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Nonfiction Authors Sue OpenAI and Microsoft for Copyright Infringement in Latest Legal Battle

OpenAI and Microsoft are facing yet another copyright infringement lawsuit, as nonfiction authors Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage have taken legal action against the tech giants, claiming that they used their copyrighted works to develop their artificial intelligence (AI) system.

The lawsuit, filed on January 5th in a Manhattan federal court, closely follows a similar lawsuit brought by The New York Times against Microsoft and OpenAI a week earlier.

The NYT’s complaint alleges that the companies used the newspaper’s content to train AI chatbots and seeks “billions of dollars” in damages.

OpenAI had previously acknowledged the importance of compensating copyright owners for the use of their work.

In response to the ongoing legal battles, OpenAI stated that they respect the rights of content creators and are committed to collaborating with them to ensure they benefit from AI technology and new revenue models.

The Basbanes and Gage lawsuit, however, specifically seeks damages of up to $150,000 for each instance of copyright infringement.

This latest legal challenge adds to a growing list of lawsuits against OpenAI and Microsoft.

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In September, a professional organization for published writers, including renowned authors like George R.R. Martin, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, George Saunders, and Jonathan Franzen, joined a proposed class-action lawsuit against OpenAI.

Additionally, author Julian Sancton has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging unauthorized use of his work to train AI models.

OpenAI is also grappling with another class-action lawsuit in California, filed by Clarkson Law Firm in June 2023. This lawsuit accuses OpenAI of scraping private user information from the internet to train their popular chatbot, ChatGPT.

The suit contends that OpenAI collected data from millions of social media comments, blog posts, Wikipedia articles, and family recipes without the consent of the respective users.

These lawsuits collectively raise concerns about the protection of intellectual property rights in the rapidly evolving field of AI, highlighting the legal challenges faced by tech companies that use copyrighted materials to develop their AI systems.

The outcomes of these cases will likely have significant implications for the future use of copyrighted content in AI development and the potential financial repercussions for the companies involved.

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