Elon Musk is suing OpenAI, Sam Altman & Greg Brockman

OpenAI's pivot to being a profit-driven company is not sitting well with billionaire co-founder Elon Musk, and he is taking the AI company to court.


Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco court against OpenAI, CEO Sam Altman, and president Greg Brockman. Both co-founders may end up testifying over Musk's concerns about OpenAI's pivot from a non-profit organization to a for-profit entity.

Screenshot of the first page of the lawsuit.

Source: Superior Court of California

Here is a link to the electronic filing, but the servers are getting slammed and courthousenews.com has a solid mirror uploaded.

Keep it locked on Shacknews for all the AI news as it breaks.


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 1, 2024 12:30 AM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Elon Musk is suing OpenAI, Sam Altman & Greg Brockman

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      March 1, 2024 6:02 AM


      Elon suing OpenAI for selling out to MS and diverging from its original mission


      HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA what a tool

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        March 1, 2024 6:05 AM

        He's just aggressively shitting on whoever he sees as competition. He's clearly not in the AI race and would rather see it all burn down than not be a big player in the industry.

        He's a cunt.

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        March 1, 2024 6:48 AM

        I don’t like that racist fascist piece of shit any more than the next level headed person but breach of contract is breach of contract. OpenAI seem to have some major issues.

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          March 1, 2024 8:00 AM

          It states he left so what standing does he even have?

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          March 1, 2024 9:28 AM

          I find it fascinating how everyone has interpreted the whole Sam Altman getting fired incident, as how dare they do that....

          But what came out was that the company was founded as a nonprofit and their primary mandate was responsibility with developing AI over profits. This was mostly manifested through the academic background board member. Sam Altman wanted her gone and went to the other members of the board like it was a high-school cafeteria and lied about other board members approaching him about ousting the academic member. The board figured it all out and really had no choice but to remove him for it.

          But of course money talks so it goes the other way.

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          March 1, 2024 11:51 AM

          his donation is a donation its not donation as long as they do as i say

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            March 1, 2024 11:53 AM

            and if he wants he can hvae his money back im sure, but he wants openai to be open like ok good luck elon

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          March 1, 2024 12:04 PM

          what contract did they break against him?

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            March 1, 2024 12:11 PM

            …saying the company behind ChatGPT has diverged from its original, nonprofit mission by partnering with Microsoft for $13 billion and keeping its code for its newest generative AI products a secret.

            He’s just saying the for-profit wing should not be allowed and they should return all profits.

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              March 1, 2024 12:14 PM

              ok, and what right does a former board member have to challenge that?

              plus, he is suing for breech of contract, so there has to be a specific contract between him and OpenAI that has been breeched. He can't just point and say 'he, this isn't my original position and I want to sue to stop it'

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                March 1, 2024 2:03 PM

                He is just upset that he is going to miss out on a bunch of money when OpenAI either gets bought by Microsoft, or goes Public and becomes a $1T+ company.

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          March 1, 2024 12:09 PM

          I don't believe a fucking word he says, I assume if he's suing someone, it's because he feels wronged, not because of any true legal reason

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          March 1, 2024 12:21 PM

          Took a look at the filing and this is all i could really find:

          "From OpenAI, Inc.’s founding in 2015 through September 2020, Plaintiff
          contributed tens of millions of dollars, provided integral advice on research directions, and played
          a key role in recruiting world-class talent to OpenAI, Inc. in exchange and as consideration for the
          Founding Agreement, namely, that: OpenAI, Inc. (a) would be a non-profit developing AGI for the
          benefit of humanity, not for a for-profit company seeking to maximize shareholder profits; and
          (b) would be open-source, balancing only countervailing safety considerations, and would not keep
          its technology closed and secret for proprietary commercial reasons. This Founding Agreement is
          memorialized in, among other places, OpenAI, Inc.’s founding Articles of Incorporation and in
          numerous written communications between Plaintiff and Defendants over a multi-year period"

          Basically it seems that Elon is arguing that because they pinky-sweared to him over email and in-person conversations that they would stay non-profit that this is a breach of contract?

          "In doing so, Defendants reasonably expected that Plaintiff would (as he did) rely on
          their promises and provide funding, time and other resources to OpenAI, Inc."

          Hell even in the filing he is saying they were just promises lol. This lawsuit has the potential to go as well as his current one against the non-profit over hate speech.

          • reply
            March 1, 2024 12:48 PM

            It was more than a fucking pinky swear, it's literally all of their founding documents.

            They had a very unique board and structure specifically to safeguard against profit-seeking.

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              March 1, 2024 1:47 PM

              Apologies I left out another article I was reading about this whole kerfluffle (hopping between multiple forums regarding this): https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2024-03-01/openai-isn-t-open-enough-for-elon It's a fairly good article and definitely shows why Elon should feel aggrieved but everything screams that he is just grumpy.

              "One problem with this claim is that the contract doesn’t quite exist. Musk’s lawsuit says that OpenAI has breached “the Founding Agreement” of OpenAI, capitalized like that, as though he, Altman and Brockman sat down and signed a piece of paper with “Founding Agreement” at the top, setting out how OpenAI would operate. But they didn’t."

              "This Founding Agreement is memorialized in, among other places, OpenAI, Inc.’s founding Articles of Incorporation and in numerous written communications between Plaintiff and Defendants over a multi-year period. …"

              Along with Levine's opinion: "You can sort of wave your hands at all this and say “Musk had a contract with OpenAI in which he agreed to donate money and in exchange OpenAI explicitly agreed to be an open-source nonprofit forever,” but I don’t think that’s exactly right? The email from Altman was an initial proposal, not a detailed contract setting out the permanent terms of their deal; it promised not to open-source the software forever but only to “have an ongoing conversation about what work should be open-sourced and what shouldn’t.” Money was not mentioned.

              And the certificate of incorporation was not a contract between Musk and OpenAI: He didn’t sign the certificate, and he wasn’t a shareholder, because there were no shares (it’s a nonprofit). OpenAI’s fiduciary duties are not to him, as a co-founder, but to humanity. The evidence of a specific deal between Musk and OpenAI is pretty thin."

              Now granted I am just going off what I am reading in articles and in this lawsuit filing so I can definitely be wrong but it still feels like a pinky swear to me if they are citing emails as evidence and no actual documents from the company.

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                March 1, 2024 1:54 PM

                Oh, I don't give a fuck about Elon, I just meant the company definitely did radically shift, and if you did donate early when they were non profit I could see how you could take exception to that.

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                  March 1, 2024 2:01 PM

                  Ah ok figured with your post that you knew more about the situation. I was googling for openai founding documents/contracts way before my initial post and couldn't find anything and thought you had stumbled upon something no else had. You said it so confidently!

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                    March 1, 2024 2:04 PM

                    I mean I've read their public docs, months ago, but nothing about Elon or anything recent; I don't really care about them as a company.

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                      March 1, 2024 4:01 PM

                      Ah ok I had done a bit of research including reading the legal docket, reading news articles including the bloomberg article, and googling around. With your super confident "more than a fucking pinky swear' post I had figured I had messed up in my research. For you to go 'Oh I don't care about Elon, OpenAi, or have any knowledge that isn't a few months old' just.... doesn't hit right here. Just shitty honestly.

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                        March 1, 2024 4:09 PM

                        I'm sorry? I don't understand what you mean.

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                          March 1, 2024 4:23 PM

                          Apologies for being long-winded there. Basically boils down to:

                          I did a lot of research and then made a post.

                          You rebuttal super definitely and call everything I have done into question.

                          I present my research.

                          You admit you don't have any care or knowledge about anything involved in this entire thread and go 'oh well'.

                          Me feeling like shit about doing bad research is washed away when you go 'elon and openai lol I don't follow them'.

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                            March 1, 2024 4:47 PM

                            I just meant the company was clearly founded as non-profit with serious protections of that.

                            For a summary of what I mean, just look at the history section of the wikipedia page on them:

                            Given it literally informed their entire core structure, I took exception to your 'pinky swear', that's all.

                            None of it was meant to be an attack or make you feel bad; sorry if my post came across as such.

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                              March 1, 2024 6:05 PM

                              Companies change as time goes on. And non-profits can have for-profit arms. It’s not aren’t new.

                              Elon is pissed he isn’t in control here. Plain and simple.

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                                March 1, 2024 6:06 PM

                                I wasn't talking about Elon at all.

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                              March 1, 2024 8:41 PM

                              Thanks for wikipedia as your source versus bloomberg, good to know you based your entire post based off open source vibes versus journalists. Glad it gave you the confidence but please stop pretending you don't care while also knowing thing.

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                                March 2, 2024 9:50 AM

                                This is truly an amazing post.

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          March 1, 2024 1:56 PM

          Hilarious. I'd call the guy a tad hypocritical and kooky but fascist?

    • reply
      March 1, 2024 6:59 AM


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      March 1, 2024 8:04 AM

      TIL Elon was a co-founder of OpenAI.

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      March 1, 2024 11:09 AM

      Seems desperate and sad that he didn’t stay with them and mad he isn’t center of AI attention

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      March 1, 2024 12:14 PM

      member when Elon signed a letter last March/April urging everyone to pause AI development for 6 months and then 6 months later he launched Twitter's AI bot? good times

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      March 1, 2024 1:25 PM

      He's a piece of shit but stopped clock is right twice a day and he's said pretty consistently that he's deeply worried about AI basically causing the end of the world, so it's plausible that some of this is out of genuine concern

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        March 1, 2024 2:03 PM

        I think he's just upset that he jumped ship in 2018 and then OpenAI blew up a few years later and he's not involved.

        google trends for openAI

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        March 1, 2024 6:06 PM

        He probably saw that in a tweet and ran with it. Fearmongering and paranoia is a core value for conservatives.

    • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      March 1, 2024 2:31 PM

      I mean they clearly are not a non profit any longer, I don't know why what they did is legal but I'm sure it is. I don't know what it has to do with Musk though, other than the obvious sour grapes.

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        March 1, 2024 4:20 PM

        They have both a non-profit and a for-profit part of the biz, with separate legal entities and rules. Lots of non-profits do this.

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      March 1, 2024 5:37 PM

      Of course he is. And it's probably not a coincidence that he starting warning everyone about AI destroying humanity after he parted ways with Open AI because they didn't want to use his supercomputers. To me this seems right up there with attempting to sue the watchdog group that documented the rise in hate speech and misinformation on X since he took over.

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