Michael Chabon sues OpenAI for violating copyright

Occurred: September 2023

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A group of authors, including Michael Chabon and Rachel Louise Snyder sued ChatGPT developer OpenAI for allegedly benefiting and profiting from the 'unauthorized and illegal use' of their copyrighted content.

The lawsuit called out ChatGPT’s ability to summarise and analyse content written by authors Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman, stating this 'is only possible' if OpenAI trained its GPT large language model on their works. It added that these outputs are actually 'derivative' works that infringe on their copyrights. 

The lawsuit also asked the court to stop OpenAI from engaging in 'unlawful and unfair business practices' while awarding the authors damages related to copyright violations and other penalties. 

The lawsuit is one of several accusing OpenAI, Microsoft, Meta, Google, and other developers of generative AI systems of abusing the copyright of authors, designers, and others to train their models.


Operator: Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Rachel Louise Snyder, Ayelet Waldman
Developer: OpenAI
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate text
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Copyright
Transparency: Governance