In its opening statement, the plaintiffs accuse Google of “harvesting data in secret” to build its AI products without consent.
“It has very recently come to light that Google has been secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet by hundreds of millions of Americans.”
The lawsuit points out that Google’s decision not only violates rights, but gives it an “unfair advantage” compared to its competitors who lawfully obtain or purchase data to train AI. Ryan Clarkson of Clarkson Law Firm, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said in a statement in the suit that:
“Google must understand, once and for all: it does not own the internet, it does not own our creative works, it does not own our expressions of our personhood, pictures of our families and children, or anything else simply because we share it online.”
The plaintiffs argued that “publicly available” does not and has never entailed that it is “free to use for any purpose.”
Related: OpenAI pauses ChatGPT’s Bing feature, as users were jumping paywalls
According to the lawsuit, Google could potentially owe upwards of $5 billion in damages. It also requested a court order which would order Google to obtain users’ explicit permission first.
This includes allowing users to opt out of its “illicit data collection,” along with the ability to delete already existing data or provide “fair compensation” to owners of the data.
Earlier this week, author and comedian Sarah Silverman, together with two other authors, filed a lawsuit against ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Meta for their use of copyrighted work without permission in AI training.
Prior to that, OpenAI was hit with another lawsuit for alleged data scraping,
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