Another Small Victory for OpenAI Against Authors

March 12, 2024

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

For those following the fight between human content creators and AI firms, score one for the algorithm engineers. TorrentFreak reports, “Court Dismisses Authors’ Copyright Infringement Claims Against OpenAI.” At issue is generative AI’s practice of feeding on humans’ work, without compensation, in order to mimic it. Multiple suits have been filed by record labels, writers, and visual artists. Reporter Ernesto Van der Sar writes:

“Several of the lawsuits filed by book authors include a piracy component. The cases allege that tech companies, including Meta and OpenAI, used the controversial Books3 dataset to train their models. The Books3 dataset was created by AI researcher Shawn Presser in 2020, who scraped the library of ‘pirate’ site Bibliotik. The general vision was that the plaintext collection of more than 195,000 books, which is nearly 37GB in size, could help AI enthusiasts build better models. The vision wasn’t wrong; large text archives are great training material for Large Language Models, but many authors disapprove of their works being used in this manner, without permission or compensation.”


A large group of rights holders have a football team. Those big folks are chasing the small but feisty opponent down the field. Which team will score? Thanks, MSFT Copilot. Keep up the good enough work.

Is that so unreasonable? Maybe not, but existing copyright law did not foresee this situation. We learn:

“After reviewing input from both sides, California District Judge Araceli Martínez-Olguín ruled on the matter. In her order, she largely sides with OpenAI. The vicarious copyright infringement claim fails because the court doesn’t agree that all output produced by OpenAI’s models can be seen as a derivative work. To survive, the infringement claim has to be more concrete.”

The plaintiffs are not out of moves, however. They can still file an amended complaint. But unless updated legislation is passed in the meantime, they may just be rebuffed again. So all they need is for Congress to act quickly to protect artists from tech firms. Any day now.

Cynthia Murrell, March 12, 2024


One Response to “Another Small Victory for OpenAI Against Authors”

  1. Tennessee Sends a Hunk of Burnin’ Love to AI Deep Fakery : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search on April 11th, 2024 5:07 am

    […] Becomes the First State to Protect Musicians and Other Artists Against AI.” Courts have demonstrated existing copyright laws are inadequate in the face of generative AI. This update to the state’s […]

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