New York Times Sues OpenAI & Microsoft For Copyright Infringement

New York Times Sues OpenAI & Microsoft For Copyright Infringement

Date: December 28, 2023

Globally renowned journalism and media house, New York Times, is suing Microsoft and ChatGPT for copying millions of articles to train their AI models.

Copying and using millions of published articles on the New York Times’ various channels is the latest allegation on the Artificial Intelligence leaders, Microsoft and OpenAI. The Times has sued both companies for crawling its published articles to train their AI models. The main problem is that these AI platforms have crawlers that can access the internet freely without anyone’s consent. Due to this, the Times alleges that the two AI platforms have developed direct competency with their original content work and journalism style. 

The lawsuit outlines that ChatGPT and Copilot “can generate output that recites Times content verbatim, closely summarizes it, and mimics its expressive style.” This “undermine[s] and damage[s]” the Times’ relationship with readers, the outlet alleges, while also depriving it of “subscription, licensing, advertising, and affiliate revenue.”

It can accurately copy how the Times publishes its content harming the company's relationship with its readers. The AI tools can replicate the verbatim, closely summarize the content works, and mimic the expressive style of the media house. This effectively deprives the firm of its hard-earned readership loyalty, subscription, licensing, advertising, and affiliate revenue.

The accusing firm also urged the court to take action on the ability of these AI tools to threaten high-quality journalism and also shared how easily AI can create news bias. By hurting the news outlets’ capacity to protect and monetize content, it directly harms the core business of major journalism companies. 

Both the defendants have accepted that their crawlers have accessed the content pieces for their learning but also state that doing this was not out of bounds or illegal. Instead, they clearly said that the release of AI models trained on the Times’ content has been quite lucrative for both Microsoft and OpenAI. 

The publishing house has been negotiating compensation to ensure it receives fair value for using the content but has failed to reach a solution. The company is now holding both AI tool makers liable for billions in compensation for business loss and statutory damages. 

The Times has blocked OpenAI and Copilot’s crawlers from all of its online channels. Multiple media outlets have done the same to protect their original content and minimize business loss from AI’s non-consensual infringement of their business source. On the other hand, Axel Springer has struck a deal with OpenAI’s ChatGPT to allow the AI tool access to all information available on its sources. This deal will help OpenAI train its models on news stories for the next two years.

Arpit Dubey

By Arpit Dubey LinkedIn Icon

Arpit is a dreamer, wanderer, and a tech nerd who loves to jot down tech musings and updates. With a logician mind, he is always chasing sunrises and tech advancements while secretly preparing for the robot uprising.

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