filed against OpenAI last week, alleging that two of their AI models, ChatGPT and DALL-E, were trained using hundreds of millions of data from humans without proper consent.
In the lawsuit, titled PM v. OpenAI LP is alleged that OpenAI receives private information from people who directly use their AI systems and other applications that integrate ChatGPT. The complaint argues that this data collection and use violates data protection laws, particularly as it relates to children’s data.
The lawsuit alleges that OpenAI has integrated its systems with platforms such as Snapchat, Spotify, Stripe, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. OpenAI is accused of secretly collecting users’ images, locations, music tastes, financial details, and private communications via these integrations.
The lawsuit argues that this data collection violates these platforms’ terms of service and privacy laws, and constitutes unauthorized access to individuals’ information.
The complaint names 16 plaintiffs who used online services and believe OpenAI took their data without permission.
OpenAI has not responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
Possible consequences for OpenAI
OpenAI could face significant financial penalties if the court favors the plaintiffs, which could affect OpenAI’s financial stability and ability to raise funds.
Possible consequences include:
- The lawsuits could damage OpenAI’s reputation and trust with key stakeholders such as users, partners and investors.
- Regulators may scrutinize OpenAI more closely, leading to tighter rules and compliance requirements.
- If using copyrighted data to train AI models is found to be copyright infringement, OpenAI and others may need to change the way they collect and use data.
- Depending on the rulings, companies using ChatGPT or other OpenAI products might reconsider these relationships to protect their reputation and user privacy.
OpenAI is in the midst of several lawsuits that could impact the AI space by setting important rules on copyright, privacy, and how data is used.
It’s important for anyone concerned with AI to keep track of the progress of these lawsuits and how they could lead to new laws and policies, transform the way AI technology is built, and force companies to change the way and adapt the way they design and offer AI products and services.
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