Comedian and author Sarah Silverman, as well as authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, have launched lawsuits against OpenAI and Meta in a US District Court over dual claims of copyright infringement, saying that both ChatGPT and LLaMA were trained on their books without their consent.
The suits additionally allege that the models were likely fed the books from “shadow library” databases such as Library Genesis and Z-Library which allow users to download publications from a vast library of copyrighted materials including books and journal papers for free.
“The books aggregated by these websites have also been available in bulk via torrent systems,” one suit claims, adding that, “these flagrantly illegal shadow libraries have long been of interest to the AI-training community.”
In the OpenAI suit, the authors offered exhibits showing that ChatGPT will summarize their books which the suit contends is an infringement on their copyrights.
The lawsuit against Meta alleges that the authors’ books were accessible in datasets that were used to train Meta’s LLaMA models.
In both lawsuits, the authors say that they “did not consent to the use of their copyrighted books as training material” for the AI models.
Writing on the LLMlitigation website lawyers Joseph Saveri and Matthew Butterick said:
“Since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT system in March 2023, we’ve been hearing from writers, authors, and publishers who are concerned about its uncanny ability to generate text similar to that found in copyrighted textual materials, including thousands of books.”
While these class-action suits only include the three plaintiffs there are thousands of others the lawyers said on the LLMlitigation website.
“Our plaintiffs are accomplished book authors who have stepped forward to represent a class of thousands of other writers afflicted by generative AI.”