Even Elon Musk thinks OpenAI is "hypocritical" for filing a copyright infringement suit against a popular subreddit

OpenAI and ChatGPT
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • OpenAI recently filed a copyright infringement against a popular subreddit for unauthorized use of its logo.
  • The move has sparked hot debates across social media with OpenAI being referred to as hypocritical.
  • The company has set aside the suit and allowed the subreddit to use its logo but requested it to include a disclaimer indicating all the trademarks belong to OpenAI. 

In the latest episode of the pot calling the kettle black, OpenAI recently filed a copyright infringement suit against the r/ChatGPT subreddit on Reddit for unauthorized use of its logo (via 404Media). The move by the ChatGPT maker has sparked hot debates across social media, with the majority referring to the whole issue as hypocritical on OpenAI's side. 

OpenAI based its suit on the following:

"Hello Mods, We have received a copyright complaint from openai.com alleging unauthorized use of their copyrighted logos in r/ChatGPT. The 'subreddit profile image' does make use of the copyrighted content, which can lead to user confusion: please address the unauthorized copyrighted elements by May 16."

👍 from r/ChatGPT

The hot tech startup requested the subreddit to stop using its logo and further furnishing it with a reply indicating compliance.

For the past few years, OpenAI has been slapped with copyright infringement lawsuits from publishers, websites, and authors for using their copyrighted content without consent. At the beginning of this month, eight news publishers filed a suit against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement. This adds to the ongoing legal battles the ChatGPT maker is fighting against other outlets like The New York Times and non-fiction authors.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has previously admitted it's virtually impossible to create ChatGPT-like tools without copyrighted materials.

"Well, many people have started simping for a company which scraped the entire internet without attribution, so of course they are further emboldened" and "ClosedAI" were some of the comments made by users after OpenAI requested the Subreddit to stop using its logo. Billionaire Elon Musk joined the party, referring to OpenAI's actions as "hypocritical."

Interestingly, OpenAI has since backtracked on this move and granted the subreddit permission to continue using its logo. However, the company's legal team has requested for the inclusion of disclaimers indicating:

"Use of the OpenAI logo is with permission from OpenAI; all rights in OpenAI's trademarks belong to OpenAI."

r/ChatGPT is arguably one of the largest subreddits on Reddit with over 5.4 million members. Perhaps the backlash from its members pressured OpenAI to back off and set aside the copyright infringement suit.

Kevin Okemwa
Contributor

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • fjtorres5591
    You are missing the boat here folks.
    And so is the reddit moderator.
    Maybe things are different across the pond, but in the US trademarks *must* be defended or the company loses the mark it uses for trade, which is what trademark is.

    It is not about copyright nor patents but about *identity*. A trademark identifies the source. If not authorized to use it, with at least proper attribution, it creates *legal* "confusion" and a precedent that might allow other unauthorized uses of the logo. OpenAI is 100% in the right and required to protest. Not mentioned in the headline, is that they offered a middle ground. And citing Musk? Seriously?

    Do some research!

    Musk is at war with OpenAI because he is a *competitor* lagging in the so-called "AI" *comercialization* race. He wants nothing more than to hamper his competitors so he can catch up and also make money off LLM tech. Remember his silly call for a "pause" in "AI" deployment? While he launched his own competitive company? His own chatbot, GROK. Yeah, a trustworthy source.

    Musk is a savant, a genius yes, but one with Aspergers who shoots off his mouth and speaks randomly and impulsively about everything daily. If you follow his daily pontifications you'll go bonkers in a week.

    Worse, in your crusade against "AI" and Fair Use (again, do some research) you are relying on the words of another "AI" peddler. That's like relying on Ferrari saying anything about Bugatti.

    Lazy. You can do better.
    Reply
  • duckydan
    fjtorres5591 said:
    You are missing the boat here folks.
    And so is the reddit moderator.
    Maybe things are different across the pond, but in the US trademarks *must* be defended or the company loses the mark it uses for trade, which is what trademark is.

    It is not about copyright nor patents but about *identity*. A trademark identifies the source. If not authorized to use it, with at least proper attribution, it creates *legal* "confusion" and a precedent that might allow other unauthorized uses of the logo. OpenAI is 100% in the right and required to protest. Not mentioned in the headline, is that they offered a middle ground. And citing Musk? Seriously?

    Do some research!

    Musk is at war with OpenAI because he is a *competitor* lagging in the so-called "AI" *comercialization* race. He wants nothing more than to hamper his competitors so he can catch up and also make money off LLM tech. Remember his silly call for a "pause" in "AI" deployment? While he launched his own competitive company? His own chatbot, GROK. Yeah, a trustworthy source.

    Musk is a savant, a genius yes, but one with Aspergers who shoots off his mouth and speaks randomly and impulsively about everything daily. If you follow his daily pontifications you'll go bonkers in a week.

    Worse, in your crusade against "AI" and Fair Use (again, do some research) you are relying on the words of another "AI" peddler. That's like relying on Ferrari saying anything about Bugatti.

    Lazy. You can do better.
    This is not correct at all. The trademark can be used under fair use law as long as it does not infringe against the original owner's rights. Using the logo on Reddit to describe the product while not pretending to be the product can be protected under fair use. If the C&D were ignored, OpenAI would have to file a claim that the use of its logo on Reddit would infringe on their property and product - which would be a hard case to make.

    You're also missing the irony of the fact that OpenAI has infringed on most copyrights and trademarks to begin with which is the point of the story. As you say - You're lazy - do better.
    Reply