Authors, including Michael Chabon, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Sarah Silverman, who are suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, have called on a California court to dismiss similar lawsuits filed in New York by The New York Times (NYT), John Grisham, and others. The authors argue that allowing these parallel lawsuits would result in inconsistent rulings and misuse of court resources.
Comedian Sarah Silverman, along with authors Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden, filed a lawsuit against ChatGPT in July 2023, claiming that the AI’s generation of summaries indicated training using copyrighted content. The authors in California assert that the New York cases closely mirror their own, suggesting OpenAI is seeking more favorable conditions after the California court rejected its proposed litigation schedule.
The dispute arises from claims that OpenAI, backed by Meta and others, misused copyrighted material to train its generative AI systems. Chatgpt and Meta argue that their AI training falls under fair use within the copyright doctrine, citing legal precedents like Google’s book copying for search, deemed fair use in Authors Guild vs. Google in 2015.
In September 2023, the Authors Guild, a New York-based organization representing published writers, including George R.R. Martin and John Grisham, joined a proposed class-action lawsuit against OpenAI for alleged misuse of copyrighted material in AI model training.
Subsequently, The New York Times filed additional complaints, invoking the U.S. Constitution and the Copyright Act to defend its original journalism against OpenAI’s practices.
The California authors contend that permitting the New York cases would lead to conflicting judgments in overlapping class actions and represent procedural gamesmanship by OpenAI. As the legal battle unfolds, the tension between AI development practices and copyright infringement claims continues to raise questions about the transformative nature of AI training and the boundaries of fair use.