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Judge sides partially with OpenAI over ChatGPT copyright claims

A federal judge dismissed the majority of claims alleging that OpenAI unjustly used authors' work to train its AI systems.
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Posted at 3:44 PM, Feb 15, 2024

A California federal judge has dismissed the majority of copyright claims in a lawsuit filed by a group of authors against ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

U.S. District Judge Araceli Martínez-Olguín ruled that the writers, including comedian Sarah Silverman and novelist Paul Tremblay, failed to provide enough evidence to prove that OpenAI used their works to train the language model behind the company's popular artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT. The ruling follows similar decisions made by other federal judges who determined that the output of ChatGPT is not similar enough to the authors' work to directly infringe on their copyrights.

The next front in the AI wars: The courtroom
The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen.

The next front in the AI wars: The courtroom

Book authors have sued OpenAI, saying that the company's generative tools have stolen their copyrighted text.


However, Judge Martínez-Olguín  did give the authors permission to continue pursuing any claims that OpenAI unjustly violated copyright law by using the authors' books without their permission. They now have the option to file an amended complaint by March 13.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against Google and Meta by other groups of writers, artists, and music publishers, alleging that the tech companies misused copyrighted work to train their AI systems.  But the courts have not yet ruled on whether the tech companies directly violated copyright law. 

The U.S. House and Senate are considering legislation that could set the rules for generative AI and intellectual property. But as the law tries to catch up with technology, the intersection of AI and intellectual property will only get more contentious.