Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage File OpenAI Non-Fiction Lawsuit


Non-fiction writers Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage have jointly filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Microsoft and OpenAI alleging - and seeking damages for - copyright infringement of their intellectual property in the building of AI engines, including the popular ChatGPT chatbot.

They claim OpenAI and its financial backer Microsoft have infringed their copyrights by including a number of their books in the data which has been used to train OpenAI's language model. The suit calls this an "outrageous" approach, saying that their work has simply been "systematically pilfered"

Basbanes is a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar who has written books on book collecting including A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, and is a contributor to Fine Books & Collections. Gage is an author and investigative journalist, whose 1983 memoir Eleni  was hailed by President Ronald Reagan as a key inspiration for his summit meetings to end the arms race with the Soviet Union.

The action follows hard on the heels of other suits claiming unauthorized/uncompensated use for the artificial intelligence system filed by the Authors Guild on behalf of fiction writers, as well as The New York Times.

Basbanes and Gage said the suit includes everybody affected in the U.S. who are authors or legal beneficial owners of copyrights, which they estimated could run into the tens of thousands.