A federal judge in California this week dismissed four of six claims made by authors in a now consolidated lawsuit alleging that Open AI infringes their copyrights. But the court gave the authors a month to amend their complaint, and the suit’s core claim of direct infringement—which Open AI did not seek to dismiss—remains active.

Following a December 7 hearing, federal judge Araceli Marti?nez-Olgui?n needed just 13 pages to dismiss a host of claims made by the authors, including vicarious infringement (count two), claims that Open AI removed or altered copyright management information (count three); negligence under the unfair competition law (count five); and unjust enrichment (count six). The court allowed a fourth claim of “unfairness” under the unfair competition law to proceed, however, holding that, if true, the authors’ claims that Open AI used their copyrighted works “to train their language models for commercial profit may constitute an unfair practice.”

The court gave the plaintiffs until March 13 to file an amended complaint.

The decision is the latest legal development in the wake of three class action cases filed in California last summer by authors, which have now been consolidated. The first two suits were filed on June 28 and July 7 by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on behalf of five named plaintiffs: Mona Awad, who has since left the case, and Paul Tremblay in the first case, and Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey, and comedian Sarah Silverman in the second. A third action was filed in September, and includes authors Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman, among others, which the court has now ordered to be consolidated with the first two cases in the amended complaint.

The suits all feature nearly identical claims: that AI firms (including Microsoft-backed OpenAI, creators of ChatGPT, and Meta, creators of LLaMA) are infringing copyright by using unauthorized copies of books and articles to train AI models, including by allegedly using copies of books in training those models that were scraped from notorious pirate sites.

Meanwhile, two more suits against Open AI are also underway in New York. One suit, filed in September 2023 by the Authors Guild and a host of authors, includes David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Jodi Picoult as coplaintiffs; another suit was filed in December 2023 by the New York Times.

In a February 8 filing, the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, which represents the authors in the California cases, filed a motion to stay the cases in New York, raising concerns that the defendants may use the competing cases to forum shop. “In order to avoid duplicative efforts, judicial waste, and potentially disparate rulings, the Court should apply the first-to-file rule and enjoin OpenAI from proceeding in substantially identical actions in the Southern District of New York,” the motion states.