Authors suing OpenAI ask California court to block competing NY cases


By Blake Brittain

Feb 9 (Reuters) - A group of authors suing OpenAI for copyright infringement including Michael Chabon, Ta-Nehisi Coates and comedian Sarah Silverman have asked a California court to shut down related high-profile lawsuits brought by the New York Times, John Grisham and others in New York.

They said in a court filing on Thursday that allowing the "copycat" lawsuits — including the Times' case and an earlier one brought by the Authors Guild on behalf of Grisham, Jonathan Franzen, George R.R. Martin and other writers — would cause "inconsistent rulings in overlapping class actions" and waste the courts' time.

The California plaintiffs, represented by a legal team including attorney Joseph Saveri, also argued that the New York cases allow OpenAI to engage in "forum shopping" and "procedural gamesmanship."

A lawyer for the Authors Guild and a spokesperson for the New York Times declined to comment on the filing. Representatives for OpenAI and the authors in the California case did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Several groups of copyright owners including writers, visual artists and music publishers have sued major tech companies like Microsoft-backed MSFT.O OpenAI over the alleged misuse of their work to train generative artificial-intelligence systems.

OpenAI, Microsoft and other companies have said that their AI training is allowable under the copyright doctrine of fair use, and that the lawsuits threaten the burgeoning AI industry.

The authors in the California case sued OpenAI lastsummer, accusing it of using their books without permission or compensation to train the AI model underlying its popular chatbot ChatGPT.

The Authors Guild filed a similar lawsuit against the company in September, which was followed by additional complaints from authors and the Times.

The authors suing in California told the court on Thursday that the New York cases were "strikingly similar" to their own, and that OpenAI was "looking for a better deal" in New York after the California court rejected its proposed litigation schedule.

The case is OpenAI ChatGPT Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-03223.

For the authors: Joseph Saveri of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Bryan Clobes of Cafferty Clobes Meriweather & Sprengel; Matthew Butterick

For OpenAI: Joe Gratz of Morrison & Foerster, Andy Gass of Latham & Watkins

Read more:

Sarah Silverman sues Meta, OpenAI for copyright infringement

Lawsuit says OpenAI violated US authors' copyrights to train AI chatbot

John Grisham, other top US authors sue OpenAI over copyrights

NY Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft for infringing copyrighted works

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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