A very brief summary of where pending AI lawsuits stand as of February 28, 2024. Compiled by Minnesota attorney Thomas James.

Thomson Reuters v. Ross, (D. Del. 2020)

Filed May 6, 2020. Thomson Reuters, owner of Westlaw, claims that Ross Intelligence infringed copyrights in Westlaw headnotes by training AI on copies of them. The judge has granted, in part, and denied, in part, motions for summary judgment. The questions of fair use and whether the headnotes are sufficiently original to merit copyright protection will go to a jury to decide.

Thaler v. Perlmutter (D.D.C. 2022).

Complaint filed June 2, 2022. Thaler created an AI system called the Creativity Machine. He applied to register copyrights in the output he generated with it. The Copyright Office refused registration on the ground that AI output does not meet the “human authorship” requirement. He then sought judicial review. The district court granted summary judgment for the Copyright Office. In October, 2023, he filed an appeal to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals (Case no. 23-5233).

Doe v. GitHub, Microsoft, and OpenAI (N.D. Cal. 2022)

Complaint filed November 3, 2022. Software developers claim the defendants trained Codex and Copilot on code derived from theirs, which they published on GitHub. Some claims have been dismissed, but claims that GitHub and OpenAI violated the DMCA and breached open source licenses remain. Discovery is ongoing.

Andersen v. Stability AI (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed January 13, 1023. Visual artists sued Midjourney, Stability AI and DeviantArt for copyright infringement for allegedly training their generative-AI models on images scraped from the Internet without copyright holders’ permission. Other claims included DMCA violations, publicity rights violations, unfair competition, breach of contract, and a claim that output images are infringing derivative works. On October 30, 2023, the court largely granted motions to dismiss, but granted leave to amend the complaint. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on November 29, 2023. Defendants have filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint. Hearing on the motion is set for May 8, 2024.

Getty Images v. StabilityAI (U.K. 2023)

Complaint filed January, 2023. Getty Images claims StabilityAI scraped images without its consent. Getty’s complaint has survived a motion to dismiss and the case appears to be heading to trial.

Getty Images v. Stability AI (D. Del.)

Complaint filed February 3, 2023. Getty Images alleges claims of copyright infringement, DMCA violation and trademark violations against Stability AI. The judge has dismissed without prejudice a motion to dismiss or transfer on jurisdictional grounds. The motion may be re-filed after the conclusion of jurisdictional discovery, which is ongoing.

Flora v. Prisma Labs (N.D. Cal.)

Complaint filed February 15, 2023. Plaintiffs allege violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act in connection with Prisma Labs’ collection and retention of users’ selfies in AI training. The court has granted Prisma’s motion to compel arbitration.

Kyland Young v. NeoCortext (C.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed April 3, 2023. This complaint alleges that AI tool Reface used a person’s image without consent, in violation of the person’s publicity rights under California law. The court has denied a motion to dismiss, ruling that publicity rights claims are not preempted by federal copyright law. The case has been stayed pending appeal.

Walters v. OpenAI (Gwinnett County Super. Ct. 2023), and Walters v. OpenAI (N.D. Ga. 2023)

Gwinnett County complaint filed June 5, 2023.

Federal district court complaint filed July 14, 2023.

Radio talk show host sued OpenAI for defamation. A reporter had used ChatGPT to get information about him. ChatGPT wrongly described him as a person who had been accused of fraud. In October, 2023, the federal court remanded the case to the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia.  On January 11, 2024, the Gwinnett County Superior Court denied OpenAI’s motion to dismiss.

P.M. v. OpenAI (N.D. Cal. 2023).

Complaint filed June 28, 2023. Users claim OpenAI violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California wiretapping laws by collecting their data when they input content into ChatGPT. They also claim violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on September 15, 2023. See now A.T. v. OpenAI (N.D. Cal. 2023) (below).

In re OpenAI ChatGPT Litigation (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed June 28, 3023. Originally captioned Tremblay v. OpenAI. Book authors sued OpenAI for direct and vicarious copyright infringement, DMCA violations, unfair competition and negligence. Both input (training) and output (derivative works) claims are alleged, as well as state law claims of unfair competition, etc. Most state law and DMCA claims have been dismissed, but claims based on unauthorized copying during the AI training process remain. An amended complaint is likely to come in March. The court has directed the amended complaint to consolidate Tremblay v. OpenAI, Chabon v. OpenAI, and Silverman v. OpenAI.  

Battle v. Microsoft (D. Md. 2023)

Complaint filed July 7, 2023. Pro se defamation complaint against Microsoft alleging that Bing falsely described him as a member of the “Portland Seven,” a group of Americans who tried to join the Taliban after 9/11.

Kadrey v. Meta (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed July 7, 2023. Sarah Silverman and other authors allege Meta infringed copyrights in their works by making copies of them while training Meta’s AI model; that the AI model is itself an infringing derivative work; and that outputs are infringing copies of their works. Plaintiffs also allege DMCA violations, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, and negligence. The court granted Meta’s motion to dismiss all claims except the claim that unauthorized copies were made during the AI training process. An amended complaint and answer have been filed.

J.L. v. Google (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed July 11, 2023. An author filed a complaint against Google alleging misuse of content posted on social media and Google platforms to train Google’s AI Bard. (Gemini is the successor to Google’s Bard.) Claims include copyright infringement, DMCA violations, and others. J.L. filed an amended complaint and Google has filed a motion to dismiss it. A hearing is scheduled for May 16, 2024.

A.T. v. OpenAI (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed September 5, 2023. ChatGPT users claim the company violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and California Penal Code section 631 (wiretapping). The gravamen of the complaint is that ChatGPT allegedly accessed users’ platform access and intercepted their private information without their knowledge or consent. Motions to dismiss and to compel arbitration are pending.

Chabon v. OpenAI (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed September 9, 2023. Authors allege that OpenAI infringed copyrights while training ChatGPT, and that ChatGPT is itself an unauthorized derivative work. They also assert claims of DMCA violations, unfair competition, negligence and unjust enrichment. The case has been consolidated with Tremblay v. OpenAI, and the cases are now captioned In re OpenAI ChatGPT Litigation.

Chabon v. Meta Platforms (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed September 12, 2023. Authors assert copyright infringement claims against Meta, alleging that Meta trained its AI using their works and that the AI model itself is an unauthorized derivative work. The authors also assert claims for DMCA violations, unfair competition, negligence, and unjust enrichment. In November, 2023, the court issued an Order dismissing all claims except the claim of unauthorized copying in the course of training the AI. The court described the claim that an AI model trained on a work is a derivative of that work as “nonsensical.”

Authors Guild v. OpenAI, Microsoft, et al. (S.D.N.Y. 2023)

Complaint filed September 19, 1023. Book and fiction writers filed a complaint for copyright infringement in connection with defendants’ training AI on copies of their works without permission. A motion to dismiss has been filed.

Huckabee v. Bloomberg, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, and EleutherAI Institute (S.D.N.Y. 2023)

Complaint filed October 17, 2023. Political figure Mike Huckabee and others allege that the defendants trained AI tools on their works without permission when they used Books3, a text dataset compiled by developers; that their tools are themselves unauthorized derivative works; and that every output of their tools is an infringing derivative work.  Claims against EleutherAI have been voluntarily dismissed. Claims against Meta and Microsoft have been transferred to the Northern District of California. Bloomberg is expected to file a motion to dismiss soon.

Huckabee v. Meta Platforms and Microsoft (N.D. Cal. 2023)

Complaint filed October 17, 2023. Political figure Mike Huckabee and others allege that the defendants trained AI tools on their works without permission when they used Books3, a text dataset compiled by developers; that their tools are themselves unauthorized derivative works; and that every output of their tools is an infringing derivative work. Plaintiffs have filed an amended complaint. Plaintiffs have stipulated to dismissal of claims against Microsoft without prejudice.

Concord Music Group v. Anthropic (M.D. Tenn. 2023)

Complaint filed October 18, 2023. Music publishers claim that Anthropic infringed publisher-owned copyrights in song lyrics when they allegedly were copied as part of an AI training process (Claude) and when lyrics were reproduced and distributed in response to prompts. They have also made claims of contributory and vicarious infringement. Motions to dismiss and for a preliminary injunction are pending.

Alter v. OpenAI and Microsoft (S.D.N.Y. 2023)

Complaint filed November 21, 2023. Nonfiction author alleges claims of copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging that reproducing copies of their works in datasets used to train AI infringed copyrights. The court has ordered consolidation of Author’s Guild (23-cv-8292) and Alter (23-cv-10211). On February 12,2024, plaintiffs in other cases filed a motion to intervene and dismiss.

New York Times v. Microsoft and OpenAI (S.D.N.Y. 2023)

Complaint filed December 27, 2023. The New York Times alleges that their news stories were used to train AI without a license or permission, in violation of their exclusive rights of reproduction and public display, as copyright owners. The complaint also alleges vicarious and contributory copyright infringement, DMCA violations, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. The Times seeks damages, an injunction against further infringing conduct, and a Section 503(b) order for the destruction of “all GPT or other LLM models and training sets that incorporate Times Works.” On February 23, 2024, plaintiffs in other cases filed a motion to intervene and dismiss this case.  

Basbanes and Ngagoyeanes v. Microsoft and OpenAI (S.D.N.Y. 2024)

Complaint filed January 5, 2024. Nonfiction authors assert copyright claims against Microsoft and OpenAI. On February 6, 2024, the court consolidated this case with Authors Guild (23-cv-08292) and Alter v. Open AI (23-cv-10211), for pretrial purposes.  

Caveat

This list is not exhaustive. There may be other cases involving AI that are not included here. For a discussion of bias issues in Google’s Gemini, have a look at Scraping Bias on Medium.com.

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