Federal Judge Orders Sarah Silverman vs. Meta Lawsuit Into ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’

Sarah Silverman alternative dispute
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Sarah Silverman alternative dispute
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Photo Credit: David Shankbone / CC by 3.0

After comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Meta and OpenAI, a federal judge has ordered the Meta lawsuit into ‘alternative dispute resolution.’

Comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors, Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden, filed proposed class action lawsuits in San Francisco federal court late last week, alleging that Facebook parent company Meta and ChatGPT creator OpenAI used copyrighted material to train their AI models.

Now, a federal judge has ordered that the Meta lawsuit be assigned to “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” a blanket term for a range of dispute resolution processes and techniques to settle disputes with the help of a third party — essentially pushing the case to be settled out of court as a preliminary step.

In their filings, Silverman, Kadrey, and Golden allege that Meta and OpenAI used their books without authorization to develop their “large language models,” which the companies pitch as powerful tools for automating tasks by replicating human conversation. 

The plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit against Meta that leaked information about the company’s artificial intelligence business shows their work was used without permission. Meanwhile, the case against OpenAI alleges that summaries of the plaintiffs’ work generated by ChatGPT indicate that the bot was trained on their copyrighted content.

“The summaries get some details wrong,” but nonetheless show that ChatGPT “retains knowledge of particular works in the training dataset,” reads the lawsuit.

“OpenAI knew or had reasonable grounds to know that this removal of CMI (copyright management information) would facilitate copyright infringement by concealing the fact that every output from the OpenAI language models is an infringing derivative work synthesized entirely from expressive information found in the training data,” the suit continues.

Both lawsuits seek unspecified damages on behalf of a nationwide class of copyright owners whose works were allegedly infringed.