April 14, 2024

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A new class-action lawsuit adds to OpenAI's growing legal woes

A new class-action lawsuit adds to OpenAI’s growing legal woes

New teamwork lawsuit OpenAI accuses ChatGPT’s creator of criminally scraping data from all over the internet, then using the stolen data to create its popular automated products. The lawsuit filed this week by Clarkson Law Firm In Northern California court, it is the latest in a series of legal challenges that strike at the heart of the startup’s influential business model.

Since its transformation from a humble research organization into a for-profit company in 2019, OpenAI has been on a rapid rise to the top of the tech industry. When you are Launched ChatGPT Last November, the company became a household name.

But OpenAI also tries to stand in its own business and lie basis for future expansion, the controversial nature of the technology it sells may sabotage its own ambitions. Given the radicalism and newness of the AI ​​industry, it makes sense that legal and regulatory issues would evolve. And if legal challenges like the one filed this week prevail, it could undermine the very existence of OpenAI’s most popular products, and in turn could threaten the nascent AI industry that revolves around it.

He explained Clarkson’s lawsuit allegations

The central allegation in Clarkson’s lawsuit is that OpenAI’s entire business model is based on theft. The lawsuit specifically accuses the company of creating its products using “stolen private information, including personally identifiable information, from hundreds of millions of Internet users, including children of all ages, without their informed consent or knowledge.”

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OpenAI’s large language models—that move platforms such as chat And DALL-E—trained on massive amounts of data. The startup has publicly admitted that much of this data has been purged from the open internet. so far , Most web scraping operations are legalalthough it exists Some wrinkles to that basic formula. While OpenAI claimed everything it does is above board, it was Swipe again The lack of transparency regarding the sources of some of its data. According to the lawsuit filed this week, the startup’s skyrocketing practices are blatantly illegal. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses the company of violating multiple platforms’ terms of service agreements while also running afoul of various state and federal regulations — including privacy laws.

Despite the protocols in place for the purchase and use of personal information, the defendants took a different approach: theft. They systematically extracted 300 billion words from the Internet, “books, articles, websites and publications – including personal information obtained without consent”. OpenAI did this in secret, and without registering as a data broker as required by applicable law

The suit also highlights the fact that, after OpenAI freely mined web content for everyone, it then proceeded to use that data to build commercial products that it now tries to resell to the public for exorbitant amounts of money:

Without this unprecedented theft of private and copyrighted information belonging to real people, communicated to unique communities, for specific purposes, and targeting specific audiences, [OpenAI] Products will not be the multi-billion dollar business that they are today.

It has not yet been determined whether the justice system in the United States has accepted the definition of a lawsuit for theft. Gizmodo has reached out to OpenAI for comment on the new lawsuit, but has not received a response.

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OpenAI’s legal problems are piling up

Clarkson’s lawsuit isn’t the only lawsuit OpenAI is currently dealing with. Indeed, OpenAI has been subjected to a growing list of legal attacks, many of which make similar arguments.

this week only, another suit Filed in California on behalf of Several authors who say their copyrighted work has scuttled OpenAI in its efforts to gather data to train its algorithms. The suit, again, essentially accuses the company of stealing data to fuel its business — and says it created its products by “harvesting large amounts” of copyrighted work without “consent, without credit, and without compensation.” He goes on to describe platforms like ChatGPT as “infringing derivative works” – implying that they would not exist without the copyrighted material – “created without the plaintiffs’ permission and in violation of their exclusive rights under copyright law.”

At the same time, both Clarkson’s suit and the author’s suit looked some similarities last suit that was was introduced Shortly after ChatGPT was released last November. The case, which was filed as a class-action lawsuit by the San Francisco offices of Joseph Savary, accuses OpenAI and Funded and partnered by Microsoft From robbing programmers trying to train GitHub Copilot – an AI-driven virtual assistant. The suit specifically Accuse Companies that fail to abide by the open source licensing agreements that underpin much of the development world, claiming to have lifted and digested code without attribution, while also failing to adhere to other legal requirements. In May, a federal judge in California OpenAI’s proposal was rejected To dismiss the case, and allow the legal challenge to proceed.

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Meanwhile, OpenAI in Europe experienced the same thing legal inquiries from government regulators due to its lack of privacy protection for users’ data.

All this legal turmoil is happening against the backdrop of OpenAI meteoric rise to stardom in Silicon Valley—a precarious new position the company is clearly struggling to maintain. While the company fends off legal assaults, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been trying to influence how new laws are built around pivot-shifting technology. Indeed, Altman was, too Courting governments around the world Trying to lay the foundation for a friendly regulatory environment. The company is clearly positioned to be the de facto leader in the AI ​​industry — if it can fend off ongoing challenges to its very existence, that is.