The battle between authors and AI for control of copyright just stepped up a notch. George R.R. Martin, John Grisham and Jodi Picoult are among 17 authors who’ve filed court papers in New York against ChatGPT programme owners OpenAI alleging “systematic theft on a mass scale”. Brought by the Authors Guild on behalf of the authors, the lawsuit claims ChatGPT is using their writing without permission to generate content. For example, the suit alleges the programme generated a “prequel” to A Game of Thrones using characters from Martin’s famed A Song of Ice and Fire series. A number of similar cases have been brought this year including one by the comedian Sarah Silverman. The authors say letting large language models mine writers’ material is detrimental to the literary craft and to the creative industries. OpenAI says: writers could, and should, benefit from AI technology – and that their claims “misconceive the scope of copyright”. The AI people may have a point.