Sarah Silverman sues OpenAI for violating copyright

Occurred: July 2023

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US comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors sued ChatGPT maker OpenAI and technology company Meta for allegedly infringing their copyright to train the companies' AI systems. 

The class-action case stated that copyrighted materials belonging to Silverman, Christopher Golden, and Richard Kadrey, 'were ingested and used to train ChatGPT' by OpenAI without their permission. The authors also claimed that 'many' of their books appear in a so-called 'shadow library' dataset which was used to train Meta's open-source LLaMa group of AI models in what the suit described as a 'flagrantly illegal' manner. 

The proposed class action asked for financial damages and 'permanent injunctive relief'. 

The lawyers representing the three authors are also representing Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay, who filed a separate class-action lawsuit against OpenAI claiming ChatGPT was trained on their work without the writers’ consent

Lawyers are divided over whether the use of copyrighted books to train AI models constitutes legal 'fair use' under US law.


Operator: Sarah Silverman, Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey
Developer: Meta; 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