New GPT Store Lets Creators Share Custom Chatbots, Though Debut Marred by Theft

After a monthslong delay, OpenAI has launched its much-anticipated GPT Store, through which users can share their custom chatbots. The store is being rolled out initially to ChatGPT Plus, Team, and Enterprise users.

The store features a diverse range of GPTs developed by OpnAI partners and the community. Users can browse popular and trending GPTs on the community leaderboard, which lists offering in such categories as DALL·E, writing, research, programming, education, and lifestyle.

Research assistants currently dominate trending community offerings, but theft/hijacking is already a problem on day one. In fact it was a problem before the store debut, as noted in this 10-day old post on the OpenAI site, "A site is stealing and duplicating our GPTs - how can we protect our GPTs?"

Other posts include:

"How can we stop people doing this?" that first post reads. "Those [sic] OpenAI have any policies? Do we have any copyrights for our GPTs and prompts?"

Becky Nagel, VP of AI for 1105 Media Inc. (the parent company of Pure AI) is wondering the same thing. She took to social media to report her own GPT hijacking.

Her Jan. 9 post reads: "So is there such a thing as #GPT plagiarism? This creator stole my GPT's name, how it works, even the icon -not a coincidence. Also, as our GPTs, GPT Copy Editor, have the same name, will only one of us get in store?"

"Honestly, I was surprised to see it duplicated more than anything else, and it's a niche GPT most people aren't going to be interested in (and was never going to make any money)," Nagel told Pure AI. "The people who copied mine appear to have copied thousands -- perhaps they were hoping one would become popular and be part of the store's revenue share? The interesting part, to me at least, how they copied these, as technically I'm not sure how it was done."

Meanwhile, other theft victims weighed in on the OpenAI post, with one saying: "I had this person also copy my GPT ( 2), including the exact name, logo, description, and starter prompts."

That comment also cites a "Report" function found on GPTs that can apparently be used to document theft, which could lead to a DCMA Takedown demand if trademarks are owned. The Report function is found by clicking the down-arrow symbol next to the GPT name, which brings up a menu with several other options also.

Nagel summed up her situation: "In the scheme of things this is just a very small glitch that occurred before the store even opened. OpenAI is doing great things with GPTs, and I'm sure the company will solve this issue pretty quickly. But it will be interesting to see how and when they do. I'm hoping when they do we'll get some technical insight on how the copying happened in the first place."

Meanwhile, with OpenAI surely working on the theft/hijacking/plagiarism issue, there's a new "store" to browse, though it looks suspiciously like the list of GPTs that existed before the Jan. 10 store debut.

And in that store, among the "Trending" GPTs are several community offerings serving as research assistants. But you can find much more.

For those not in the know, GPTs are custom versions of the ChatGPT model designed to be highly customizable, enabling users to tailor them for specific tasks or interests without needing any coding skills. Basically, users can interact with ChatGPT to outline and create a GPT that suits their unique requirements. This could range from a GPT specialized in cooking advice based on personal recipes to one adept in providing insights on complex topics like fantasy literature or technical coding queries.

"The store features a diverse range of GPTs developed by our partners and the community," OpenAI said in its announcement. "Browse popular and trending GPTs on the community leaderboard, with categories like DALL·E, writing, research, programming, education, and lifestyle."

The company also highlighted "useful and impactful GPTs" among the offerings:

  • Personalized trail recommendations from AllTrails
  • Search and synthesize results from 200M academic papers with Consensus
  • Expand your coding skills with Khan Academy's Code Tutor
  • Design presentations or social posts with Canva
  • Find your next read with Books
  • Learn math and science anytime, anywhere with the CK-12 Flexi AI tutor

The announcement post also details how to include your own GPT in the store and notes an upcoming builder revenue program based on GPT usage (which perhaps accounts for the theft/hijacking issue).
OpenAI, meanwhile, has its own revenue generation to think about.

"Today, we announced our new ChatGPT Team plan for teams of all sizes," OpenAI said in its announcement. "Team customers have access to a private section of the GPT Store which includes GPTs securely published to your workspace. The GPT Store will be available soon for ChatGPT Enterprise customers and will include enhanced admin controls like choosing how internal-only GPTs are shared and which external GPTs may be used inside your business. Like all usage on ChatGPT Team and Enterprise, we do not use your conversations with GPTs to improve our models."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.