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Authors Push for Dismissal of Copycat Lawsuits Against OpenAI

Authors suing OpenAI seek dismissal of copycat lawsuits in New York, arguing against inconsistent rulings and procedural maneuvers. The legal battle highlights complexities in copyright law amid AI development.

California Plaintiffs Call for Dismissal

Authors including Michael Chabon, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Sarah Silverman, who are suing OpenAI for copyright infringement, have requested a California court to dismiss parallel lawsuits filed by The New York Times, John Grisham, and others in New York.

Consistency in Rulings

In a court filing on Feb. 8, the authors argued against allowing copycat lawsuits, asserting that such actions could result in inconsistent rulings and misuse of court resources. They emphasized the potential for conflicting judgments in overlapping class actions.

Forum Shopping Allegations

The California plaintiffs accused OpenAI of engaging in "forum shopping" and "procedural gamesmanship" by pursuing more favorable conditions in New York following the rejection of its proposed litigation schedule in California.

The lawsuit, initiated by Sarah Silverman and others in July 2023, alleges that OpenAI's ChatGPT infringes copyright when generating summaries of authors' work, indicating training via copyrighted content.

Fair Use Defense

Tech companies like OpenAI and Meta argue that their AI training constitutes transformative use and falls under fair use copyright doctrine. They cite legal precedents, such as Google's book copying for search, upheld as fair use in Authors Guild vs. Google (2015).

The legal battle involves multiple groups of copyright owners suing tech firms over alleged misuse of their work to train generative AI systems. The dispute underscores the complexity of navigating copyright law in the context of AI development.

New York Lawsuits

In September 2023, the Authors Guild, along with prominent authors like George R.R. Martin and John Grisham, joined a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI in New York. The NYT also filed additional complaints, invoking constitutional and copyright law to defend its original journalism.

The authors' call for dismissal underscores the importance of ensuring legal consistency and avoiding jurisdictional conflicts in complex copyright litigation involving AI technology.