Meta refutes claims of copyright infringement in AI training

Meta refutes claims of copyright infringement in AI training

September 20, 2023

Meta has refuted claims that its artificial intelligence (AI) model Llama was trained using copyrighted material from popular books.

In court on Sept. 18, Meta asked a San Francisco federal judge to dismiss claims made by author Sarah Silverman and a host of other authors who have said it violated the copyrights of their books in the training of its AI system.

The Facebook and Instagram parent company called the use of materials to train its systems “transformative” and “fair use.”

“Use of texts to train LLaMA to statistically model language and generate original expression is transformative by nature and quintessential fair use…”

It continued by pointing out a conclusion in another related court battle, “much like Google’s wholesale copying of books to create an internet search tool was found to be fair use in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., 804 F.3d 202 (2d Cir. 2015).” 

Meta said the “core issue” of copyright fair use should be taken up again on “another day, on a more fulsome record.” The company said the plaintiff couldn’t provide explanations of the “information” they’re referring to, nor could they provide specific outputs related to their material.

The attorneys of the authors said in a separate statement on Sept. 19 that they are “confident” their claims will be held and will continue to proceed through “discovery and trial.”

OpenAI also attempted to dismiss parts of the claims back in August under similar grounds to what Meta is currently proposing. 

Related: What is fair use? US Supreme Court weighs in on AI’s copyright dilemma

The original lawsuit against Meta and OpenAI was opened in July and was one of many lawsuits popping up against Big Tech giants over copyright and data infringement with the rise of AI.

On Sept. 5, a pair of unnamed engineers opened a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft regarding their alleged scraping methods to obtain private data while training their respective AI models.

In July, Google was sued on similar grounds after it updated its privacy policy. The lawsuit accused the company of misusing large amounts of data, including copyrighted material, in its own AI training.

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