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posted by requerdanos on Wednesday July 12 2023, @09:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the regurgitation dept.

On Friday, the Joseph Saveri Law Firm filed US federal class-action lawsuits on behalf of Sarah Silverman and other authors against OpenAI and Meta, accusing the companies of illegally using copyrighted material to train AI language models such as ChatGPT and LLaMA.

Other authors represented include Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, and an earlier class-action lawsuit filed by the same firm on June 28 included authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad. Each lawsuit alleges violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, unfair competition laws, and negligence.

[...] Authors claim that by utilizing "flagrantly illegal" data sets, OpenAI allegedly infringed copyrights of Silverman's book The Bedwetter, Golden's Ararat, and Kadrey's Sandman Slime. And Meta allegedly infringed copyrights of the same three books, as well as "several" other titles from Golden and Kadrey.

[...] Authors are already upset that companies seem to be unfairly profiting off their copyrighted materials, and the Meta lawsuit noted that any unfair profits currently gained could further balloon, as "Meta plans to make the next version of LLaMA commercially available." In addition to other damages, the authors are asking for restitution of alleged profits lost.

"Much of the material in the training datasets used by OpenAI and Meta comes from copyrighted works—including books written by plain­tiffs—that were copied by OpenAI and Meta without consent, without credit, and without compensation," Saveri and Butterick wrote in their press release.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday July 12 2023, @06:26PM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday July 12 2023, @06:26PM (#1315744) Journal

    Many authors refuse to get it because, in the words of the famous author Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Not only has intellectual property law become one of the biggest obstacles to progress, it feeds peoples' possessiveness and fears of loss. Many authors feel they're entitled to not just money, but considerable control over the uses others may make of their efforts. Had to smack them down, hard, to make it very clear that parody is allowed. Currently, parody is pretty well accepted by all.

    The worst damage has been to the stories. So many stories have plot elements of dramatic loss that are based upon the false premise that knowledge is very very hard to preserve. It is particularly ironic to encounter this element in SF or the story lines of computer games. But it's all over the place. Fantasy, maybe, could be excused when it is based upon medieval technology when copying was indeed laborious, and yet fantasies often have magic that most certainly should be able to handle that. One must not think too hard about the contradictions typical of the magic in such stories. However, many share common features of somehow placing people above magic, far more often the users of such power rather than the victims of it. For instance, in Harry Potter it is asserted that it's impossible to make a person fall in love with magic, magic can only at most create an infatuation. It also is impossible to create food. Why?? All the other crazy things magic can do, but it can't do those things? I have no doubt that centuries from now, scholars of 20th century fiction will be well aware of this predilection to make melodrama out of the loss of knowledge that is patently ridiculously easy to avoid. One of the worst cases is the Two Trees in the Silmarillion. Seeds basically are the knowledge of how to grow a plant. But those Two Trees are each one of a kind that can't reproduce like every other freaking form of life almost ever, no. They can produce offspring but those offspring are hugely lessened in all ways, and why? Because the author says so, and that because that makes their loss more dramatic. Ugh. Even today, we're still somewhat hung over about "lost secrets of the ancients" when much knowledge was indeed lost with the fall of the Roman Empire. The reason the Middle Ages is called "Middle" is in recognition of it being (mostly for Europe, of course) a period of backwardness, a technological low between the ancient world and the modern world. Melodrama over easily avoided loss of knowledge might even be the top feature related to students on the first day of their first class on the subject of 20th century fiction.

    I have not heard that anyone has been paid in appreciation of and to encourage further participation in online forums such as this one. Perhaps we should be? Instead, some of us donate to help out with the expenses incurred by running the forum. Anyway, payment for participation has always had a stench of corruption, with the recipients of pay too often being employed for nefarious purposes, such as, to spread propaganda. I've often seen posts full of FUD that intimates that libre software is unreliable, unmaintained, unpolished, lacking in functionality, etc. Money warps people perhaps worse that copyright warps stories.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Freeman on Wednesday July 12 2023, @07:22PM

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday July 12 2023, @07:22PM (#1315748) Journal

    Given enough time and magnitude of disaster, it's possible to lose vast amounts of knowledge. Whether in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy setting, I find it plausible enough to not trash all over my suspension of disbelief.

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday July 12 2023, @07:31PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday July 12 2023, @07:31PM (#1315753) Journal

    On the plus side her salary is going to depend on a deeper understanding of the issues moving forward!

    I think that's a trite quote, though. Just because an author has a different opinion of how copyright should work doesn't mean they misunderstand the concept.