Game of Thrones Author Sues ChatGPT Owner OpenAI Over Copyright Infringement

Authors George RR Martin and John Grisham, renowned for their literary creations, have launched a lawsuit against OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT.

They claim that their copyrighted works were used without authorisation to enhance ChatGPT’s capabilities. This legal battle raises questions about copyright, artificial intelligence (AI), and the impact of AI on human creativity.


The Plaintiffs and Their Claims


George RR Martin, famed for the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” (adapted into HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and John Grisham, known for his legal thrillers, stand at the forefront of this lawsuit.

They argue that OpenAI incorporated portions of their books into ChatGPT without proper permission, effectively infringing on their copyrights. This case represents a significant moment for authors who believe their creative work is at risk in the age of AI.


The Role of Large Language Models (LLMs)


ChatGPT and similar LLMs operate by processing vast amounts of data, often gathered from online sources.

They learn to generate human-like text by analysing and drawing insights from this data. However, concerns have arisen over whether LLMs may inadvertently incorporate copyrighted material into their output, raising questions about the infringement of authors’ rights.


The Lawsuit’s Allegations


The lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild, a US trade group advocating for writers’ interests, accuses OpenAI of theft on a mass scale. It alleges that the company utilised copyrighted books, including those by Martin and Grisham, to train ChatGPT, improving the AI’s ability to generate summaries and other text-based content. The central claim is that OpenAI failed to secure the necessary permissions, leading to copyright violations.


Prominent Authors Join the Legal Battle


Besides George RR Martin and John Grisham, other authors such as Jonathan Franzen, Jodi Picoult, and George Saunders are named in the complaint.

This legal action shows the significance of the issue at hand and highlights the broader concerns shared by authors in the face of AI technology’s growing role in creative processes.



AI’s Impact on the Creative Industry


One of the core concerns raised by this lawsuit is the fear that AI, like ChatGPT, may replace human-authored content. Patrick Goold, a law scholar at City University, suggests that while sympathy may lie with the authors, proving their case could be challenging.

He argues that the real worry is AI’s potential to eliminate creative job opportunities, similar to the concerns currently faced by screenwriters in Hollywood. The crux of the matter is whether copyright law is the appropriate means to address these broader concerns surrounding AI automation.


Seeking Mutually Beneficial Solutions


OpenAI, in response to the lawsuit, has emphasised its commitment to respecting authors’ rights and the importance of ensuring authors benefit from AI technology.

The organisation claims to be engaged in productive discussions with various creators, including the Authors Guild, to address their concerns about AI. The goal is to find mutually beneficial ways for creators and AI to coexist harmoniously.


AI’s Impact on the Creative Arts: A Broader Conversation


This lawsuit is just one in a series of legal actions against developers of generative AI technologies, highlighting the ongoing debate over AI’s role in creative industries.

It follows earlier suits involving digital artists and programmers who argue that AI has been employed without proper authorisation to create content. The resolution of these legal battles will shape the future of AI’s relationship with creative works and, potentially, the broader creative landscape.




The lawsuit filed by George RR Martin, John Grisham, and other authors against OpenAI brings into focus the complex intersection of copyright law, artificial intelligence, and creativity.

While the legal outcome remains uncertain, this case highlights the pressing need for a broader conversation about how AI may impact the creative arts and the measures required to ensure a fair and sustainable coexistence between AI and human creativity.