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OpenAI and ChatGPT Lawsuit List

We looked at all lawsuits occurring against OpenAI and listed them below. In addition to the relevant detail we had a lawyer provide some commentary. This list will remain updated as an easy-to-reference location for any lawsuits against OpenAI ordered by date (oldest to newest).

Jonathan Gillham

We looked at all lawsuits occurring against OpenAI and listed them below. In addition to the relevant detail we had a lawyer provide some commentary. 

This list will remain updated as an easy-to-reference location for any lawsuits against OpenAI ordered by date (oldest to newest).

None of the information below is legal advice. 

Presently, the jurisdictional disputes aimed at OpenAI and its AI model, ChatGPT, remain in their nascent phases, the conclusive determinations of which remain elusive. Also, these legal actions signify the inevitability of burgeoning legal conundrums emblematic of the AI domain in the impending years.

Here's all lawsuits occurring against OpenAI and ChatGPT are given below:

  • The New York Times Company v. Openai Inc. - December 27, 2023.
  • Sancton v. OpenAI Inc. et al - November 21, 2023.
  • Authors Guild et al v. OpenAI Inc. et al - September 19, 2023.
  • Chabon v. OpenAI, Inc. - September 8, 2023.
  • OpenAI, Inc. v. Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc. - August 4, 2023.
  • Doe 3 et al v. GitHub, Inc. et al - November 10, 2022.
  • DOE 1 et al v. GitHub, Inc. et al - November 3, 2022.
  • T. et al v. OpenAI LP et al - September 5, 2023.
  • Walters v. OpenAI LLC - July 14, 2023.
  • Silverman, et al v. OpenAI Inc. - July 7, 2023.
  • Tremblay v. OpenAI Inc. - June 28, 2023.
  • PM et al v. OpenAI LP et al - June 28, 2023.

Case 12: December 27, 2023, The New York Times Company v. Microsoft Corporation, Openai Inc.

Nature of the Action

Copyright Infringement.

The New York Times Company has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its investor, the technology giant, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the companies used millions of the newspaper's articles without permission to train their artificial intelligence models, which include the popular AI platform ChatGPT and the AI platform now known as Copilot.

Claims

The New York Times claims that OpenAI and its AI models, which are powered by large language models (LLMs), have generated output that recites Times content verbatim, closely summarizes it, and mimics its expressive style.

The newspaper argues that the unlawful use of its work to create AI models infringes on its copyright and seeks to hold the companies responsible for billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages.

Case Summary

The New York Times is the first major media company to sue artificial intelligence companies for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that OpenAI and its investor, the technology giant, have used millions of the newspaper's articles without permission to train their AI models, which have been used to generate content that closely resembles the Times' work.

Key Issues

The key issues in this case include:

  • Whether the use of copyrighted content to train AI models constitutes fair use, as claimed by OpenAI and its investors.
  • The value of news content in the context of AI-generated content and potential damages for previous use.
  • The potential impact of the lawsuit on the future of AI technology and the relationship between media companies and AI firms.

Potential Impact

  • The potential impact of this lawsuit includes:Setting a precedent for how courts define the value of news content and what the damages are for previous use.
  • Influencing the future of AI technology and the relationship between media companies and AI firms.
  • Determining the extent to which AI models can use copyrighted content without facing legal consequences.

Relief Sought

The New York Times seeks to hold OpenAI and its investors responsible for the billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages caused by the unlawful use of its work to create AI models

The newspaper also asks the court to prevent them from training their AI models using its work and to remove its work from their datasets.

Case 11: November 21, 2023, Sancton v. OpenAI Inc. et al

Nature of the Action 

Copyright Infringement

Claims

The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI and Microsoft infringed their copyrights by using their works to train their ChatGPT AI language model. They argue that this is a violation of their exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their works.

Case Summary

On November 21, 2023, Julian Sancton and other writers filed a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI and Microsoft infringed their copyrights by using their works to train their ChatGPT AI language model.

The plaintiffs argue that OpenAI and Microsoft's use of their works is not a fair use because it is not transformative. They also argue that OpenAI and Microsoft's use of their works is commercial because ChatGPT is a commercial product.OpenAI and Microsoft have denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

The companies have argued that ChatGPT is a fair use of the plaintiffs' works because it is a transformative work that creates new meaning and expression. OpenAI and Microsoft have also argued that the plaintiffs have not suffered any damages because ChatGPT has not replaced their works in the marketplace.

The case is still in its early stages, and it is too early to say how it will be resolved. However, the case has raised important questions about the copyright implications of training large language models on copyrighted data.

Key Issues

  • Whether the use of copyrighted works to train a large language model is a fair use.
  • Whether the use of a large language model to generate creative content is a copyright infringement.
  • The scope of copyright protection for large language models.

Potential Impact

The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on the development and use of large language models. If the court finds that OpenAI and Microsoft's use of the plaintiffs' works is a copyright infringement, it could make it more difficult for AI developers to use copyrighted data to train their models. This could stifle innovation in the AI field.
On the other hand, if the court finds that OpenAI and Microsoft's use of the plaintiffs' works is a fair use, it could pave the way for the wider use of copyrighted data to train large language models. This could lead to the development of new and innovative AI products and services.

Relief Sought

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop OpenAI and Microsoft from using their works, as well as damages for the profits that OpenAI and Microsoft have made from using their works without permission.

Case 10: September 19, 2023, Authors Guild et al v. OpenAI Inc. et al

Nature of the Action 

Copyright Infringement

Claims

The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI infringed their copyrights by using their works to train its ChatGPT AI language model. They argue that this is a violation of their exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their works.

Case Summary:

On September 19, 2023, the Authors Guild and 17 authors filed a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI infringed their copyrights by using their works to train its ChatGPT AI language model.

The plaintiffs argue that OpenAI's use of their works is not a fair use because it is not transformative. They also argue that OpenAI's use of their works is commercial because ChatGPT is a commercial product.

OpenAI has denied the allegations in the lawsuit. The company has argued that ChatGPT is a fair use of the plaintiffs' works because it is a transformative work that creates new meaning and expression. OpenAI has also argued that the plaintiffs have not suffered any damages because ChatGPT has not replaced their works in the marketplace.

The case is still in its early stages, and it is too early to say how it will be resolved. However, the case has raised important questions about the copyright implications of training large language models on copyrighted data.

Key Issues:

  • Whether the use of copyrighted works to train a large language model is a fair use.
  • Whether the use of a large language model to generate creative content is a copyright infringement.
  • The scope of copyright protection for large language models.

Potential Impact:

The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on the development and use of large language models. If the court finds that OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' works is a copyright infringement, it could make it more difficult for AI developers to use copyrighted data to train their models. This could stifle innovation in the AI field.

On the other hand, if the court finds that OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' works is a fair use, it could pave the way for the wider use of copyrighted data to train large language models. This could lead to the development of new and innovative AI products and services.

Relief Sought

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop OpenAI from using their works, as well as damages for the profits that OpenAI has made from using their works without permission.

Case 9: Sept. 8, 2023, Chabon v. OpenAI, Inc.

Nature of the Action 

Copyright Infringement

Claims

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants infringed their copyrights by creating and distributing a dataset that contains substantial portions of their copyrighted works.

Summary

Chabon v. OpenAI, Inc. is a copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on September 8, 2023. The plaintiffs are Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and several other writers, including George R.R Martin, David Henry Hwang, Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman. The defendant is OpenAI, Inc., the developer of the ChatGPT AI language generator.

The plaintiffs allege that OpenAI copied their copyrighted works without permission to train ChatGPT. They argue that this is a violation of their exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their works. The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief to stop OpenAI from using their works, as well as damages for the profits that OpenAI has made from using their works without permission.

OpenAI has denied the allegations in the lawsuit. The company has argued that ChatGPT is a fair use of the plaintiffs' works because it is a transformative work that creates new meaning and expression. OpenAI has also argued that the plaintiffs have not suffered any damages because ChatGPT has not replaced their works in the marketplace.

Relief Sought 

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop the defendants from using their works, as well as damages for the profits that the defendants have made from using their works without permission.

Case 8: August 4, 2023, OpenAI, Inc. v. Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc.

Nature of the Action 

Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition

Claims: 

OpenAI, Inc. alleges that Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc. infringed its trademark "OpenAI" by using a nearly identical trademark "Open AI" on its website and in its marketing materials. OpenAI also alleges that Open Artificial Intelligence engaged in unfair competition by creating a fraudulent website to mislead the USPTO into believing that it was using the "Open AI" mark in commerce.

Summary

OpenAI, Inc. v. Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc. is a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by OpenAI, Inc., the developer of ChatGPT and Dall-E, against Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc., an unaffiliated company. OpenAI alleges that Open Artificial Intelligence is infringing on its trademark by using a nearly-identical name and logo, and by creating a fraudulent website to mislead the USPTO into believing that it is using the mark in commerce.

OpenAI filed the lawsuit on August 4, 2023, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The case is still ongoing, and no trial date has been set.

In its complaint, OpenAI alleges that Open Artificial Intelligence has caused it "irreparable harm" by damaging its reputation and goodwill, and by confusing consumers into believing that the two companies are affiliated. OpenAI is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Open Artificial Intelligence from using the mark, as well as damages and attorneys' fees.

Open Artificial Intelligence has not yet filed a response to the complaint.

The outcome of this case could have broader implications for the tech industry, as it raises questions about the use of generic terms in trademarks. The term "artificial intelligence" is a descriptive term that is used by many companies in the tech industry. It is unclear whether OpenAI will be able to successfully assert trademark rights in the term "Open AI," given that other companies are also using the term in a descriptive manner.

Relief Sought

OpenAI seeks injunctive relief to stop Open Artificial Intelligence from using the "Open AI" trademark and website, as well as damages for the profits that Open Artificial Intelligence has made from infringing on OpenAI's trademark and engaging in unfair competition.

Case 7: November 10, 2022, Doe 3 et al v. GitHub, Inc. et al

Nature of the Action

Breach of Contract

Claims:

The plaintiffs allege that GitHub, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, OPENAI, INC., OPENAI, L.P., OPENAI GP, L.L.C., OPENAI STARTUP FUND GP I, L.L.C., OPENAI STARTUP FUND I, P.L. and OPENAI STARTUP FUND MANAGEMENT, LLC infringed their copyrights by using their code to train their Codex and Copilot AI coding tools. They argue that this is a violation of their exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their code.

Case Summary:

On November 10, 2022, a group of programmers filed a lawsuit against GitHub, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, OPENAI, INC., OPENAI, L.P., OPENAI GP, L.L.C., OPENAI STARTUP FUND GP I, L.L.C., OPENAI STARTUP FUND I, P.L. and OPENAI STARTUP FUND MANAGEMENT, LLC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs allege that GitHub and OpenAI infringed their copyrights by using their code to train their Codex and Copilot AI coding tools.

The plaintiffs claim that they had licensed their code to GitHub under open source licenses that require attribution and require GitHub to obtain permission before using the code for commercial purposes. The plaintiffs allege that GitHub and OpenAI violated these licenses by using their code without permission and without attribution.

The plaintiffs also allege that GitHub and OpenAI engaged in unfair competition by using their code to create a competitive advantage for their own products. The plaintiffs argue that GitHub and OpenAI's use of their code gives them a head start in the development of new AI coding tools.

GitHub, Microsoft, OpenAI, and the other defendants have denied the allegations in the lawsuit. The companies have argued that their use of the plaintiffs' code is a fair use because it is transformative. They also argue that the plaintiffs have not suffered any damages because their code is still available to the public.

Key Issues:

  • Whether the use of copyrighted code to train a large language model is a fair use.
  • Whether the use of a large language model to generate code is a copyright infringement.
  • The scope of copyright protection for code.

Potential Impact

The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on the development and use of large language models. If the court finds that GitHub and OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' code is a copyright infringement, it could make it more difficult for AI developers to use copyrighted code to train their models. This could stifle innovation in the AI field.

On the other hand, if the court finds that GitHub and OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' code is a fair use, it could pave the way for the wider use of copyrighted code to train large language models. This could lead to the development of new and innovative AI products and services.

Relief Sought:

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop GitHub and OpenAI from using their code, as well as damages for the profits that GitHub and OpenAI have made from using their code without permission.

Case 6: November 3, 2022, DOE 1 et al v. GitHub, Inc. et al

Nature of the Action: 

Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, and Unfair Competition

Claims:

The plaintiffs allege that GitHub, Inc. and OpenAI, Inc. infringed their copyrights by using their code to train their Codex and Copilot AI coding tools. They argue that this is a violation of their exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their code.

The plaintiffs also allege that GitHub and OpenAI breached their contract with the plaintiffs by using their code without permission. The plaintiffs claim that they had licensed their code to GitHub under open source licenses that require attribution and require GitHub to obtain permission before using the code for commercial purposes.

The plaintiffs further allege that GitHub and OpenAI engaged in unfair competition by using the plaintiffs' code to create a competitive advantage for their own products.

Case Summary:

On November 3, 2022, a group of programmers filed a lawsuit against GitHub, Inc. and OpenAI, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs allege that GitHub and OpenAI infringed their copyrights by using their code to train their Codex and Copilot AI coding tools.

The plaintiffs claim that they had licensed their code to GitHub under open source licenses that require attribution and require GitHub to obtain permission before using the code for commercial purposes. The plaintiffs allege that GitHub and OpenAI violated these licenses by using their code without permission and without attribution.

GitHub and OpenAI have denied the allegations in the lawsuit. The companies have argued that their use of the plaintiffs' code is a fair use because it is transformative. They also argue that the plaintiffs have not suffered any damages because their code is still available to the public.

Key Issues:

  • Whether the use of copyrighted code to train a large language model is a fair use.
  • Whether the use of a large language model to generate code is a copyright infringement.
  • The scope of copyright protection for code.

Potential Impact:

The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on the development and use of large language models. If the court finds that GitHub and OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' code is a copyright infringement, it could make it more difficult for AI developers to use copyrighted code to train their models. This could stifle innovation in the AI field.

On the other hand, if the court finds that GitHub and OpenAI's use of the plaintiffs' code is a fair use, it could pave the way for the wider use of copyrighted code to train large language models. This could lead to the development of new and innovative AI products and services.

Relief Sought:

The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop GitHub and OpenAI from using their code, as well as damages for the profits that GitHub and OpenAI have made from using their code without permission.

Case 5: September 5, 2023, T. et al v. OpenAI LP et al

Nature of the Action

Nature of the Action: This is a Class Action Lawsuit on the behalf of US Consumer Privacy and unauthorized data use. The plaintiffs are alleging that OpenAI misused their personal data from social media platforms and other sites to train its AI systems, including ChatGPT.

Claims: The primary claims in the lawsuit revolve around privacy infringements, violations of consumer rights, and the unauthorised use of personal information.

Relief Sought: The relief sought in the case includes an unspecified monetary amount for damages. Additionally, the plaintiffs are requesting that the court order the companies (OpenAI and potentially Microsoft) to implement safeguards to prevent the misuse of private data. The specific details of the relief sought may become clearer as the case progresses through the legal system.

Case 4: July 14, 2023, Walters v. OpenAI LLC 

Nature of the Action

In the matter herein, the complainant, Mark Walters, hitherto referred to as the “Plaintiff,” has instituted legal proceedings. The essence of the instant action lies in the Plaintiff’s assertion of the culpability of OpenAI LLC, hereinafter referred to as the “Defendant,” for libel.

Claim

  • This alleged defamation emanates from the purported dissemination of misleading information to a member of the journalistic profession, subsequently leading to the promulgation of inaccurate and erroneous news coverage pertaining to a federal lawsuit concerned with matters of civil rights.

Case 3: July 7, 2023, Silverman, et al v. OpenAI Inc.

Claims:

  • Similar to the Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad lawsuit against OpenAI, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Golden, and Richard Kadrey institute allegations against the entity responsible for the development of ChatGPT, OpenAI Inc.

  • The allegations brought forth encompass claims of both direct and vicarious copyright infringement, contraventions of section 1202(b) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  • Unjust enrichment, breaches of the unfair competition statute under California  law and the common law, as well as acts of negligence, all of which are the subject matter of this novel legal action

  • The plaintiffs and members of the certified class are authors. Copyright registrations have been duly secured by the Plaintiffs and the class members for the literary works they authored and published.
  • The unconsented utilization of their copyrighted books for the purpose of training ChatGPT transpired, without exception. This unauthorized use of copyrighted books transpired during the training stages of ChatGPT.

Nature of the Action

This class-action lawsuit is similar to the Tremblay lawsuit and is filed on behalf of three authors; Sarah Silverman, Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey.

Case 2: June 28, 2023, Tremblay v. OpenAI Inc. 

Nature of the Action

This class-action lawsuit claims that OpenaAI infringed copyright by using the author’s books without permission to train ChatGPT, seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Claims

  • Allegations of copyright infringement are leveled against OpenAI, with the plaintiff party contending that OpenAI deployed copyrighted materials authored by two individuals for training the ChatGPT AI model without procuring the necessary authorization.
  • The plaintiffs contend that one of the copyrighted book datasets, comprising a vast repository of titles exceeding 290,000, has been sourced from “shadow libraries” characterized by illicit dissemination methods such as torrent systems. This aspect forms the crux of the alleged copyright contravention.
  • The plaintiffs also assert that ChatGPT, in its process, omits copyright attributions in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Relief Sought

The plaintiffs seek injunctive redress and pecuniary indemnities.

Case 1: June 28, 2023, PM et al v. OpenAI LP et al

  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • Case No. 3:23-cv-03199
  • Complaint Filed: June 28, 2023
  • COMPLAINT FOR INFRINGEMENT OF PRIVACY AND UNAUTHORIZED DATA USE
  • Parties:
  • Plaintiff: PM
  • Defendant: OpenAI LP

Nature of the Action

Plaintiff alleges infringement of privacy, unauthorized data use, and violation of federal and state privacy and property laws against defendant OpenAI LP.

This action arises from the unauthorized acquisition and utilization of private information by Defendant OpenAI LP, a prominent actor in the field of artificial intelligence, in relation to its generative AI programs ChatGPT and DALL-E. Plaintiff asserts that OpenAI has surreptitiously accessed private data from internet users, including minors, without appropriate consent and in breach of legal norms. 

Claims

  1. Unauthorized data acquisition: The plaintiff alleges that OpenAI illegally extracted private data from user interactions with its products, as well as from applications integrated with ChatGPT, without valid authorization.
  2. Violation of Privacy and Property Laws: Plaintiff contends that OpenAI’s actions contravene federal and state privacy and property laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), among others.
  3. Web scraping and violation of terms of service: The plaintiff asserts that OpenAi engaged in covert web scraping, infringing terms of service agreements and applicable laws
  4. Theft and Conversion: Plaintiff alleges that OpenAI’s actions constitute theft and conversion of private data. 

Relief sought

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, monetary damages, and other appropriate relief as determined by the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the allegations against OpenAI?

OpenAI is being sued based on some similar allegations: 

  • copyright infringement
  • privacy violations
  • libel 

What could be the potential impact of these legal actions?

These legal actions highlight the growing legal complexities surrounding AI-generated content and raises questions about the legal framework applicable to ChatGPT and emerging AI technologies. It could also be fined and also be required to change its data collection and use practices. It could also set a precedent for other lawsuits against AI companies. This could lead to stricter regulations on how AI companies collect and use data.

How are the plaintiffs seeking to address these situations?

The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages and other appropriate remedies as determined by the Courts.

What can individuals do to protect their privacy from AI companies?

There are a few things that individuals can do to protect their privacy from AI companies such as: 

  • Opting out of data collection and tracking whenever possible
  • Being aware of the privacy policies of the websites they interact with
  • Being careful about what information they share online
  • Using strong passwords and security practices.

What can policymakers do to protect the public from AI companies?

Policymakers can take a number of steps to protect the public from AI companies such as:

  • Enacting laws that regulate how AI companies collect and use data
  • Providing consumers with more control over their personal information
  • Investing in research on the ethical and social implications of AI

What legal principles are being invoked in these lawsuits?

The lawsuits invoke principles related to copyright las, privacy rights, defamation and potential violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

What legal challenges are posed by AI-generated content?

AI-generated content raises complex questions about intellectual property ownership, privacy violations, liability for defamation, and the adaptability of existing legal frameworks to emerging AI technologies.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and how is it relevant to these lawsuits?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U.S copyright law that addresses issues related to digital content and copyright protection. In these lawsuits, the plaintiffs claim that OpenAI’s actions violate the DMCA by stripping copyrighted works of their copyright notices.

Jonathan Gillham

Founder / CEO of Originality.AI I have been involved in the SEO and Content Marketing world for over a decade. My career started with a portfolio of content sites, recently I sold 2 content marketing agencies and I am the Co-Founder of MotionInvest.com, the leading place to buy and sell content websites. Through these experiences I understand what web publishers need when it comes to verifying content is original. I am not For or Against AI content, I think it has a place in everyones content strategy. However, I believe you as the publisher should be the one making the decision on when to use AI content. Our Originality checking tool has been built with serious web publishers in mind!

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