You might recall that the judge in  Andersen v. Stability AI —the case in which a group of visual artists sued the makers of several different generative AI platforms for copyright infringement—tossed most of the plaintiffs’ claims last year. However, the court allowed the plaintiffs an opportunity to replead. Specifically, the judge said that for their vicarious copyright infringement claims to remain viable, the plaintiffs would have to at least allege that derivative works created using AI programs that generate images in response to user prompts are “substantially similar” to their original copyright-protected works.

The plaintiffs took the judge’s ruling to heart. They filed an amended complaint, adding new plaintiffs and using statements by the AI companies’ employees on social media to bolster their claims that the AI programs are copying their art. Most interesting to us, however, was the images the plaintiff artists inserted into their amended pleading providing a side-by-side comparison of their original visual works and what they allege is substantially similar AI-generated output. (Plaintiffs in other cases involving written works have been taking notes on the Stability AI decision and similar decisions too, which we’ll be writing about in the coming weeks).Continue Reading Reader Survey: Tell Us Whether You Think Stability AI Outputs are Substantially Similar to Andersen Plaintiffs’ Original Works

The class of plaintiff authors seeking to hold OpenAI liable for copyright infringement has faced yet another setback. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has knocked out the majority of their claims, refusing to accept the blanket allegation that “every output of the OpenAI Language Model is an infringing derivative work.” However, the court has allowed the plaintiffs another chance to cure many of the deficiencies in their pleadings, so the battle is not yet over.

As we’ve previously reported, named plaintiffs including Paul Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, and Michael Chabon have filed class action lawsuits against several companies associated with popular Large Language Model tools like ChatGPT. The lawsuits claim that because the defendants copied their original works of authorship to use as training material for the LLMs, the AI companies are liable under the federal Copyright Act and various state tort laws. For a quick recap of the theories they are asserting, check out our recent AI Update.Continue Reading The Latest Chapter in Authors’ Copyright Suit Against OpenAI: Original Pleadings Insufficient

As attorneys, we’ve all taken Legal Research and Writing. This is where we first encountered Westlaw and Lexis, using these sites to delve into case law for various assignments while chasing Westlaw and Lexis points in the hopes of getting a free TV or iPod (back when that was a thing). Professors always emphasized the critical process of tracing the history of a case and determining if the case is still considered “good law.”

With the rise of generative AI over the past year, it’s unsurprising that lawyers are turning to this advanced technology for legal research. However, there’s a growing concern: the blind acceptance of AI-generated content. This issue was highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s 2023 year-end report on the federal judiciary. A notable incident involved the Second Circuit reprimanding a New York attorney for submitting a brief with reference to a non-existent case, hallucinated by ChatGPT, without proper verification.Continue Reading USPTO Sets to Clarify Attorney Guidelines in the Age of Generative AI

In the latest skirmish between Sarah Silverman and other authors against Chat GPT-maker OpenAI, OpenAI submitted a new decision from a California federal court in support of its attempt to dismiss the Silverman plaintiffs’ claims. According to OpenAI, that other court rejected theories and claims that are nearly identical to Silverman’s claims against OpenAI. If the court hearing Silverman’s claims agrees, copyright holders looking to sue AI companies in the future may find themselves facing long odds on certain claims.

The new California decision cited by OpenAI comes in the wake of a similar decision in a case involving an AI image generator. Like the court in that image-generator case, the new decision cited by OpenAI dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ copyright claims and other claims, although it did so with leave to amend all but one state-law negligence claim. The court in this new decision rejected as “nonsensical” the plaintiffs’ argument that large language models (or LLMs) “are themselves infringing derivative works,” holding that “[t]here is no way to understand the [LLMs] themselves as a recasting or adaptation of any of the plaintiffs’ books.” Similarly, the court rejected the notion that “every output of the [LLMs] is an infringing derivative work,” stating that “the complaint offers no allegation of the contents of any output, let alone of one that could be understood as recasting, transforming, or adapting the plaintiffs’ books. Without any plausible allegation of an infringing output, there can be no vicarious infringement.”Continue Reading “The Plaintiffs Are Wrong”: OpenAI Submits New Authority in Attempt to Knock Out Sarah Silverman’s Claims

In a relatively scathing opinion finding the plaintiffs’ Complaint “defective in numerous respects,” a district court judge has thrown out most of the claims a group of artists has asserted against AI platforms that allegedly used the artists’ copyrighted works without permission. The order in Andersen et al. v. Stability AI Ltd. provides an important preview on courts’ tolerance for AI-related copyright lawsuits moving forward—including a similar class action filed by actor/comedian Sarah Silverman and other authors.

As we previously wrote, the Andersen case relates to “Stable Diffusion,” an AI platform that generates images in response to user prompts. According to Plaintiffs, Stable Diffusion scraped the internet to copy and store billions of copyrighted images without consent or licenses to train the programs.  (For another good summary of the case and the claims, check out this post from The Fashion Law).  Continue Reading Some Stability For AI Defendants: Judge Dismisses All But One Claim in Andersen et. al., v. Stability AI LTD., et. al.

As our colleagues reported in this Seyfarth Shaw Legal Update, President Biden signed a comprehensive Executive Order addressing AI regulation across a wide range of industries and issues. Intellectual property is a key focus. The Order calls on the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide guidance on IP risks and related regulation to address emerging issues related to AI.Continue Reading White House Directs Copyright Office and USPTO to Provide Guidance on AI-Related Issues

The latest briefing in Silverman v. OpenAI reads like that old REM song, “The End of the World as We Know It.” OpenAI has responded to the Plaintiffs’ claims that OpenAI’s popular platform ChatGPT has infringed their copyright with disaster-laden references to Michael Jordan and “the future of artificial intelligence.”

As we’ve previously written

We’ve all heard about so-called AI “hallucinations,” when AI programs like ChatGPT make up “facts” that are not true.  For example, lawyers have gotten in trouble for citing fake AI-generated court cases, as we wrote about here and here. But could the creator of the AI platform itself also be held accountable?

Conservative radio

As we’ve previously written, the rise of generative AI has led to a spate of copyright suits across the country. One major target of these suits has been OpenAI. Actor/comedian Sarah Silverman and author Paul Tremblay are among the plaintiffs to bring suit in California, while authors George R.R. Martin, John Grisham, and others have filed in New York. The lawsuits allege that OpenAI used the plaintiffs’ creative content without permission to train OpenAI’s generative AI tool in violation of the U.S. Copyright Act. OpenAI moved to dismiss the majority of claims in the Silverman and Tremblay cases on several bases: (1) the Copyright Act does not protect ideas, facts, or language; (2) the plaintiffs cannot show that outputs from OpenAI’s large language model (“LLM”) tool are substantially similar to the original content used to train the tool; and (3) any use of copyright-protected content by OpenAI’s tool constitutes fair use, and thus is immune to liability under the Act. Yesterday, Plaintiffs hit back, noting that OpenAI hasn’t moved to dismiss the “core claim” in the lawsuits—direct infringement.Continue Reading Famous Authors Clap Back at OpenAI’s Attempt to Dismiss Claims Regarding Unauthorized Use of Content for Training LLM Models